Delta Literary Tour Visits Clarksdale Wednesday
CLARKSDALE – Diverse visitors across the U.S. will be immersed into the rich history of Clarksdale’s blues culture and the world of playwright Tennessee Williams when the annual Delta Literary Tour comes to town Wednesday.
Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, the annual event is an advance attraction before the Conference for the Book at Ole Miss opens Thursday in Oxford.
Arriving in Clarksdale following a visit to Tutwiler’s Community Education Center for gospel music and a quilting display, visitors will be treated to lunch catered by the Ranchero at the Cutrer Mansion and welcome by Coahoma County Higher Education Center director Jen Waller.
New York filmmaker Karen Kohihaas will talk about her ongoing documentary project featuring Tennessee Williams in Clarksdale, and screen interviews with local residents linked with the multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.
At 2 p.m., the group will be welcomed to St. George’s Episcopal Church by the Rev. Jason Shelby and tour the former rectory where Tom Williams lived with his mother, sister, and grandparents, the Rev. and Mrs. Walter Dakin.
During a “Clarksdale Stroll” visitors will tour the Delta Blues Museum, galleries and businesses including Cathead Delta Blues and Folk Art, and others.
At 5 p.m. Theatre Oxford actress Alice Walker will present scenes from the Tennessee Williams drama, A Streetcar Named Desire, on the front porch of 415 Court Street.
The residence was the home of the playwright’s best childhood friend, Phil Clark, a setting visited by theatre director Elia Kazan, and one of four porch play stages during the annual Tennessee Williams Festival.
Sponsored by Coahoma Community College, the 21st annual free festival is scheduled for Oct. 4-5, 2013.
Wednesday’s finale will be a Lebanese supper at Rest Haven Restaurant.