KEY WEST LITERARY SEMINAR
The Key West Literary Seminar welcomes readers and writers to this subtropical island city. Our flagship program is the annual Seminar, a four-day readers’ event that explores a unique literary theme each January. At the Seminar, readers from all over the world join the best writers of our time for the readings, discussions, lectures, and parties that make up today’s smartest and most high-spirited literary gathering. Our Writers’ Workshop Program also takes place in January but is distinct from the Seminar; here, writers of all levels meet in small groups with esteemed faculty to share their work and explore the craft of writing in a focused and nurturing environment.
Our 33rd annual Seminar—“How the Light Gets In: Literature of the Spirit”—will take place January 8-11, 2015. “Our hope,” writes program co-chair Pico Iyer, “is to talk about essentials—what lasts and what is at the heart of us—through poetry, essay, fiction, and even silence; to push words as far as they can go and then to respect what remains when they give out.” Confirmed speakers include Ayad Akhtar, Coleman Barks, Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Patricia Hampl, Jane Hirshfield, Marie Howe, Pico Iyer, Wally Lamb, Barry Lopez, Ayana Mathis, Robert Richardson, Marilynne Robinson, and Steve Stern. Our Writers’ Workshop Program will take place January 11-15, 2014; Faculty include Billy Collins, Jane Hirshfield, and Daniel Menaker.
Our 32nd Seminar—“The Dark Side”—explored the mystery, crime, and thriller genres, and featured panelists including Megan Abbott, John Banville, Stephen L. Carter, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Percival Everett, Gillian Flynn, William Gibson, Joseph Kanon, Attica Locke, Joyce Carol Oates, Sara Paretsky, Alexander McCall Smith, and Scott Turow, among many others.
Our Audio Archives Project has select recordings from throughout our history, including recent keynote addresses by Phyllis Rose, Colm Tóibín, and Sara Paretsky. Video coverage of our 2013 seminar, “Writers on Writers,” by C-SPAN’s BookTV includes presentations by Geoff Dyer, Paul Hendrickson, and Robert D. Richardson, while our own online journal—LITTORAL—is loaded with images and other coverage of past events. Our audio collection also includes dozens of historic presentations by Joyce Carol Oates, Junot Díaz, Gore Vidal, Natasha Trethewey, James Merrill, and many more.