Reading Between the Lines: Sports & Literature

Coverage of the 2020 Seminar: "Reading Between the Lines"

John Hersey Memorial Address: Geoff Dyer
Presenters: Megan Abbot, Amy Bass, Buzz Bissinger, Daniel James Brown, Analise Chen, Billy Collins, Geoff Dyer, Paul Goldberger, Gish Jen, Jane Leavy, David Maraniss, Ben McGrath, Michael Mewshaw, Emily Nemens, Joyce Carol Oates, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Arnold Rampersad, Leanne Shapton, Lionel Shriver, Louisa Thomas, Kate Tuttle, Kevin Young
Writers’ Workshop Faculty: Christopher Castellani, Billy Collins, Fernanda Eberstadt, Lynne Griffin, Lauren Groff, Claire Messud, Gregory Pardlo, Francine Prose, Krystal Sital, Luis Alberto Urrea

Day Four in Pictures

Featuring: Megan Abbott, Amy Bass, Gish Jen, Jane Leavy, Joyce Carol Oates, Lionel Shriver, Louisa Thomas, and the Emerging Writer Award Winners Chase Burke, Chloe Firetto-Toomey, and Andrea Rinard

Longing and Belonging: Teams, Clothes, and Desire

By Sarah Thomas Leanne Shapton and Buzz Bissinger joined in a conversation that broke all preconceived notions for a panel at a literary seminar. In “Longing and Belonging: Teams, Clothes, and Desire,” Shapton questioned Bissinger about sexuality, intimacy, desire, gender identity, and sports uniforms. “I love Buzz’s writing when he ...Read More

The Case for Banning Parents

By Shannon Korta Saturday afternoon’s literary panel tackled the topic of parents’ increasing over-involvement in their children’s sports lives for the discussion “The Case for Banning Parents.” Author Buzz Bissinger, best known for his New York Times bestseller Friday Night Lights, was joined by Ben McGrath, a staff writer for ...Read More

In Conversation: Biography and the Black Athlete

By Yesenia Flores Diaz To kick off day three of the 38th Annual KWLS Reading Between the Lines: Sports and Literature, Kevin Young and Arnold Rampersad discussed the history of black sportsmanship in a thought-provoking session entitled: “In Conversation: Biography and the Black Athlete.” According to Young, childhood hero Arthur ...Read More

Sports Poems: An Oxymoron?

By Chloe Firetto-Toomey Sports and poetry? The words present an inherent conflict; the mind verses the body’s endurance. “Poets are not good at sports,” says Collins, stirring a murmur of laughter from the audience at the Key West Literary Seminar on Friday. Mohamed Ali wrote poems! Who knew? Poets, often ...Read More

Game. Set. Match. Write.

By Mark Hedden Much of the early conversation during the “Game. Set. Match. Write.” panel was about what most consider the two biggest guide stars in modern tennis writing – David Foster Wallace’s wide-ranging work, much of which is collected in “String Theory,” and John McPhee’s book about a single ...Read More

Day Three in Pictures

Featuring: Arnold Rampersad, Kevin Young, Gish Jen, Emily Nemens, Michael Mewshaw, Joyce Carol Oates, Megan Abbott, Buzz Bissinger, Ben McGrath, Amy Bass, Daniel James Brown, and David Maraniss.

Amy Bass at Key West High School

By Kate Peters It is hard to imagine a more inspiring story to bring before high school students than the one Amy Bass tells in One Goal.   Armed with a borrowed soccer ball, Bass asked the crowd of approximately 200 high school students from Marathon and Key West, if ...Read More

Day Two in Pictures

Featuring: Lionel Shriver, Jane Leavy, David Maraniss, Arnold Rampersand, Billy Collins, Anelise Chen, Ben McGrath, Leanne shapton, Geoff Dyer, Michael Mewshaw, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, and Louisa Thomas.

Lionel Shriver on The Cult of Exercise

By Katie Cerqua Lionel Shriver opened the first day of the Key West Literary Seminar with an analysis of western culture’s obsession and near religious devotion to exercise, creating a healthy juxtaposition to the sports-fueled topics of the day to come. Shriver conversed on a variety of issues related to ...Read More

The Art of Losing

By Nancy Klingener One of the satisfactions of sports is that there’s a decision at the end. Someone wins and someone loses. (Yes, even sports like soccer where individual games can end in a tie eventually pick a winner of a title or a tournament.) The winner gets the glory, ...Read More

Geoff Dyer takes on the role of ‘Head Groundsman’

By Shayne Benowitz The 38th annual Key West Literary Seminar kicked off Thursday evening with the John Hersey Memorial Address delivered by Geoff Dyer in a talk entitled “Introductory Report from the Head Groundsman.” He began with a zoomed out image of the planet, asking the audience to imagine a ...Read More

Day One in Pictures

Photos from opening day registration and Geoff Dyer’s keynote address: “Introductory Report from the Head Groundsman.”

Reading Between the Lines: Sports & Literature

The 38th Key West Literary Seminar is Underway!

The 38th Annual Key West Literary Seminar, “Reading Between the Lines: Sports and Literature,” is set to begin in just a few minutes at the San Carlos Institute with the John Hersey Memorial Address by Geoff Dyer.

Reading Between the Lines: Sports & Literature

Recommended Reading for the 2020 Seminar

Many of you have asked for a reading list to prepare for the upcoming presentations and panel discussions, so we’ve put together some recommendations from this year’s planning committee, as well as a sample book from each author that “fits” with this year’s topic. Happy reading!

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