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    10 Places To Get Literary And Drunk In New Orleans

    Tennessee Williams called New Orleans his (ahem) "spiritual home." While the best sauced up mingling takes place in the city's private salons, here are 10 open-to-all establishments to throw back a shot and collect characters for your novel.

    1. Carousel Bar and Lounge, Hotel Monteleone / Via Google Images

    Hemingway, Faulkner, John Grisham, Anne Rice, Eudora Welty, and of course, Tennessee Williams, are just a few of the names who stayed and wrote at the Hotel Monteleone, host hotel for our upcoming #TWF14 Festival. Take a spin on a seat at the hotel's rotating Carousel Bar and Lounge, sip a Sazerac and steep yourself in history.

    2. Allways Lounge and Theater / Via Google Images

    Much like our Tennessee Williams Festival, the Allways Lounge and Theater waxes literary and theatrical with a full calendar of way-out-there performance art. Featuring everyone from the NOLA Project to the Acro Cats, Allways should please those with discerning, spicy artistic tastes.

    3. Galatoire's Restaurant Bar / Via Google Image

    One of New Orleans' oldest culinary establishments, Galatoire's Restaurant was also a favorite lunch spot for Tennessee Williams. The word around town is that Tennessee took a table by the front windows and threw back Sazeracs with some regularity. Visit the bar and propose a toast to Tennessee and all the other greats who have passed through this New Orleans icon.

    4. Parkview Tavern / Via Google Images

    For a skewed New Orleans take on the Algonquin Round Table, head to the gloriously dive-y neighborhood spot, Parkview Tavern. You'll find a long table jammed with MFA-ers from the University of New Orleans' Creative Writing Workshop, unwinding after Monday night fiction workshops. Local writers who often hold court include Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden, his wife, the aerialist and author Amanda Boyden, and carpenter-turned-novelist and professor, Barb Johnson.

    5. Finn McCool's Irish Pub / Via Google Images

    Finn McCool's Irish Pub keeps things intellectual with regular Pub Quiz Trivia Nights and the Annual St. Patrick's Day Short Story Competition. Entrants who find a way to include the words bacon, door knob, discombobulate, slainte, direction, quiz, tea, beer, frog, and seaweed in a short story between 500 and 2,000 words can compete to win a keg of Guinness and many other prizes. So submit that story that's been knocking around in your head then cozy up to the bar for a double serving of literature, history, and good old fashioned New Orleans merry-making with an Irish twist.

    6. Saturn Bar / Via Google Images

    We're going to give you one proper hipster dive with emerging lit cred, the Saturn Bar. Better known for its Mod Dance Parties, the joint recently hosted an Oxford American reading and the launch of the new issue of Bayou Magazine, the University of New Orleans' journal. We're betting there will be more bookishness ahead for this St. Claude Avenue venue.

    7. Backspace Bar & Kitchen / Via Google Images

    Local entrepreneur and founder of Rick's Cabaret, Robert Watters celebrates literary lusts with the Backspace Bar & Kitchen. The bar is a haven for writers, readers, and anyone who appreciates the smell of rich mahogany and leather-bound books. Boasting a cocktail list inspired by and named for figures like Capote and Hemingway, and culinary treats like the "Walt Whitman Roast Beef," Backspace raises the bar for writerly watering holes.

    8. Maple Leaf Bar / Via

    In the 1980s, the Maple Leaf Bar was a favorite of poet Everette Maddox, the unofficial Poet Laureate of Oak Street - rumor has it his ashes are buried under the front porch! Today the bar continues Maddox's legacy by hosting the Everette C. Maddox Memorial Prose & Poetry Reading, the longest running reading series in North America, on Sundays in the bar courtyard.

    9. Molly's at the Market


    "Writers need watering holes where the drinks are not too expensive, but that are also full of humanity for material," says Elizabeth Pearce, New Orleans drinking authority and author of The French Quarter Drinking Companion. She recommends Molly's at the Market with its mix of tourists and locals, and for its large windows, from which you can dream up plots for your fiction and non-fiction efforts.

    10. Any Room 220 Reading at Press Street / Via Google Images, Photo Credit: Sophie Lvoff

    The folks at our must-read blog, Room 220, which the New York Review of Books deemed as "the only place to find serious (and also irreverent) discussion of literature in New Orleans," know how to party in serious lit-nerd style. John Jeremiah Sullivan, Rachel Kushner, Ottessa Moshfegh, and visiting writers from Iowa's International Writing Program and [PANK} magazine have all popped by Room 220's HQ, Press Street, to read and hang. This spring's line-up includes Francine Prose. The $2 donation for beer makes it our top non-bar locale to get slightly tipsy and very literary.

    List compiled by literary drinkers from the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival (March 19-23, 2014): @Suzette Lake and @JRRamakrishnan for @TWFestNOLA

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