For nearly four decades, Key West has annually tipped its hat to the Nobel Prize-winning American author Ernest Hemingway with a weeklong festival celebrating both his literary legacy and larger-than-life persona. Key West Art & Historical Society contributes to this year’s festival, which runs July 17-22, with five special offerings:
Tuesday, July 17, 9:30am-4:30pm, Custom House Museum, 281 Front Street: Free museum day for Hemingway Days participants. View artifacts and ephemera from Hemingway’s life, along with a life-sized bronze sculpture of the iconic author and a display of 59 original pen-and-ink drawings inspired by Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” created by world-renowned marine wildlife artist Guy Harvey while in his teens.
Tuesday, July 17, 6:00-8:00pm, Old City Hall, 510 Greene Street: Second Annual Hemingway Symposium featuring noted scholars, actors, and writers inspired by Hemingway’s work. Moderated by Kirk Curnutt Ph.D., professor and chair of English at Troy University, with presentations by Hemingway scholar Ashley Oliphant Ph.D., professor of English at Pfeiffer University and author of “Hemingway and Bimini: The Birth of Sport Fishing at ‘The End of the World’”; historian Brewster Chamberlin, Ph.D., author of “The Hemingway Log: A Chronology of His Life and Times”; Brian Gordon Sinclair, actor, playwright and author of “The Hemingway Monologues” series; Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, writer and great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, and Curnutt, author of “Coffee with Hemingway,” “Ernest Hemingway and the Expatriate Modernist Movement,” and “Reading Hemingway’s to Have and Have Not,” among others.
Wednesday, July 18, 7:30-9:00pm, Key West Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters, 938 Whitehead Street: “Voices, Places, Inspirations,” a popular annual free-admission evening of readings, presentations, and storytelling presented by contemporary writers from Key West and around the U.S. This year’s presenters are Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, Brewster Chamberlin, Ph.D., Kirk Curnutt Ph.D., Brian Gordon Sinclair, and Chuck Ball, author of “Hemingway’s Heist,” Key West Escape,” and other tropical adventures. The evening includes a “meet-the-authors” reception and book signing.
Thursday, July 19, 7:30pm-9:00pm, Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton Street: Showing of “The Hemingway Monologues: Life and Death in Key West,” which was filmed on location at the Hemingway Home and other Key West landmarks, and narrated by Hemingway scholar and theatrical interpreter Brian Gordon Sinclair. Following the film, Sinclair will introduce his 7-volume series of plays, “The Hemingway Monologues: An Epic Drama of Love Genius and Eternity.” Co-hosted by Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, the evening includes a presentation of Canada’s Hemingway on Stage Award.
Sunday, July 22, 12:00-2:00pm, launching from the Custom House Museum: Hemingway’s Key West by Trolley. Join island historian Sharon Wells as she leads a trolley tour to key island sites connected to Hemingway’s decade in Key West.
Funding for the Hemingway Symposium, “The Hemingway Monologues: An Epic Drama of Love, Genius, and Eternity,”and Hemingway’s Key West by Trolley tour provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.
For more information and to register for The Society’s Hemingway Days events visit kwahs.org and click “tickets.” Advanced registration is suggested. Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.