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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Key West Literary Seminar-Session 2

January 25, 2008

Photobucket Billy Collins

Photobucket Lee Smith

Photobucket Cricket & Captain Tony at Salt Party

Key West Literary Seminar –Session 2

Photobucket Beth Grant

For the second session, Kathy & I had signed up as full participants and we ended up attending every session of the weekend. Our writer friend Beth joined us at most of the sessions as well as the wonderful parties held each evening.

Photobucket Carolyn Mackler, Judy Blume & Gigi Amateau

Photobucket Kevin Young

I had come away from the first session with the thought that it was a pretty fair seminar with some good moments as well as a few downers. Overall the inclusion of new young voices was a positive and there seemed to be a positive energy that is at times lacking with more established authors. The second session provided just about the perfect convergence of styles, individuals, ideas and chemistry that makes the Key West Literary Seminar one of the best gatherings of its type in America. It had a far superior energy and was one of the better seminars I’ve been to in 14 years of attendance.

Photobucket Mark, Ian, Jason, Arlo & Nick



The line-up included writers Lee Smith, Manuel Munoz, Daniel Menaker, Annie Dillard, Jake Silverstein, Junot Diaz, Nell Freudenberger, James Gleick, Janna Levin, Silas House, Judy Blume, Gigi Amateau, Carolyn Mackler, Tayari Jones, Billy Collins, Meghan O’Rourke and Kevin Young.

Photobucket Carolyn & Judy

The panels and discussions were all lively and interesting, the readings were stellar and the vibe in the room, which was partially filled with even more young writers, was amazing. Kudos to all involved as it truly was a special weekend. Personally my favorite new voices included Tayari Jones, Silas House and Carolyn Mackler, though I have to admit there were none who were not enjoyable. The writers themselves seemed more enthusiastic and energized than usual and really seemed to feed off the energy of the crowd.

Photobucket Trevor Courson on Lobster Sex at Voltaire Books

Photobucket Jake Silverstein, Janna Levin, Gigi Amateau & Silas House

Of course the Literary Seminar was not the only game in town, as typical in Key West there were other options available during the week. Of these, the release party for the third issue of “The Secret of Salt” literary and arts journal was one we could not miss. Issue #3, “writers, ramblers, poets and outlaws” is yet another eclectic collection of the finest local talent in the arts. The wonderful parties held in the White Street backyard of publisher Kim Narenkivicius are one of the truest representations of what is great about Key West and this one did not disappoint. It was a perfect evening celebrating the arts and the quirky, fascinating people that inhabit our island. Learn the secret at the link below.

Photobucket Cricket & Betty

Photobucket Kathy & Sy

Photobucket Kim & Michael

The Secret of Salt