Celebrate Hemingway Days with Key West Art & Historical Society’s array of cultural events
Fans of the legendary Ernest Hemingway can look forward to an array of cultural offerings presented by Key West Art & Historical Society that take place July 16 - 21 at the Custom House Museum, Key West Old City Hall, and the Tropic Cinema during the annual Hemingway Days celebration. A mini symposium, book signings and readings, a film premier, and museum exhibits dedicated to the iconic writer are part of the week’s celebration.
Tuesday, July 16 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Old City Hall: Key West Hemingway Days Mini-Symposium. Scholars and writers Brewster Chamberlin, PhD., Kirk Curnutt, and Robert Elder will delight Hemingway aficionados with their presentations. Tickets are free for members and $5 for non-members. Book signings and a Q & A will follow.
6:00pm:Chamberlin will discuss Key West during the time Hemingway lived on the island.
6:35pm:Elder will offer accounts from never-before-seen, 99-year-old letters from a young, love-sick Hemingway that he recently unearthed. The letters illuminate his unrequited love for a classmate named Frances Coates, whose name shows up throughout his work.
7:10pm:Curnutt will delve into the backstory of Hemingway's little-known 1932 short story "After the Storm," his first attempt to turn Key West into fiction. Based on the deadly events of the 1919 hurricane that hit the Gulf of Mexico, the story imagines the last moments of the Spanish steamship Valbanera, which disappeared near Rebecca light between the Marquesas Keys and the Dry Tortugas. A stark, existential tale of nature's brutality, "After the Storm" unpacks a great deal of Key West's salvaging and sponging history.
Wednesday, July 17 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm at Key West Old City Hall, 510 Greene Street: A longtime Hemingway Days tradition, “Voices, Places, Inspirations” spotlights contemporary writers from Key West and around the U.S. Master of Ceremonies Carol Shaughnessy moderates the evening of readings, storytelling, and presentations from novelists and short story authors Kirk Curnutt, Kristina Neihouse, and Edgardo Alvarado-Vazquez and members of the Key West Poetry Guild facilitated by Nance Boylan who will share the poetry of Hemingway. Free.
Friday, July 19, two screenings at 11:15am and 12:15pm at Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton Street: The film premier of “Between Key West and Cuba” is a story of the two islands, cultures, and people who shaped Hemingway’s life and his writing for more than 30 years. Followed by a Q & A with creators C. Michael Curry and Raúl Villarreal. Purchase tickets at TropicCinema.com/event/hemingway-between-key-west-and-cuba/.
Tuesday, July 16 – Sunday, July 21 from 9:30am – 4:30pm at the Custom House Museum: Participants of Hemingway Days are invited to the Custom House Museum to view a life-sized bronze sculpture, artifacts, and ephemera from Hemingway’s life. To complement the Hemingway exhibit, the Key West Art and Historical Society has a display of 59 original pen-and-ink drawings by world-renowned marine wildlife artist Guy Harvey — all providing a visual narrative to Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.” Free for members, museum entrance rates apply.
Register now at kwahs.orgor for more information contact Society Event Coordinator Dani Holliday at 305-295-6616, x114. Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
IMAGES: Key West Art & Historical Society will present an array of cultural events during Hemingway Days, including a Hemingway Days Mini-Symposium at Old City Hall featuring, left to right, Kirk Curnutt, professor and chair of English at Troy University’s Montgomery Campus in Montgomery AL and author of “Reading Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not”; Brewster Chamberlin, researcher, lecturer, historian and author of “The Hemingway Log, A Chronology of His Life and Times”; and journalist Robert K. Elder, author of “Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Earnest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park.”