event coverage

L I T T O R A L : the journal of the Key West Literary Seminar

35th Key West Literary Seminar is Underway

The 35th annual Key West Literary Seminar—“Revealing Power: The Literature of Politics”—is set to begin in just a few minutes at the San Carlos Institute with the John Hersey Memorial Address by Robert A. Caro. We’ll be posting video of Caro’s keynote here tomorrow morning, along with a stream of …Read More

Hilton Als and Junot Diaz on Baldwin and the Short Form

The John Hersey Memorial Event inaugurated the 34th Annual Key West Literary Seminar Thursday evening with a conversation between Junot Díaz and Hilton Als entitled “Baldwin’s Children, or, Our Bodies Long for (a) Home: Belonging, Exile, and Love in African Diaspora Letters.” Both authors credit James Baldwin’s short stories and …Read More

Things Can Get Sweaty: Thomas McGuane and Arlo Haskell on Writing Key West

In a recent conversation with Thomas McGuane about his Key West novels—the National Book Award-nominated Ninety-Two in the Shade (1973) and Panama (1978)—Key West Literary Seminar executive director Arlo Haskell placed the “magical pair” alongside Ernest Hemingway’s Prohibition-era To Have and Have Not among the great literary time capsules of …Read More

2016: Joy Williams on Why She Writes

A better beginning to the last day of a writing conference can scarcely be imagined: a reading from the fearless, peerless Joy Williams. Joy is, for so many writers, a titan, a legend—a writer we feel we are writing in the great shadow of, and whose work proves instructive and …Read More

Inside the New Yorker : Daniel Menaker in Conversation with James Gleick

In last night’s John Malcolm Brinnin Memorial Event, “The Inside Story: Fiction at the New Yorker,” a revealing conversation unfolded between Daniel Menaker and James Gleick through historic anecdotes, textual analysis, and plenty of juicy bits. “Was there allowed to be sex?” Gleick asked of stories that ran during Menaker’s …Read More

Yiyun Li and Victor LaValle on Giving Life to Characters

Midmorning on Saturday, Yiyun Li and Victor LaValle took the stage for “Immune to Folly: Character and Self,” a joint reading and conversation. The talk’s title made reference to a concept from one of Li’s essays, Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life. Li had arrived …Read More

Claudia Rankine and Kevin Young on Influence in Art and Poetry

The Friday session of the 2016 Key West Literary Seminar was capped off by a conversation between poets Claudia Rankine and Kevin Young, moderated by P. Scott Cunningham, a poet himself and also the director of the O, Miami Poetry Festival. The talk, titled “Art from Art from Life: Poetry & …Read More

Billy Collins on Walt Whitman, Buddy Holly, and Poetry’s Visible Games

The second full day of the 2016 Key West Literary Seminar began with a talk by Billy Collins entitled “Visible Games: Poetry in the Aftermath of Rhyme and Meter.” To connect his talk to the theme of this year’s Seminar, Collins reminded us all that poets are the “kings and …Read More