Eat, drink and learn more about Tennessee Williams at these four events

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Several events coming up at Jefferson Parish libraries are designed to call attention to the Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival coming up March 20-24. They include culinary demonstrations and two talks, one by a friend of Williams and the other by the author of a behind-the-curtains book on the playwright.

Two food and cocktail demos kick things off.

Nora Wetzel, a local chef who specializes in the cuisine of southern France, will demonstrate how to make Hoppin’ John, which is mentioned in several of Williams’ plays, including “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

Abigail Gullo, a local mixologist, will demonstrate how to make a brandy Alexander, reported to be the playwright’s favorite drink.

These events will take place:

  • Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie
  • Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m., West Bank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey

On Feb. 27, Alexandrea Weis, who’s written 15 books, will discuss her friendship with the literary icon at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie.

Weis was a little girl living in the French Quarter with her parents during the 1960s and early 1970s. The family occupied a cottage on Dumaine Street across from Madame John’s Legacy. Williams lived around the corner in an apartment on Royal Street. 

On Feb. 28, Augustin J. Correro, a theatrical director, producer and educator based in New Orleans, will discuss his book, “Tennessee Williams 101,” at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library.

Adapted and expanded from Correro’s popular lecture created for the annual Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival, the book is full of fascinating behind-the-curtain tidbits about the playwright along with analyses of characters he created and real-life people he moved among.

WAR FOR FREEDOM: Cyril Lagvanec, Ph.D., curator of the American-Italian Research Library inside the East Bank Regional Library, will talk about the 1917-1921 Ukrainian War of Independence at 7 p.m. Feb. 27, at the West Bank Regional Library.

It resulted in the establishment of an independent Ukrainian Republic, though most was absorbed into the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, 1922-1991. Lagvanec will also discuss more recent events including a specific focus on Stalinism, WWII and the disaster at Chernobyl.

BOX SALE: The Friends of the Jefferson Public Library hold their first warehouse sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 24 at the East Bank Regional Library.

Patrons will be able to purchase pre-packaged boxes — children’s literature, romance or fiction (combination of hardback and paperback) — for $5 per box. Cash only. The boxes will be sold sight unseen. Proceeds will benefit the Jefferson Parish Library.

BOATING SAFETY: The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will conduct a boating safety class beginning at 9 a.m. Feb. 24, at the North Kenner Library, 630 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner. Students who complete the course will be issued a vessel operator certification card. The class lasts between six and eight hours. Preregistration recommended by going to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website.

POETRY & MUSIC CLUB: The club meets at 7 p.m. two Wednesdays each month, with the next one coming up Feb. 21 at the Harahan Library, 219 Soniat Ave., Harahan.

This session focuses on posets Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes. Patrons are invited to join a discussion of poetry, read work from different poets, explore and experiment with different types of poetry through writing exercises, and share their work with others. Open to teens and adults.

CREATE SPACE: A Create Space event takes place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Terrytown Library, 680 Heritage Drive, Terrytown. A new class happens every week.

Working on a beading or jewelry project? Crocheting or knitting something cool? Beading, yarn, and craft supplies will be provided as well as a Cricut machine and sewing machine. Patrons with kids? No problem. Legos and coloring sheets are provided to keep them entertained.

JIGSAW PUZZLE EXTRAVAGANZA: The event will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 24 at the East Bank Regional Library.

There will be a puzzle swap and sale from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and a puzzle tournament for ages 18+ from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The tournament will consist of teams of two competing to finish a 500-piece puzzle. Spaces are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Chris Smith is manager of adult programming at the Jefferson Parish Public Library.

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