Perpetuating Idaho's Literary Legacy: Hemingway Celebration to Be Hosted by Idaho's Greatest Contemporary Authors Oct. 5-7

Monday, September 28 2009

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho and some of Idaho's most renowned contemporary writers will host three days of events, Oct. 5-7, in Moscow to celebrate Ernest Hemingway, his work and his enduring connection to Idaho.

The event is sponsored by the University of Idaho Department of English, The Hemingway Foundation/PEN New England and The Hemingway Review.

"Just two weeks ago, as the nights were turning colder, I was fly-fishing an Idaho river," said Kim Barnes, Pulitzer Prize finalist and professor of writing at University of Idaho. "Leaves were beginning to fall off the willows and into the current, and I said to my husband, ‘I feel like I'm in a Hemingway short story.'"

"It's not just Hemingway's brilliant craft that we in Idaho appreciate – it's his characters' connection to landscape and the rhythms of the natural world," said Barnes. "To perpetuate Hemingway's deep attention to the art of the story and to draw inspiration as he did from Idaho's wild beauty is why so many of us choose to live and teach here, and why a large number of our students come here to study. It's not just our legacy – it's our literary lineage."

To honor the Hemingway legacy in perpetuity, the University of Idaho's College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences also has established an endowment to fund an annual fellowship for the outstanding fiction graduate student in the university's Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. The Hemingway Fellowship will support a student in his or her third and final year, allowing the recipient to devote substantial time to writing a book-length work of fiction. The goal is to build an endowment of $400,000 through tax-deductible gifts.

Hemingway Celebration events include:

Monday, Oct. 5: A Hemingway Happy Hour, Silent Auction, and Feast at the Red Door Restaurant in Moscow, 4-7 p.m., includes a reading of "Hills Like White Elephants," by author Buddy Levy and University of Idaho Theatre faculty member Kelly Quinnett.

Feast tickets, including Happy Hour and Silent Auction are $60. Happy Hour and Silent Auction tickets, good for admission, appetizers and one cocktail, are $12. Tickets are available at BookPeople and the Red Door at Moscow

The Silent Auction and Feast will be followed by a panel titled, "My Favorite Hemingway Short Story." The public is invited to join author Michael Dahlie, University of Idaho English professors and Idaho contemporary writers, Daniel Orozco, Mary Clearman Blew and Ron McFarland, and Hemingway scholar and editor of The Hemingway Review Susan Beegel for an evening of conversation to celebrate Hemingway and his Idaho connection. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Items up for silent auction include a first edition copy of Hemingway's "Men Without Women," original work by local artists, a special selection of wine from Merry Cellars and other local wineries, a gift certificate to Nectar Wine Bar, Hemingway-themed paintings, a bed-and-breakfast night on top of Moscow Mountain, a one-hour book proposal consultation with Kim Barnes, and a three-hour fiction workshop with critically-acclaimed author Daniel Orozco. A very limited number of tickets for the Feast and Silent Auction are available at BookPeople of Moscow and the Red Door Restaurant. Proceeds from the Silent Auction and a portion of all ticket sales will go to benefit the Hemingway Fellowship Fund.

Tuesday, Oct. 6: "Hemingway's Personal Farewell to Arms," is the focus of a presentation in the University of Idaho Law School Courtroom, 7:30-8:30 p.m., delivered by Susan Beegel, noted Hemingway scholar and editor of The Hemingway Review. This illustrated lecture and slide show is a behind-the-scenes look at "A Farewell to Arms." The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, Oct. 7: Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winner Michael Dahlie will read from his prize-winning novel, "A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living," from 7:30-8:30 p.m., at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center, 508 South Main St. in Moscow. The event is free and open to the public. Book sales and signing will follow.

The events are part of the university's longstanding connection to Hemingway through The Hemingway Review, the world's preeminent journal of Hemingway scholarship. The University of Idaho's Creative Writing Program and the Review have partnered with the Hemingway Foundation/PEN New England to bring the annual winner to the University of Idaho to read and meet with students, faculty, and the community.

The Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award was established in 1976 by the late Mary Hemingway in honor of her husband. The distinction is given for a novel or book of short stories by an American author who has not previously published a book of fiction. The prestigious award includes an $8,000 cash prize. Renowned authors such as Marilynne Robinson, Jhumpa Lahiri and Bobbi Ann Mason are among those who have previously earned the award. The award often serves a s a barometer of a young writer's future success; many winners have gone on to earn Pulitzer Prizes

This year's winner, Michael Dahlie, received his award at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Mass., in a spring ceremony. Dahlie's novel, "A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living," published by W.W. Norton, has been described as "darkly hilarious and moving" and centers around a bumbling Manhattan blueblood who must rebuild his life after his marriage and business fail.

For more information, visit or contact Gary Williams, chair of the Department of English, at (208) 885-6156 or  
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state's flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university's student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit  

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit