KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Ernest Hemingway left Key West in late 1939 after nearly a decade of residence, but his literary legacy continues during Hemingway Days 2017, scheduled Tuesday through Sunday, July 18-23.
The festival’s opening evening features a 6 p.m. discussion titled “Hemingway & Harry’s Way” by Ted Geltner, author of “Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews,” at Key West’s Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. Geltner’s presentation details Hemingway’s influence on novelist and educator Crews, in everything from adventurous living and creative risk taking to their literary commitment. A champagne reception follows.
Geltner joins other contemporary writers for the “Voices, Places, Inspirations” readings at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 19, at the Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval St. Scheduled participants include Chuck Ball, author of “Hemingway’s Heist” among others; notable speculative fiction writer Selena Chambers; Mandy Miles, renowned for her “Tan Lines” books and columns; and Terry Schmida, known for his regional “True Crime” series. Presented by Literacy Volunteers of America–Monroe County, the free-admission gathering includes a “meet the authors” reception.
The spotlight returns to the Custom House Thursday, July 20, for the Key West Art & Historical Society’s Hemingway Symposium and book signings from noon to 4 p.m. Scheduled presenters are Kirk Curnutt, author of “Reading Hemingway's To Have and Have Not”; Robert Elder, author of “Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Ernest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park”; and Brewster Chamberlin, speaking on “Facts and Fiction in the Hemingway Industry.”
At 6 p.m. Thursday, composer and pianist Bill Lorraine premieres the short film “The Hemingway Suite,” showcasing the 2015 debut of his orchestral piece inspired by Hemingway’s works, performed by the Havana Orchestra in Cuba. Lorraine is to perform selections from the suite with Cuban pianist Lianne Vega, and discuss its composition and staging with Cuban conductor Zenaida Romeu. The event takes place at The Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton St., and includes a champagne reception and film DVD signing.
Though best known for his novels and short stories, Ernest Hemingway also wrote poetry. At 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, the Key West Poetry Guild is to present a free reading of the poems that helped launch his career, as well as guild poets’ work, at the Key West Library, 700 Fleming St.
Held in conjunction with Hemingway Days is the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. The contest recognizes the work of emerging writers and has been directed by author Lorian Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter, since its inception in 1981.
The festival concludes Sunday, July 23, with “To Have and Have Another,” hosted by the Key West Art & Historical Society at 7:30 p.m. in the gardens of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, 907 Whitehead St. The soiree’s highlight is a lively presentation by Philip Greene, author of “To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion.”
Festival information: hemingwaydays.net; event prices and registration: kwahs.org
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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