Nilo Lopez’s Key West Nicknames

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I first heard of Nilo C. Lopez when the Key West Citizen ran his obituary a few years back. As I recall, it painted an alluring picture of a simple life in Key West, where Lopez was born and raised, and wherein his family raised dairy cows in a small field along Staples Avenue. The obituary also spoke of him as a well-loved story-teller and published author. Intrigued, I rode my bicycle past the site of what I guessed to be the Staples dairy farm on my way to Key West Island Books. Once I arrived at the Fleming Street bookstore, Marshall, its proprietor, uncovered the sole remaining copy of the book whose cover you see here, Nilo Remembers Key West Nicknames


1993: Elizabeth Bishop

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The 1993 Seminar, our eleventh annual, was dedicated to the work of Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979). Among the panelists were John Malcolm Brinnin, Octavio Paz, Robert Giroux, James Merrill, and Richard Wilbur. In cooperation, The Key West Art & Historical Society put on the first-ever exhibition of Elizabeth Bishop’s paintings, curated by William Benton, who at that time was working on Exchanging Hats (1996). The exhibit of Bishop’s paintings also featured the photographs of Rollie McKenna, including several portraits of Bishop. In conjunction with the Seminar, Bishop’s former home at 624 White Street, was added to the national register of Literary Landmarks.


The Epithalamium of Harry Mathews

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Until now, Harry Mathews’ Epithalamium for Judith Kazantzis and Irving Weinman, with collages by Marie Chaix, has been available only to those friends who attended the wedding of Judith and Irving on February 22, 1998, and received one of the ninety-three copies printed by the Grenfell Press. By special arrangement with Mathews and Chaix, I have created a digital version of the Epithalamium, following the design of the original.


In the Studio with Bob Muens

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KWLS board member Bob Muens is a bookbinder and conservator who has worked in the Conservation Office of the Library of Congress, and lectured at venues including the Smithsonian Institution and El Archivo Nacional de Cuba in Havana. In 1996, he moved to Key West and opened Bookbinding and Conservation, his private studio.


Once, there were no Websites

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Before 1999, we promoted the Seminar entirely on paper– in magazine and newspaper ads, through direct mail, and on 11"x17" posters. At present, there’s scant online record of the Seminar at all before 1994, and only a text listing of the panelists for the years 1994-1999. We’re working to fix …Read More


1991: A Guidebook Devoid of Soufflé

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1991 marked our first foray into full-color printing. Techniques had yet to attain today’s precision, and the resulting promotional literature bore serendipitous irregularities. As in life, the sunset on each of these 5″x7″ postcards varies widely— from an almost entirely chartreuse haze, to a nearly-complete spectrum that steps from red …Read More


So Many Writers, So Many Persuasions

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1990. If ever a year spoke greater optimism, I, only recently turned twelve, was unaware. The eighties were down, and the twentieth century was nearly out. Our promotional literature from that year displays a timely enthusiasm. A sloop sails counter to the prevailing winds betrayed by the bent coconut palm. …Read More


KWLS Audio Archives: The Project

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The New York Times reported last week on the discovery of a sound recording made in 1860, nearly twenty years before Thomas Edison first captured the sound of the words “Mary had a little lamb” on a piece of tinfoil. Oddly, this recording, made by Parisian typesetter Édouard-Léon Scott de …Read More