Coverage of the 2018 Seminar: "Writers of the Caribbean"

John Hersey Memorial Address: Jamaica Kincaid
Presenters: André Alexis, Robert Antoni, Madison Smartt Bell, Teju Cole, Edwidge Danticat, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Brent Hayes Edwards, Jonathan Galassi, Ishion Hutchinson, Naomi Jackson, Marlon James, Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, Jamaica Kincaid, Anna Kushner, Kei Miller, Mirta Ojito, Leonardo Padura, Caryl Phillips, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Esmeralda Santiago, Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw, and Tiphanie Yanique.
Writers’ Workshop Faculty: Madison Smartt Bell, Billy Collins, Manuel Gonzales, Naomi Jackson, Daniel Menaker, Kate Moses, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Joy Williams, and Lisa Zeidner.

The Star Side of Bird Hill: A reading by Naomi Jackson

By Sara Johnson Allen Author Naomi Jackson, who was named one of Publishers Weekly’s “Writers to Watch,” told the audience gathered for her Saturday afternoon reading that the Key West Literary Seminar provided her with a unique opportunity to ­be with both her peers and her heroes. “It’s like my …Read More


2017 KWLS Award Winners Read at San Carlos Institute

By Amy E. O’Neal Each year, the Key West Literary Seminar presents three prizes for emerging writers: the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award for a short story, the Marianne Russo Award for a novel in progress, and the Scotti Merrill Award for poetry. Winners receive a fully paid trip to the ...Read More

Jamaica Kincaid at Key West High School

While Rowan Ricardo Phillips took the podium on the blue-lit stage of the San Carlos Friday morning, amid palm fronds, paper moon, and nautical rope, Jamaica Kincaid set her black coffee on the ledge of the chasm – the open orchestra pit in the Key West High School Auditorium. Poised ...Read More

In Profile: Marlon James with Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

By Sara Johnson Allen Joshua Jelly-Schapiro's conversation with novelist Marlon James, winner of the prestigious Man Booker Award among many others, began with what he was reading. Jelly-Schapiro noted that James arrived to the San Carlos Institute auditorium with three “new” used books. James quoted Cormac McCarthy saying, “books come ...Read More

Caryl Phillips: A View of the Empire at Sunset

By April Conley Caryl Phillips read from his forthcoming novel A View of the Empire at Sunset, whose main character is based on novelist Jean Rhys. After a brief background on Rhys’s biography and history in the Caribbean as someone who spent her early life in Dominica, Philips explained that when ...Read More

Danticat, Dennis-Benn & Walcott-Hackshaw “Unpack Paradise”

By Ruby Blackerby Hernandez "So I'm apparently from a shit hole country," Edwidge Danticat announced in her opening remarks to Friday morning's panel, "Unpacking Paradise: Writing Honestly About People and Place." This sharp observation, a reference to President Trump's recent vulgarities about Haiti, underscored the surreal timing of this year's Key West ...Read More

Jamaica Kincaid Considers the Question of Cultural Appropriation

By Sarah Thomas Thursday evening, Jamaica Kincaid took the stage to deliver the John Hersey Memorial Address for the 36th annual Key West Literary Seminar: “Writers of the Caribbean.” Seminar president Diane Shelby welcomed guests and introduced the weekend in the spirit of “sharing the words of homelands that are not our ...Read More

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