1986: A Mix of Very Fine Quality

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For our fourth annual event, in 1986, we honored playwright and Key West habitué, Tennessee Williams. The graphic design of the program and poster, as in 1985, is simple and direct. The Martha Swopes photograph shows a dapper, not-quite-at-ease Williams, seated in a wicker rocking chair on the telltale terrazo …Read More


Seven Means Seven

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The New Zealand website, Stuff, published an interview with Ian McEwan this week, which contains one particularly strange moment. The interviewer asks the admittedly awkward question, “Compared to other writers how much talent do you think you have?” And McEwan answers: “Seven.” Well, what does that mean? I’ve only heard …Read More


Among the Archives

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A regular focus of this blog will be the treasures I breathlessly retrieve from the depths of the KWLS archives. This first installment is a poster from our 3rd annual, way back in 1985. It hearkens to a simpler, perhaps more elegant, time: two colors, ink and paper, professional type-setting, …Read More


Letter From A Seminar Guest

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From Seminar attendee Betty Darst: “Judy Blume signed this book that I had purchased for the students at Warder Park Elementary School in Springfield, Ohio. I learned upon arriving home that the fourth grade was reading Blubber as their class project.  I made an enlargement of this photo and took …Read More


Key West Loves Lee Smith

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Here’s a treat for Lee Smith fans: two podcasts, one of her 2008 Keynote Address, and a gem from the 2005 Seminar. Left, the lovely Smith with Miles Frieden, Executive Director of the Seminar, moments before she delivered her home-run Keynote. She looks pretty calm and happy for someone about …Read More


Nell Freudenberger on Off The Page

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New Voices panelist Nell Freudenberger was recently featured on Off The Page with host Carole Burns. Freudenberger names some of her favorite contemporary writers, and also talks about the differences she sees between writing short stories and writing novels: “A short story usually starts for me with a story that …Read More


spotted: new Billy Collins poem

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Did everyone see the poem by Billy Collins in the New York Times Magazine? It’s here if you missed it, which you might easily have done, since it appears on the Food page. Accompanied by a recipe, no less.
The recipe is titled, “Whole Roasted Sea Bass with Winter Vegetables.” The poem is merely titled, “The Fish.”


Pico Iyer On Jet Travel

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For those of you dreading your flight down to Key West for the Seminar in January, take heart from two things: 1. the knowledge that the  Key West International Airport is small, easy and very friendly and B. these words from Lit Sem Alum Pico Iyer (’06) on modern travel: …Read More