2016 Seminar Panelists

  • Hilton Als
  • Molly Antopol
  • Ann Beattie
  • Billy Collins
  • Junot Díaz
  • Gish Jen
  • Victor LaValle
  • Yiyun Li
  • Kelly Link
  • Harry Mathews
  • Thomas McGuane
  • Daniel Menaker
  • Antonya Nelson
  • Claudia Rankine
  • Ron Rash
  • Karen Russell
  • Jim Shepard
  • Brad Watson
  • Joy Williams
  • Kevin Young

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