Literary fans of the legendary Ernest Hemingway can look forward to an array of new cultural offerings presented by Key West Art & Historical Society at the Custom House Museum during the annual Hemingway Days celebration, taking place July 18- July 23.
“Hemingway is an integral part of Key West’s cultural fabric and honoring his literary legacy during Hemingway Days is an opportunity for us to showcase some of the country’s finest Hemingway scholars,” says Director of Education Adele Williams.
Hemingway Days events kick off on Tuesday, July 18 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Custom House Museum with “Hemingway & Harry’s Way” presented by author Ted Geltner whose “Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews,” was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of 2016. Geltner refers to novelist Harry Crews as the “Hemingway of Georgia,” revealing the life of the American novelist, playwright, short story writer and essayist whose work uncovers the hard lives and dark corners of the South. A champagne reception will follow. Tickets are $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers.
The literary sizzle continues on Thursday, July 20 with a Hemingway Symposium and book signings at the Custom House Museum with Hemingway historians and authors Brewster Chamberlin, Kirk Curnutt, and Robert Elder.
Starting at noon author, researcher, lecturer and historian Brewster Chamberlin will discuss “Fact and Fiction in the Hemingway Industry,” with an emphasis on separating truth from fiction in the abundance of biographical studies and memoirs about the great American author. At 1:30pm, Kirk Curnutt will offer a study of the only novel Ernest Hemingway set on American soil (in Key West) with his book “Reading Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not,” and from 3:00pm – 4:00pm Robert Elder presents “Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Earnest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park,” a research book featuring more than 300 color images that is part time capsule, part biography illuminating objects, ephemera, and unpublished photos; love letters; bullfighting memorabilia; high school assignments; adolescent diaries; Hemingway’s earliest published work; and even a dental X-ray-that he kept and treasured. Book signings will follow each presenter. Tickets are $5 for members and $10 for non-members per speaker.
Other literary events during the Hemingway Days celebration include the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition coordinated by Ernest’s granddaughter, author Lorian Hemingway (visit shortstorycompetition.com for more information), readings at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 19, at the Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval St., and readings of Hemingway’s little-known poetry Friday at the island’s 700 Fleming St. library.
“The involvement of the Key West Art & Historical Society really enhances Hemingway Days’ cultural side,” says Carol Shaughnessy, long associated with the Hemingway Days literary events. “Their programs this year offer wonderful opportunities for people who want to learn more about the island’s most famous literary resident — and his lasting influence.”