A Fish-Eye View from the Sill of the World


Longtime Seminar volunteer Nick Vagnoni captured dozens of unique behind-the-scenes shots of this year’s Key West Literary Seminar with his fisheye lens. This year’s podium, above, was designed by Needham-Fatica, who also produced the printed program, and developed the KWLS website.


The auditorium of the San Carlos Institute, completed in 1924, seats nearly 400. With record-low sub-50° temperatures throughout the Seminar weekend, this was a good thing, as almost no one sought the usual escapes of sun, sea, and sand.


This year’s set, designed by Michael Boyer of the Waterfront Playhouse, was an abstraction of Key West’s vernacular architecture. A facade of louvered shutters opened onto window-scenes of subtropical flora and fauna, supported by distinctive gingerbread and spindly balustrades.


Melody Cooper and Dan Simpson, a.k.a. Private Ear,
sat here, once again expertly handling sound recording and engineering for the Seminar and various receptions.


With an eye toward next year’s Seminar on food in literature, famed cocktailier Jason Rowan flew in at the last minute to raise the bar with his inimitable libations. Recipes for a Richard Wilbur-inspired hot toddie and more can be found at his Embury Cocktails.


The view from the podium. Stagefright, anyone?

Photos by Nick Vagnoni.

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