Saturday, September 19, 2020
Virtual Hemingway Seminar Includes Virtual Tour of Hemingway House
Ernest Hemingway’s Ketchum home, now cared for by The Community Library, will be the subject of a virtual tour during mid-September’s Virtual Hemingway conference.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020


 The Community Library will hold a fully-virtual Ernest Hemingway Seminar Tuesday through Thursday, Sept. 15-17.

 The theme for this year is “Out of the Box,” and the seminar will celebrate Hemingway in Idaho. Participants will offer a unique insider’s look at the Library’s growing Hemingway collection, Hemingway’s final home, and some off-the-wall stories about the literary giant’s legacy in Idaho.

 The seminar’s two live evening presentations will focus on ongoing preservation, research, and other  developments in its Jeanne Rodger Lane Center for Regional History.

 At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, current Hemingway in Idaho research fellow Allison Kittinger, will present her new virtual exhibit, #HemingwayLife: The Man and the Brand. She will use the Library’s artifacts to explore Hemingway’s celebrity.

 Then, Mary Tyson and Nicole Potter from the Center for Regional History will showcase new acquisitions from the David Meeker Collection, a stellar collection of diverse artifacts from the full span of Hemingway’s life, now housed here in Ketchum where Hemingway made his final home. This will be one of the first showings of items from this collection.

 At 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, will be an insider’s visit to the historic Mary and Ernest Hemingway House. Hemingway’s final residence, the site of his death, remains a quiet, private home where Library staff members and visiting scholars work on preservation and conduct research. It is a location that the Library strives to treat with reverence even as it works to amplify the stories that it holds.

 The Library also recently launched a writer-in-residence program at the house to promote ongoing literary work and creativity. The Mary and Ernest Hemingway House is otherwise closed to the public, and this virtual tour promises to provide unique access to the historic home’s big views and small treasures. The tour will be led by Jenny Emery Davidson, the Library’s executive director, and Mary Tyson, director of the Jeanne Rodger Lane Center for Regional History. The tour will be followed by a live questions-and-answer period.

 Each day will feature several opportunities for seminar attendees to engage in literary discussions. This year’s seminar literature is Ray Bradbury’s short story, “The Kilimanjaro Machine,” which imagines a Bradbury-like narrator time traveling from 1965 back to Hemingway’s Ketchum to track down his literary hero before his death. Virtual discussions on the story will be facilitated each day over Zoom, offering different times for all attendees to participate.

 “The “Out of the Box” theme signifies the ways we’ve had to think creatively about this year’s seminar,” says Martha Williams, programs and education manager at the Library. “Once we realized that our seminar-as-usual wasn’t going to happen, we starting brainstorming all the ways we could still connect with the community around Hemingway.

 “This year, we’ll literally be pulling artifacts out of boxes, we’ll be taking people inside the Hemingway House, which is itself, quite boxy, and we’ll be exploring a short story about Hemingway by Ray Bradbury. It’s all new and different, but we’re excited to be connecting the community with these resources and showcasing the incredible work in Regional History.”

 Registration for the virtual seminar is $45, and all participants will receive a special “Out of the Box Toolkit” in the mail ahead of the seminar to help them engage in the programs. Registration will be limited to 130 participants, and participants will receive private links for the virtual programs closer to the seminar dates. Questions can be directed to Martha Williams at and registration is online at

 Each year since 2009 the Library has welcomed Hemingway aficionados and lovers of history and literature for three days of lectures, films, discussion, and fellowship. The seminar traditionally centers on a Hemingway text and explores its historical and literary context. “Hemingway in Africa,” originally scheduled for this year, has been postponed to Sept. 9-11, 2021. Registration for 2021 will open in the spring.

 “It feels appropriate to showcase the uniqueness of this seminar and how we can engage with the community in ways we might not otherwise be able to,” says Williams. “While we are far apart, all navigating this global pandemic in different ways, we’re really looking forward to coming together—safely and virtually—to continue our fellowship around Hemingway and his place in Idaho and our literary lives.”



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