Tennessee Williams Festival : “Blow out your candles” for another year

I’ve written about this wonderful festival before (see bottom of post) and was happy to find time to go again this year. I believe I went first in the late 1980s, and then began to go annually around 1999 or so.

I have a good outsider viewpoint to share so maybe that this “world-class literary festival”(as a globe-trotting festival-goer firmly declared to me years ago) remains relevant and exciting. The good news is that the people attached to the festival are excellent, and grow increasingly more representative of the city and region. The bad news is fewer locals that are not writers or theater buffs attend even though there are many exciting and enjoyable topics for non-writers. The other bad news is that it is banged about on all sides by a half dozen or more events and festivals happening in the same week.

I’d like to see:

more outdoor events (still like my idea from earlier post of having Streetcar movie playing in Square on Thursday night) should also be a short brass band event to celebrate TW’s birthday (bring back the birthday toast and singing, just move to Square or to Pirate’s Alley)

more interaction between other TW festivals and this one

more on St. Louis!

more on local lore, local history from the 20th century, (an era possibly the least understood of New Orleans’ 3 centuries…)

bring back popular panels from early years

sponsor a nearby Tennessee Flea market full of all (quality) things New Orleans 20th century as well as collector’s editions of his works

more items for sale such as reproduction posters of productions, clothing not directly tied to festival but TW related. Work with stores in FQ to highlight TW and literary items that weekend.

more panels and materials on/from Mississippi, TW’s other home

more panels and materials on the Mississippi River history and places from St. Louis to New Orleans

highlight other Southern writers with their own small track (Flannery, Eudora even gasp Anne Rice)

more with emerging writers, especially with schools around the city (i.e.Neighborhood Story Project)

TWLF history hunt with prizes

Tie in TWLF with FQ Fest and JazzFest with a linked exhibit or sponsored musician

Let’s just make this a engaging, engrossing, and illuminating weekend, centered around the great modern playwright who loved this city.

A cross section of things I’ve written about the festival on this blog:

https://frenchquarterbxb.com/?s=Tennessee

https://frenchquarterbxb.com/page/4/?s=Tennessee

Time for Tennessee

Every year, I find time in my busy spring work schedule to get to the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, which is my favorite festival of the year. It offers a healthy slice of tidbits for working writers, for lovers of New Orleans  readers of good books and performances for theatergoers.

Their digital schedule is handy, but just go to the Monteleone Hotel today thru Sunday to get a paper schedule, buy tickets, purchase books or concessions (you may find me there volunteering on Friday) and soak up the vibe.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!

Tickets are ON SALE NOW!

We know you might have your favorite way of viewing our 5-day schedule of events, so here are some options so you can check out all of our panels, master classes, theater, and special events and plan your Festival experience.

  1. Hover over FESTIVAL on the menu bar at the top of our website and you’ll see dropdowns to view the events by category, see all the speakers (whose pages list their events), and a schedule that shows you the daily version.
  2. Or you can view and download our full color program.
  3. Or maybe you’d just like a printer-friendly descriptive program that you can peruse at your leisure.
  4. Or peruse our full color program with digital links.

Check out 2tender4house: an indie lit fest in New Orleans also happening this week.

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.

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Tennessee Returns To The Quarter

Ah my favorite weekend is here. Time to head to the Quarter and immerse myself in all things literary and of Tennessee. 4 days of workshops, plays, walking tours, shouting contests and mint juleps.
Hope to see you there, and if not, look for my blogs from the Fest.

http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/festival/schedule

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