KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Fans of good writing can explore a roster of literary and theatrical events during Hemingway Days 2012, set for Tuesday through Sunday, July 17-22. The festival celebrates the literary accomplishments and exuberant Key West lifestyle of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway, who lived on the island throughout the 1930s.
The literary schedule honors the 75th anniversary of the publication of Hemingway’s “To Have and Have Not,” a novel set largely in Key West. The schedule includes readings and presentations by Key West writers, a one-man theatrical performance and the announcement of the winners of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition.
Lorian Hemingway, critically acclaimed author of “Walking Into the River,” “Walk on Water” and “A World Turned Over,” also is a granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. She has directed the short story competition, which supports the talents of emerging writers, since its 1981 inception.
The winners of the internationally recognized literary contest are to be announced at 8 p.m. Friday, July 20, at Casa Antigua, 314 Simonton St. Renowned as Ernest Hemingway’s first Key West residence, the property is now a showplace with a soaring central atrium garden.
The free-admission awards reception is to include a reading of the winning story, a discussion of Casa Antigua’s history by owner Tom Oosterhoudt and tours of the architecturally unique property.
Fittingly for the “To Have and Have Not” anniversary, Key West writers are to star at an evening of readings set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, hosted by Wyland Galleries of Key West at 623 Duval St.
Scheduled participants include Michael Haskins, best known for his Key West crime thriller series featuring “Mad Mick” Murphy; David Sloan, author of “The Key West Bucket List” and co-author of “Quit Your Job and Move to Key West” among others; writer/editor Wendy Tucker, who penned many Key West stories during her long tenure as a journalist, and author/editor/poet George Murphy, presenting a selection from “To Have and Have Not.”
The evening also includes a reception where attendees can meet selected Wyland Galleries artists and view their creations. Admission is free.
In addition, Hemingway Days attendees can enjoy the United States premiere of a one-man dramatic production written and performed by Brian Gordon Sinclair. Sinclair has done extensive research into Hemingway’s life and will conclude his six-play “Hemingway On Stage” cycle at the 2012 festival.
Titled “In Deadly Ernest,” the gripping play deals with the drama and heartbreak of Hemingway’s later life and final days. Curtain time is 8 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at the Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton St.
Sinclair plans a second performance at 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 20, to honor the late Jean Klausing of Sloppy Joe’s Bar, a longtime guiding force behind Hemingway Days.
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY