Author: Kate Peters

Jamaica Kincaid at Key West High School

While Rowan Ricardo Phillips took the podium on the blue-lit stage of the San Carlos Friday morning, amid palm fronds, paper moon, and nautical rope, Jamaica Kincaid set her black coffee on the ledge of the chasm – the open orchestra pit in the Key West High School Auditorium. Poised ...Read More

George Saunders at Key West High School

While the seminar convened at the San Carlos for Teju Cole’s talk on “Power and Subjectivity,” a few miles away another audience gathered at Key West High School, where George Saunders spoke about “writing as a form of power” and “making yourself real.” To an audience comprised mainly of juniors …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

the Valves of her attention —

Brenda Wineapple reminded us that Emily Dickinson was a woman “eminently capable of saying no”; she considered it a radical act. “No is the wildest word in the language.”  So what about when she didn’t say no? Dickinson chose Thomas Wentworth Higginson “from an ample nation” to be her reader, …Read More

Day Two / Mark Doty: “What is the Grass?”

This morning Mark Doty bodied forth that “poet of the body” and “poet of the soul” Walt Whitman. He described the first handwritten manuscript of Leaves of Grass tucked casually beneath Whitman’s arm, tucked there—so near the armpit (and its “aroma finer than prayer”)—a manuscript “irradiated by visionary fire.”  Doty suggested …Read More