Sunday afternoon’s session is free and open to the public: first-come, first-seated. All other sessions are at full capacity and closed to additional registrants.


*Opening night of the seminar will be held at the Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center (TWFAC), located at 5901 College Road on Stock Island. Trolley transportation will be provided to TWFAC from the San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval St., from 6:45-7:15 pm. Trolleys will offer return transportation following the evening performance and at regular intervals throughout the duration of the reception.

  • 1:00-5:00 pm Registration & Check-in at the San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval St.
  • 6:45-7:15… Trolleys depart San Carlos for TWFAC (registration continues at TWFAC)
  • 7:45… Opening Remarks: Diane Shelby, KWLS President.
  • 7:55… Pico Iyer: Into The Dark
    The John Hersey Memorial Address
  • 8:10… Coleman Barks: Introduction to Paul Winter Consort: Where Words Leave Off
  • 8:15-9:45… The Paul Winter Consort: Unbridled Joy. With readings by Coleman Barks, Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Patricia Hampl, Jane Hirshfield, Marie Howe, Barry Lopez, Marilyn Nelson, and Mary Rose O’Reilley.
  • 9:45-11:00… Champagne Reception at Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center


*All events at the San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval Street, unless noted.

  • 8:45-9:30… Breakfast
  • 9:30-9:35… Rafael Peñalver, President, San Carlos Institute
  • 9:35-9:45 am. Introduction: Miles Frieden, Program Chair and Outgoing Executive Director
  • 9:45-10:00…  A reading with Marie Howe
  • 10:00-10:45… Wally Lamb: Compassion.
  • 10:45-11:30… To Enter the Heart and Mind of the Other: a conversation with Patricia Hampl, Marie Howe, and Wally Lamb.
  • 11:30-11:50… Break
  • 11:50-12:30 pm. Reverence, Irreverence, and The Shiver Of Recognition. A conversation with Jane Hirshfield and Barry Lopez

Lunch Break / Book Signings: Marie Howe, Wally Lamb

  • 2:00-2:30 pm… Mary Rose O’Reilly “Stillpoint: The Poem In The Turning World.”
  • 2:30-2:50… “The Plate-Spinner”: A Reading with Steve Stern
  • 2:50-3:30…  Coleman Barks and Robert D. Richardson: What Can We Really Say About Spirit?
  • 3:50-4:30… La Noce Oscura: A. Manette Ansay, Mary Rose O’Reilley, and Pico Iyer

Book Signings: Mary Rose O’Reilley, Steve Stern

  • 5:00-6:45… Cocktail Reception at The Audubon House, 205 Whitehead St.
  • 7:15-7:30… Coleman Barks
  • 7:30-8:00... Billy Collins

Book Signings: Coleman Barks and Billy Collins


*All events at the San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval Street, unless noted.

  • 8:45-9:30 am... Breakfast
  • 9:30-9:40… Welcome: Arlo Haskell, Incoming Executive Director
  • 9:40-10:00… A Reading with Marilyn Nelson
  • 10:00-10:30… Marilynne Robinson: A Reading from Lila
  • 10:30-11:15… Mark Doty: Longing
  • 11:15-11:35… Break
  • 11:35-11:50… A Reading with A. Manette Ansay
  • 11:50-12:30… Faith & Doubt: A. Manette Ansay, Patricia Hampl, Marilyn Nelson

Lunch Break / Book Signings: A. Manette Ansay, Mark Doty, Marilyn Nelson

  • 2:00-2:20 pm... A Reading with Patricia Hampl
  • 2:20-3:00… Steve Stern: “Creative Amnesia, Or The Persistence Of Magic”
  • 3:00-3:40… Exploring The Past: A. Manette Ansay, Mark Doty, and Patricia Hampl
  • 3:40-4:00… Break
  • 4:00-4:20… We Are Water: A Reading with Wally Lamb
  • 4:20-5:00… Charles Johnson: Reflections on Politics, Race, Culture, and Spiritual Practice

Book Signings: Patricia Hampl, Charles Johnson

  • 5:30-7:00 pm… Nine Gates: Miles Frieden and Bob Schmitt Exhibit and Reception at Harrison Gallery, 825 White St.
  • 8:00-9:00 pm… Marilynne Robinson: Grace

Book Signing: Marilynne Robinson

  • 9:15-11:00… Gala Champagne Reception at the Custom House


*All events at the San Carlos Institute, 516 Duval Street, unless noted.

  • 8:45-9:30 am… Breakfast
  • 9:30-9:40… Announcements
  • 9:40-10:00… Robert D. Richardson: “Upstream with the Transcendentalists”
  • 10:00-10:45… Pico Iyer and Barry Lopez: Wonder: Entering and Exiting the Great Mystery
  • 10:45-11:05… Break
  • 11:05-11:20… Sunday Morning Love Poems. Coleman Barks
  • 11:20-11:45… 2015 Emerging Writer Awards: Readings by the Winners of the Merrill, Russo, and Johnson Awards: Jay Deshpande, Joshua Bodwell, and Chaney Kwak. Introduced by Robert D. Richardson
  • 11:45-12:15 pm… Jane Hirshfield: “Of Latchless Amplitudes”: A Reading
  • 12:15-1:00… The Language Of Spirit: Marie Howe, Charles Johnson, Mary Rose O’Reilley, Marilyn Nelson

Book Signings: Jane Hirshfield, Pico Iyer, Barry Lopez, Robert D. Richardson

  • 1:00-2:30… 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… Introduction: Miles Frieden, Outgoing Executive Director, and Arlo Haskell, Incoming Executive Director
  • 2:10-2:25… Billy Collins: “Aimless Love”
  • 2:25-2:55… Wally Lamb: “Love Wins”
  • 2:55-3:25… Mark Doty and Marie Howe: Fall Toward The Glassblower’s Breath
  • 3:25-3:40… Mary Rose O’Reilley: The Barn At The End Of The World
  • 3:40-4:15… Presence: Patricia Hampl, Pico Iyer, and Charles Johnson

Book Signings: Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Patricia Hampl, Marie Howe, Pico Iyer, Charles Johnson, Wally Lamb, Mary Rose O’Reilley

*This year’s Sunday afternoon session is made possible in part through the extraordinary support of Peggy V. Helmerich and the Helmerich Trust, whose generous gift this year is in memory of our founder, David A. Kaufelt.

The Seminar is deeply grateful to the trustees of the Helmerich Trust—Zak, Hans, Matthew, Jono, and Rik Helmerich—and, like them, is inspired by the generous vision of their mother, Peggy. Her ongoing support for the arts, education, and medicine has improved the lives of many in her home state of Oklahoma, here in Key West, and throughout the country.

All events and speakers are subject to change. Schedule valid as of 1/4/2015.