Coverage of the 2016 Seminar: "Shorts: Stories, Essays, and Other Briefs"

John Hersey Memorial Address: Junot Díaz and Hilton Als
Presenters: 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, and Kevin Young. Writers’ Workshop Faculty: Diana Abu-Jaber, Ann Beattie, Billy Collins, Kristen-Paige Madonia, Daniel Menaker, Campbell McGrath, Antonya Nelson, Susan Shreve, and 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


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