Tennessee Williams celebration awards poets, artists


Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright and Key West resident Tennessee Williams, who was born March 26, 1911, had other talents: He was a published poet and an artist whose paintings are currently on exhibit at the Custom House. Deadlines loom for the poetry and painting contests produced as part of this year’s 103rd birthday celebration.

The Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit (TWKW), established in his honor, climaxes a month of homage and entertainment with a gala 103rd birthday reception and awards ceremony on Wednesday, March 26, from from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the exhibit’s home venue, 513 Truman Ave., just off Duval St.

The celebration, that included four Monday movies at the Tropic Cinema adapted from Williams’ plays, centers on two competitions that reflect his secondary talents of poetry and painting. First and second place awards of $500 and $250, respectively, will be announced; all paintings entered will be displayed and the winning poets will read their poems. This will serve as the brief program in the midst of celebratory snacks and beverages.

Poems must be turned in, with appropriate registration and entry fee, by March 17. Artists are able to register through March 19 for the 9 a.m. to noon exercise in speed-painting on March 22. Williams painted quickly and tended to finish a painting in just a few hours. Registration forms for both contests are available at TWKW at the address above.

On Monday, March 17, TWKW and the Tropic will present A Streetcar Named Desire, a 1951 adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play starring Marlon Brando and Oscar winners Kim Hunter, Vivien Leigh, and Karl Malden.

On Monday March 24, the final featured adaptation is Night of the Iguana, a 1964 film starring Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr. It received two Oscar and five Golden Globe nominations. All films begin at at 6 p.m. and are hosted by Craig Wanous and Dennis Beaver, TWKW curator and celebration producer.

The 103rd birthday celebration has been produced by the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit in cooperation with the Tropic Cinema, Key West Art and Historical Society and artist William Welch. For additional information visit their website,www.twkw.org or telephone (305) 842-1666.

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