New Orleans provides a fitting backdrop for the Words and Music Festival, an annual literary festival put on by The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society. The Faulkner Society began in 1990 with the inspiration of a Faulkner scholar and a family who renovated the Pirate’s Alley home where William Faulkner lived during his time in New Orleans.
The society was created not only to honor William Faulkner, but also to salute all good writers. Hence the festival doesn’t cater only to Faulkner devotees, but to people who appreciate all things literary! This year’s theme is “God, Man, and Woman: Faith and the Search for Meaning as Inspiration for the Arts.” Additionally, some programming will focus on Walker Percy, a longtime Northshore resident and author of such works as The Moviegoer, Signposts in a Strange Land, and Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book.
The festival features talks and seminars by Pulitzer and other literary prize winners as well as New York Times bestselling authors, including Reza Aslan, author of such works as Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth as well as No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam and How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror. The Pan-American Connections portion of the Festival, which showcases authors of Latin American or Spanish heritage, brings Horatio Castellano Moya, one of Latin America’s most respected authors, to New Orleans.
In addition, established authors and literary agents will lead sessions on such topics as writing a sellable memoir, selling novels to Hollywood studios, and how to get screenplays picked up by studios. Other sessions will feature New Orleans writers or works set in New Orleans, talks on writing about food or architecture, among many others. The festival will also host a showing of a literary documentary made by New Orlenian Win Riley entitled Walker Percy.
Given that the title of the festival is not only about literature but both “Words” and “Music,” one would expect music to feature prominently during the week. The Festival will not disappoint! The Faulkner Society is co-sponsoring the kick-off concert for the annual Christmas concert series at St. Louis Cathedral. The Society-sponsored concert will feature Harmonouche, a jazz group led by French guitarist and harmonica player Rafaël Bas. Jazz After Hours will happen this year at Tableau, the new Dickie Brennan restaurant in Le Petit Theatre.
In addition to the Words and Music Festival, the Faulkner Society sponsors the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, publishes the Double Dealer literary journal, and sponsors literacy initiatives for teenagers at risk for illiteracy. Further information about the Faulkner Society, the Words and Music Festival, its other programs, and how to become a member can be found here.
WHEN: December 4-8, 2013.
Please click here to view full schedule.
WHERE: Various locations
TICKETS: Prices vary according to venue and event. Please click here to view and purchase tickets.