event coverage

L I T T O R A L : the journal of the Key West Literary Seminar

Where Music and Poetry Press Up against Memory: Kevin Young and Rowan Ricardo Phillips

By Michael Adno As Kevin Young and Rowan Ricardo Phillips took the stage, James Brown poured out of the PA. Outside the San Carlos Institute just before 6 pm, dusk’s soft glow fell over Duval St., where a decidedly different type of music played across the street. Almost as soon ...Read More

Meg Cabot and Danielle Paige: “From Princesses to Supergirls”

By Diane Hance Meg Cabot and Danielle Paige opened the first public session of the 37th annual Key West Literary Seminar with a confession: “We are both guilty,” Cabot claimed, “of writing books based on other books.” The authors began their lively conversation by sharing early influences and favorite childhood …Read More

“King Arthur, The Wizard of Oz, Frankenstein, and the Undersea City,” a Conversation with Meg Cabot, Victor LaValle, Danielle Paige, and Eric Shanower

By Amber Karlins The structure of this panel — the first to explore graphic novels in the festival’s history — was, as moderator Meg Cabot described it, “very loose.” Meg began by asking panelists why graphic novels are experiencing such a surge in both quality and popularity, but this quickly …Read More

Malleability and Transformation: Geraldine Brooks and Nicole Galland

By Ross Feeler Neither Geraldine Brooks nor Nicole Galland started off with aspirations to write fiction. After holding the pages of a hot-off-the-press newspaper as a child, Geraldine Brooks pursued a career in journalism for several years and with much success. This phase of her life came to a screeching …Read More

A Conversation on “Wives and Maids, What do They Know? Equal Rights for Minor Characters”

By Andrea Rinard Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin, and Emily Wilson engaged in a wide-ranging discussion of “Wives and Maids, What do They Know? Equal Rights for Minor Characters,” moderated by Kate Tuttle. Atwood began the session with an invocation from her Penelopiad and then discussed her impetus for writing the …Read More

Naomi Novik on “The High Cost of Magic”

By Nancy Klingener The title of Naomi Novik’s talk was “The High Cost of Magic” — a reference to the work-in-progress from which she read an excerpt. And to frame the reading, she spoke about context — and how it relates directly to the theme of this year’s Seminar. “I …Read More

No One Is Coming to Save Us: The Great Gatsby Meets the African-American South

By Deirdre Sugiuchi “This summer my goal was to read all of James Baldwin’s works,” Stephanie Powell Watts told the audience at the Key West Literary Seminar. While reading Go Tell It on the Mountain, she came to the section where Baldwin speaks of when he was five and his mother said, …Read More

Madeline Miller on “Writing Back to Homer”

by Genevieve Morgan Madeline Miller set the tone for her lively discussion, “Writing Back to Homer,” when she grasped the microphone, strode to the middle of the stage, and said she could not abide being stuck behind a podium. She started with a short passage from Circe where Odysseus asks …Read More