Session Two Schedule – Writers on Writers

—Click Here to Register—

~Session ONE Schedule Here~

Unless noted, all events take place at the San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval Street. Sunday afternoon’s session is free and open to the public: first-come, first-seated. All other sessions require advance registration. Check-in for registrants will take place on Thursday from 1:00-5:00 pm. The San Carlos will re-open in the evening at 7:00. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings the building opens at 8:30, with breakfast available upstairs from 8:45; early seating begins at 9:00.
*All events and speakers are subject to change. Schedule valid as of 1/16/2013.


  • 7:45 pm. Introductory Remarks: Lynn Kaufelt, President & Co-founder
  • 8:00 pm. Colm Tóibín: On Grief and Reason: Reading Elizabeth Bishop and Thom Gunn
    The John Hersey Memorial Address
  • Reception to follow at the Audubon House, 205 Whitehead St.


  • 9:30–9:40 am. Introduction: Peyton Evans, Program Chair
  • 9:40–9:55 am. Alexandra Styron: “Reading My Father”
  • 9:55–10:05 am. Paul Mariani: “Putting Out into the Deep”
  • 10:05–10:45 am. Blake Bailey: Troubled Writers: Reflections on the Writer’s Life
  • 11:05–11:50 am. The Biographer as Voyeur: Why Write About Writers?
    Lyndall Gordon, Paul Mariani, and Edmund White. Moderator: Robert D. Richardson
  • 11:50–12:30 pm. Versioning: Reading is Writing is Life
    Christopher Lydon interviews Geoff Dyer

Book Signings: Blake Bailey, Geoff Dyer, Alexandra Styron, Edmund White

  • 2:15–2:30 pmAnn Napolitano on Flannery O’Connor: “A Good Hard Look”
  • 2:30–3:00 pm. Brenda Wineapple: “The most delicate and humane of all the branches of the art of writing.”
    Why Biography Matters
  • 3:00–3:30 pm. Flannery O’Connor: What to Make of Her?
    Brad Gooch and Ann Napolitano in Conversation
  • 3:50–4:00 pm. Kate Moses on Sylvia Plath: “Wintering”
  • 4:00–4:30 pm. Going to the Edge: Re-Imagining Sylvia Plath’s Life and Death
    Paul Alexander and Kate Moses in Conversation
  • 4:30–5:00 pm. Writing About Those We Have Loved
    Joyce Johnson & Alexandra Styron in Conversation

Book Signings: Brad Gooch, Ann Napolitano, Brenda Wineapple

  • 5:00–6:30 pm Between the Lines: Exhibit & Reception at Lucky Street Gallery, 540 Greene St.
    Works by Curt Richter, Barry Moser, and Lucky Street Artists. Book signing by Lincoln Perry and Robert D. Richardson.
  • 6:00–7:00 pm. Cocktail reception at San Carlos Institute
  • 6:00–6:40 pm. Writers on Chickens
    “A short film on the great chicken problem of Key West!” Shortpantz Productions, aka Jane & Carey Winfrey. (Film will loop every 10 minutes; at San Carlos)
  • 7:00–8:00 pm. D.T. Max on David Foster Wallace: “Grief Communal”
    The John Malcolm Brinnin Memorial Address


  • 9:30–9:40 am. Announcements
  • 9:40–10:00 am. Jennie Fields on Edith Wharton: “The Age of Desire”
  • 10:00 –10:30 am. Kate Moses: “I write as if an eye were upon me”: On Empathy and Responsibility
  • 10:30 – 11:10 am. Re-Imagining A Life: Creative Truth
    Ann Napolitano, Jennie Fields, Kate Moses, and Colm Tóibín. Moderator: Mary Morris
  • 11:30–11:40 am. Billy Collins: “Standing By An Open Window”
  • 11:40–12:10 pm. Lyndall Gordon on Emily Dickinson: “Abyss Has No Biographer”
  • 12:10 – 12:45 pm. Quest for the Ecstatic: On Crane, Emerson, Hopkins, Rimbaud, Rumi, & Thoreau
    Brad Gooch, Paul Mariani, Robert D. Richardson, Edmund White. Moderator: Christopher Lydon

Book Signings: Billy Collins, Jennie Fields, Lyndall Gordon, Kate Moses

  • 1:00–2:00 pm. “Key West Writer Artists: Phyllis Rose, Annie Dillard, & Tennessee Williams”
    Exhibit & Reception at Gallery on Greene, 606 Greene St.
  • 2:15–2:25 pm. From “Writing in General,” in remembrance of Rust Hills. Performed by John Wells.
  • 2:25–2:55 pm. Paul Mariani on Wallace Stevens: 500 Poems in Search of an Author
  • 2:55–3:25 pm. Claire Harman: Possession: How far can and should a biographer go?
  • 3:45–4:15 pm. Dealing with the Dark Side
    Blake Bailey and Alexandra Styron in Conversation
  • 4:15–5:00 pm. What Draws Us to Writers and How Do We Tell Their Stories?
    Paul Alexander, Colm Tóibín, Brenda Wineapple. Moderator: Mary Morris

Book Signings: Claire Harman, Paul Mariani, Colm Tóibín

  • 7:00–9:30 pm. Dinner at the Key West Lighthouse, 938 Whitehead St.


  • 9:30–9:40 am. Announcements
  • 9:40–10:10 am. Joyce Johnson on Jack Kerouac and the Beats: Dismantling a Legend
  • 10:10–10:40 am. Paul Alexander on J.D. Salinger: Looking Back–and Ahead
  • 10:40–11:10 am. “Slumming Among the Optimists”
    Christopher Lydon interviews Robert D. Richardson.
  • 11:30–12:00 pm. Johnson–Merrill–Russo Award Winners
    Readings by Scott Brennan, Sharon Harrigan, Brooks Whitney Phillips.
    Introduced by Arlo Haskell.
  • 12:00–12:45. What can we learn about the work of writers from their lives?
    Blake Bailey, Geoff Dyer, Lyndall Gordon, D.T. Max. Moderator: Claire Harman

Book Signings: Paul Alexander, Joyce Johnson, D.T. Max, Robert D. Richardson

  • 1:00–2:15 pm. Conch Chowder Luncheon at the Oldest House Museum & Garden, 322 Duval St.

Free and open to the public. Doors open at 1:45 pm.
San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval Street

  • 2:00–2:10 pm. Welcome. Miles Frieden, Executive Director
  • 2:10–2:20 pm. Billy Collins: “Day Sounds”
  • 2:20 – 3:05 pm. “They Called Her Theirs”: Writers as Fictional Characters
    Jennie Fields, Kate Moses, and Edmund White
  • 3:25 – 3:45 pm. Geoff Dyer: “Otherwise Known as the Human Condition”
  • 3:45–4:30 pm. Writers on Writers: The Nature of Biographical Truth
    Paul Alexander, Brad Gooch, Claire Harman, and D.T. Max. Moderator: Blake Bailey

Book Signings: Paul Alexander, Billy Collins, Geoff Dyer, Brad Gooch, Claire Harman, Jennie Fields, D.T. Max, Kate Moses, Edmund White

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