Key West’s Life of Letters

Players are going to play, and writers are going to write, but once upon a time writers depended upon an arsenal of heavy machinery and skilled technicians to bring their words to readers’ eyes. Herewith, a tribute to the backstage heroes that brought prose to the island city back when …Read More

The New Yorker‘s annual summer fiction issue features a brilliant article by Adam Gopnik on the current ‘state’ of crime fiction—the focus of our forthcoming seminar, “The Dark Side”—and what it reveals about the transformations in American life. In “The Back Cabana: The rise and rise of Florida crime fiction,” …Read More

A rare audio recording of the great playwright Tennessee Williams is the latest addition to the KWLS Audio Archives. After decades in the vault of the Key West branch of the Monroe County Public Library, the original reel-to-reel recording was recently discovered by library staff and digitized with funding support …Read More

Phyllis Rose has been named keynote speaker for the first session of the 31st Key West Literary Seminar, “Writers on Writers.” She will deliver the annual John Hersey Memorial Address at the San Carlos Institute on Thursday, January 10, 2013. Rose’s 1978 biography of Virginia Woolf was in the vanguard of …Read More

“the past can be understood only if we imagine each moment of it as present, with ourselves as the actors in it.”

We’d like to welcome the stocky white-bearded men resembling Ernest Hemingway who are beginning to pour into town for the annual celebration that is Hemingway Days. May your drinking be done not only in emulation of the great writer’s worst habit, but in empathy with his suffering spirit. Surely his …Read More

Curt Richter’s extraordinary series of portraits of writers continues with new work developed during the seminar earlier this year. The Helsinki-based American is a former Guggenheim fellow and author of the touring collection “A Portrait of Southern Writers.” His photographs hang in major museums around the world, including London’s Victoria …Read More

That’s the radar image from Key West, shortly before 11:00 this morning. With possible rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches over the next 36 hours, strong easterly winds, and astronomically high new-moon tides, these are particularly good days for reading indoors. From Wallace Stevens, “The Sea Surface Full of Clouds”: “Good …Read More