Author: Nick Vagnoni

Claudia Rankine and Kevin Young on Influence in Art and Poetry

The Friday session of the 2016 Key West Literary Seminar was capped off by a conversation between poets Claudia Rankine and Kevin Young, moderated by P. Scott Cunningham, a poet himself and also the director of the O, Miami Poetry Festival. The talk, titled “Art from Art from Life: Poetry & …Read More

Billy Collins on Walt Whitman, Buddy Holly, and Poetry’s Visible Games

The second full day of the 2016 Key West Literary Seminar began with a talk by Billy Collins entitled “Visible Games: Poetry in the Aftermath of Rhyme and Meter.” To connect his talk to the theme of this year’s Seminar, Collins reminded us all that poets are the “kings and …Read More

Mark Doty on Desire and Longing

On Saturday morning, Mark Doty gave a talk on desire and longing, a topic, he admitted, that he was somewhat surprised to have been assigned. When he reviewed his selected poems, however, he said he was also surprised to find that much of his work did deal with desire and …Read More

Compassion, Joni Mitchell, & Dick Cheney

The first morning of the 2015 Key West Literary Seminar was filled with discussions of compassion. Wally Lamb began his reading on Friday by talking about Joni Mitchell, and her song “The Magdalene Laundries” in particular. Lamb read a version of an essay that wove Mitchell’s lyrics with his own …Read More

The Beauty and Grace of Language and Plot in Crime Fiction

On Friday afternoon John Banville, Thomas H. Cook, Elizabeth George, Sara Gran, and Mary Morris had a wide-ranging conversation entitled “The Beauty and Grace of Language and Plot in Crime Fiction.” Morris, who moderated the panel, opened with a quote from W.H. Auden, in which the poet describes the work …Read More

Crime Fiction and the Literary Canon

On Saturday afternoon, James W. Hall, Les Standiford, and Jonathan Santlofer had a conversation entitled “Crime Fiction and the Literary Canon: Why everyone has forgotten that Crime & Punishment, An American Tragedy, and Lolita are crime fiction.” The three novelists, all professors of creative writing as well, sought to challenge …Read More

You can’t make this stuff up

Long before the Internet had Florida Man to catalog the misdeeds of men and women in the Sunshine State, there was Carl Hiaasen. At last night’s John Malcolm Brinnin Memorial Event, entitled “The Florida Freak Show,” Hiaasen gave us a hilarious retelling of some of the news stories that serve …Read More

Kate Moses on Empathy and Responsibility

On Saturday morning, Kate Moses began her talk, titled I write as if an eye were upon me: On Empathy and Responsibility, by describing a dream in which she found herself consoling a distraught and weeping Sylvia Plath. The two sat together, surrounded, Moses said, by “all the books”—those written by …Read More