Hemingway Days Events Carry On Key West’s Literary Tradition

KEY WEST, Florida Keys A rich roster of literary events awaits fans of fine writing during Hemingway Days 2021, set for Tuesday through Sunday, July 20-25. The festival celebrates the talent and exuberant Key West lifestyle of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway, who lived on the island for most of the 1930s. 

The Hemingway Days schedule is bookended by museum days Tuesday and Sunday, July 20 and 25, at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. Literary and history aficionados can view rare artifacts and memorabilia from the author’s life, as well as 59 original drawings by famed marine wildlife artist Guy Harvey illustrating Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.” Museum admission is free to those who mention Hemingway Days.

The festival’s literary events include the announcement and reading of the winning entry in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, paired with the Key West Poetry Guild’s reading of “Papa’s Poems” and guild members’ work. Awarding $2,500 annually to emerging writers of short fiction, the competition is directed by Lorian Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter and author of books including “Walk on Water.” 

The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 21 — the 122nd anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s birth — at the Key West Library, 700 Fleming St. 

The following day features a 4 p.m. virtual presentation by Dr. Ashley Oliphant, an acclaimed Hemingway scholar and author, titled “Key West to Bimini: Hemingway's Big-Game Fishing Evolution.” Oliphant, who penned “Hemingway and Bimini: The Birth of Sport Fishing at ‘The End of the World’” among other books, is to discuss Hemingway’s dedication to saltwater angling in Key West and Gulf Stream waters. 

Oliphant and well-known artist Beth Yarbrough, who co-authored the recently released book “Jean Laffite Revealed,” are to lead a twilight walking tour of Hemingway’s Key West scheduled at 6 p.m. Friday, July 23. Blending history, humor and genuine affection for Key West, the tour is to end with a sunset happy hour on the verandah of the Custom House Museum. 

Both the presentation and walking tour are presented by the Key West Art & Historical Society, holder of a nationally acclaimed collection of Hemingway artifacts. Registration is required; for more information and tickets, visit kwahs.org. 

Event information: hemingwaydays.net, kwahs.org, shortstorycompetition.com 

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This article was updated on July 2, 2021 at 2:03 PM
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