November 28 – (KEY WEST, FL).  On Thursday, December 8, beginning at 5:00 p.m., Key West Art & Historical Society welcomes Distinguished Speaker Series guest Dr. James Clark who will present, “Florida Literary Luminaries: Writing in Paradise.”  This free virtual lecture delves into Clark’s newest book of the same title which examines a bevy of famed writers who have found inspiration in the Florida sun.

During the presentation, Clark will regale the stories of scores of writers including Robert Frost, Jack Kerouac, John D. MacDonald, and Stephen King.  Hunter Thompson driving through the streets of Key West using a bullhorn to warn the citizens, Tennessee Williams partying with Truman Capote, Ring Lardner planning a get together with Al Capone – it’s all here.

Dr. Clark is a Senior Lecturer in the University of Central Florida History Department.  He has emerged as one of Florida’s leading historians, noted for his books and research.  He is the author of nine books, and the editor of a three-volume anthology of Florida Literature.  He is a graduate of Lennoir-Rhyne College, holds a master’s degree from Stetson University, and a doctorate in Florida history from the University of Florida.  His articles have appeared in “The Washington Post,” “Washington Monthly,” and “The Miami Herald.”  His work has been honored by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, the Florida Magazine Association, and the Florida Historical Society.

Key West Art & Historical Society’s Virtual Distinguished Speaker Series is offered free to members and non-members, but registration is required.  Reserve your spot now at

This Florida Talks program is a partnership between Florida Humanities and the Key West Art & Historical Society.  Funding for this program was provided by Florida Humanities and sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  For more information, contact Cori Convertito, Ph.D. at 305-295-6616 x507 or [email protected].  Your Museums.  Your Community.  It takes an Island.


IMAGE 1: Many literary luminaries have found the warm Florida sun conducive for work and play.  Writers such as James Merrill, Evan Rhodes, Edward Howard, Alison Lurie, Shel Silverstein, Thomas McGuane, Philip Burton, and John Malcolm Brennin will form part of KWAHS’s upcoming virtual Distinguished Speakers Series talk, “Florida Literary Luminaries: Writing in Paradise” with Dr. James Clark on December 8.  (Photo Credit: Key West Art & Historical Society)