Tennessee Returns

Day 2 of the 2015 Tennessee Williams Festival, which is held all over the French Quarter in what is usually glorious weather of early spring of cool sunny days and little rain. That weather tradition seems to be holding true this year.
Performance, literary instruction, lively banter, music and food are all on tap and the events of this excellent literary festival are getting better and better each year. It always involves well-established writers like Roy Blount Jr (great master class yesterday on sonic words and writing for the ear) to one of New Orleans’ favorite sons from another mother John Waters, to a carful of my favorite regional writers including pals Nancy Dixon and Bill Lavender, Lolis Elie and Poppy Tooker.

The Historic New Orleans Collection is usually one of the sites for the Master Classes and it is so enjoyable to sit in the beautiful room off the courtyard and listen in.
This morning, we get to listen to Lauren Cerand, an independent literary publicist talking about what can be done to create literary buzz. She believes that there is an “an audience for every book” and will offer some practical tips for building publicity.



TWLF tip #2

For a few dollars, you can enter for many chances to win their 2012 Festival library (worth over $2,000).
There are also some great runner-up prizes.
The Grand Prize includes:
Over 50 prize-winning books by Festival authors including signed copies by the likes of Ace Atkins, NPR’s Amy Dickinson, Zachary Lazar, John Mariani, National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, and many others!
A subscription to Louisiana Cultural Vistas
DVDs of New Orleans Food Memories and Win Riley’s Walker Percy
CDs of American Routes with Nick Spitzer: Songs and Stories from the Road and Our New Orleans 2005: A Benefit Album

For a chance to win these prizes, buy a raffle ticket ($5) or three ($10).

During the Festival: at the Info Desk onsite at the Hotel Monteleone.

If you can’t make it to the Festival, buy your tickets ONLINE. You don’t have to be present to win but be sure to buy your raffle tickets online before the end of Sunday March 25, 2012.
Price: 3 tickets for $10 ($8 plus $2 ticketing fee). You must purchase a minimum of 3 tickets online.
Ticket code: 3RaffleTickets
Buy Tickets

This Property is Condemned

Great movie made in 1966 starring Robert Redford and Natalie Wood. The scenes in New Orleans are nice, including Jackson Square, City Park, St. Louis #1 and the apartment on Dumaine (817?). Later on, Tennessee himself also lived on Dumaine…
Tennessee Williams wrote the original one-act play (which took place entirely on railroad tracks with younger sister Willie telling the story of her sister) but, as usual, did not participate or like the movie adaptation of his play.
The scenes in the little apartment are good, as are the characters one sees on the streets. Amazing to see Clover Grill and The Washing Well 40 plus years ago…

Tennessee Williams was here

We’re just finishing up the latest festival for our most famous writer.  Not cheap to attend, but probably worth it, if you are a writer or a reader on New Orleans or the South. Nice website: it’s in my links on the right.

What I know about him-off the top of my head:

Came here from St. Louis to get a job on the WPA Writer’s Project: was not hired by Lyle Saxon. Came back and lived on Toulouse, then on Orleans then on Dumaine.

Lived in Key West later in life.

Poker Night was the original name for the play Streetcar Named Desire. The Desire streetcar started running in 1920, and traveled down Decatur, through the French Market, over to Royal, then right on Canal and right again on Bourbon to head to Desire. Streetcar was shut down the year or year after the play opened on Broadway.

Had a party where the landlady poured hot water through the floorboards to quiet everyone down.

He said:

“There are only 3 cities in the United States-New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. The rest is just Cleveland.”