We are thrilled to announce Ruth Reichl as keynote speaker for the first session of the upcoming Key West Literary Seminar.
Reichl is among the most influential writers on food of our time and a natural choice to deliver the John Hersey Memorial Address that opens our 29th annual event, THE HUNGRY MUSE: An Exploration of Food in Literature.
Reichl began writing about food in 1972, when she published Mmmmm: A Feastiary. A few years later, as co-owner and cook of the collective restaurant The Swallow from 1974 to 1977, she played a part in the culinary revolution that took place in Berkeley, California. She was editor in chief of Gourmet Magazine for ten years until its closing in 2009; and before that she was the restaurant critic of the The New York Times, (1993-1999), and both the restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times (1984-1993).
Reichl is the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed, best-selling memoirs Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, Garlic and Sapphires, and For You Mom, Finally. She is also the editor of The Modern Library Food Series, the host of television shows including the Food Network’s Eating Out Loud, an executive producer for film and public television, and a regular host with Leonard Lopate for a live monthly food show on WNYC radio in New York. Her lecture “Why Food Matters,” was published in The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Volume 27, in 2006; and in March 2007, she delivered the J. Edward Farnum Lecture at Princeton University.
The Seminar will begin with Reichl’s keynote on Thursday January 6, at 7:45 p.m. Throughout the Seminar weekend, she will be joined by writers including Diana Abu-Jaber, Roy Blount Jr., Frank Bruni, Billy Collins, Jonathan Gold, Molly O’Neill, Julia Reed, Calvin Trillin, and more. Click here to register.
Each year, the Seminar begins with the John Hersey Memorial Address, established by members of our community in fond remembrance of Hersey (1914-1993), a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, novelist, short-story writer, and beloved figure in Key West, where he and his wife Barbara lived for many years. Past lecturers include Stephen Jay Gould, Frank McCourt, E.L. Doctorow, Annie Dillard, and Derek Walcott.