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Coming March 2024


Tennessee Williams Annual Review 2024

published by The Historic New Orleans Collection

softcover • 6" × 9" • 160 pp.
8 color images
ISSN 1097-6035
ISBN 978-0-917860-92-8

I went out drinking that night in the company of friends that were mine,
not yours,
and when I returned after midnight, a telephone call let me know
that you had died at eleven.

—from “The Final Day of Your Life,” by Tennessee Williams

Appearing for the first time in print, Tennessee Williams’s moving poem “The Final Day of Your Life” describes the playwright’s last visit with Frank Merlo, his life companion of nearly 15 years. Midcentury discrimination kept their loving, turbulent same-sex relationship out of the public eye, but in private Williams could pen his conflicted grief in straightforward language. Inside the issue, scholars explore a little-known painting by Williams and highlight new biographical material, and a treasure trove of essays on inventive stage productions show the playwright’s work reflecting and shaping cultural contexts on two continents.

Founded in 1998, the Tennessee Williams Annual Review remains the only journal devoted to Williams’s works, influence, and cultural context. Many issues showcase a previously unpublished work by Williams. Submission guidelines and back issues are available at tennesseewilliamsstudies.org.

Cover image: Frank Merlo and Tennessee Williams in Key West, 1958. Photo by John Vachon. Library of Congress, LC-L9-58-7797-E, no. 12.



“Editor’s Note”
R. Barton Palmer

“Introduction to ‘The Final Day of Your Life’”
Thomas Keith

Previously Unpublished:
“The Final Day of Your Life”
Tennessee Williams

The Rose Tattoo in Dublind, 1957 and 2023: From the Police in the Lane to the President in the Banana Warehouse”
Ciarán Leinster

“‘Before We Met’: Tennessee Williams, Robert Carter, and the ‘Catastrophe’ of Post-1945 Friendships”
John S. Bak

“In Search of a Plastic Theater: The Case of Summer and Smoke
Henry I. Schvey

Production Review: A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Jeremy Seghers, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Alexander Iacuzzo
Marianne DiQuattro

Production Review: A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Stefan Larsson
Dirk Gindt

Production Review: The Rose Tattoo, directed by Bonnie J. Monte
Annette J. Saddik

Production Review: Stairs to the Roof, directed by Marios Mettis
Bess Rowen

Production Review: American Blues, directed by Jim Niesen
Stephen Cedars

Book Review: Blanche: The Life and Times of Tennessee Williams’s Greatest Creation, by Nancy Schoenberger
R. Barton Palmer

Book Review: Arthur Miller: American Witness, by John Lahr
Matthew Roudané

Book Review: ReFocus: The Literary Films of Richard Brooks, edited by R. Barton Palmer and Homer B. Pettey
Tiffany Gilbert