Opening Night – “The Hungry Muse”

Photo by Meghan Capozzi

The 29th annual Key West Literary Seminar kicked off in fine style last night with a brilliant keynote address by Ruth Reichl. The wide-ranging lecture before a standing-room-only crowd at the San Carlos Institute immediately dispelled any lingering suspicions that food might not be a “literary enough” topic for the KWLS. At the core of Reichl’s address was an examination of the famous passage by MFK Fisher—”when I write of hunger, I am really writing about…”; and her own realization that this passage by the master of American food writing was actually an apology enforced by the morals of the time—one Reichl herself had to learn to transcend. The talk touched on Proust’s famed madeleine, A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh series, dining customs and gender roles in Victorian England, and the language and physical intensity of the kitchen.

A packed hall escapes the tropical downpour brought by a passing cold front and awaits the opening of the auditorium. Photo by Meghan Capozzi.

Evie, Whitney, and Jess Kling in the crowd, moments away. Photo by Meghan Capozzi

Skies were clear again by the time the opening night reception at the Audubon House & Gardens began. Rosalind Brackenbury, Diana Abu-Jaber, Scott, and Margit Bisztray. Photo by Curt Richter.

KWLS lighting master Jolly Benson & former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins share a laugh. Photo by Curt Richter.

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