Hemingway Days Continues Key West’s Rich Literary Tradition
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — A rich roster of literary events awaits fans of fine writing during Hemingway Days 2018, set for Tuesday through Sunday, July 17-22. The festival celebrates the talent and exuberant Key West lifestyle of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway, who lived on the island for most of the 1930s.
Hemingway Days opens with a museum day Tuesday, July 17, at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. Literary fans can view rare artifacts and memorabilia from the author’s life, as well as marine wildlife artist Guy Harvey’s original sketches illustrating Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.”
The Key West Art & Historical Society’s Hemingway Symposium begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, featuring insights from scholars, actors and writers inspired by Hemingway’s work. Scheduled presenters are Kirk Curnutt, author of “Coffee with Hemingway” among others; Ashley Oliphant, author of “Hemingway and Bimini: The Birth of Sport Fishing at ‘The End of the World’”; Brewster Chamberlin, discussing Key West during Hemingway’s era; actor and playwright/author Brian Gordon Sinclair; and writer Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, Hemingway’s great-granddaughter. The intriguing evening takes place at Key West’s Old City Hall, 510 Greene St.
A number of contemporary writers star in the “Voices, Places, Inspirations” readings set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at the Key West Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters, 938 Whitehead St. They include Jaynes, reading from “The Mirage of Mario Sanchez”; Curnutt, exploring Key West novels and their writers; Chamberlin, whose books include “Peregrine’s Island”; Sinclair, author of “The Hemingway Monologues” series; and Chuck Ball, who wrote “Last Chance Key West” among others.
Highlights Thursday, July 19, include a 7:30 p.m. film screening of “The Hemingway Monologues: Life and Death in Key West,” narrated by Sinclair at Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton St. Sinclair also is to showcase his seven-volume series, “The Hemingway Monologues: An Epic Drama of Love, Genius and Eternity,” and present Canada’s Hemingway on Stage Award with Jaynes.
At 5:30 p.m. Friday, festival attendees can discover the little-known poetry of Ernest Hemingway. The Key West Poetry Guild presents a reading of “Papa’s Poems,” as well as their own work, at Old City Hall.
At noon Sunday, July 22, historian Sharon Wells is to lead a trolley tour of Hemingway’s Key West. Departing from the Custom House Museum, the tour spotlights sites associated with the author including his former home and waterfront settings he memorialized in his novel “To Have and Have Not.”
Held in conjunction with Hemingway Days is the internationally recognized Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. At 3 p.m. Sunday, author Lorian Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter, plans to announce the winning writers online at shortstorycompetition.com.
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY