W. Kenneth Holditch

Kenneth_Holditch_Southern Lit ScholarW. Kenneth Holditch is a Research Professor Emeritus from the University of New Orleans, where he taught for 32 years. He is the founding editor of The Tennessee Williams Journal and has published numerous short stories, poems, periodical articles, and critical essays on William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Lillian Hellman, Walker Percy, Richard Ford, Anne Rice, and many others. Holditch was a founder of the Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans, Tennessee Williams Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, and the Words and Music Festival. In 1974 he created a French Quarter literary tour and still conducts the walks through the Vieux Carre. Long term plans include a biography of John Kennedy Toole as well as a novel about growing up in the Mississippi. His full-length play on Tennessee Williams has been given two staged readings at Lincoln Center in New York and is still a work in progress. In 2003 his recorded narration was used as a voice-over in an off-Broadway staging of Derelicts and Dreamers, produced and directed by Erma Duricko, In 1997 Holditch was keynote speaker at the Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland, OH. He has lectured extensively in the U.S. and Europe on Tennessee Williams and other Southern authors and has participated in symposia at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Tennessee Williams Symposium at the University Alabama and the University of Minnesota. He is an annual speaker at the Hartford Stage for their Tennessee Williams Marathon. In 2001, he was awarded the Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities Lifetime Achievements Award. In recent years, he has concentrated much of his attention on Tennessee Williams and his works. Holditch’s writings on the playwright include a monograph about Williams in New Orleans, The Last Frontier of Bohemia. He co-edited with critic Mel Gussow the two Library of America volumes (2000) that include 33 plays of Tennessee Williams. With Richard Freeman Leavitt, he co-authored Tennessee Williams and the South, published in March 2002 by the University Press of Mississippi. Holditch’s latest book, co-authored with Marda Burton, is Galatoire’s: Biography of a Bistro.

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