Thomas McGuane & James Merrill, ca. 1987

Thomas McGuane & James Merrill, ca. 1987


These studio portraits of novelist Thomas McGuane (left) and poet James Merrill (right) were taken by photographer Lawson Corbett Little in January of 1987. According to Merrill’s wristwatch, his session took place at a quarter past one in the afternoon.


McGuane had lived in Key West in the 1970s and early 1980s on Love Lane, Ann Street, and Von Phister Street, while Merrill lived here in the 1980s and 1990s on Elizabeth Street at the top of Solares Hill. Both wrote of the island city, in novels like Panama and poems like "Clearing the Title," and each was an early supporter of the Key West Literary Seminar. At the time these photos were taken, they were participating in our fifth annual event, Writers and Key West.


Little lived in Key West during the 1970s and 1980s, where he photographed other notable authors including Shel Silverstein and Tennessee Williams. We hope to feature some of these images soon.

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