The Importance of Being Ernest: Second Annual Hemingway and Idaho Festival Takes Place Oct. 4-6

Friday, September 24 2010

MOSCOW, Idaho – Ernest Hemingway is renowned for a distinctive, terse writing style, and for a life lived large.

The University of Idaho MFA program in Creative Writing and Department of English will celebrate Hemingway’s life, literary legacy and deep connection to Idaho with the Second Annual Hemingway and Idaho Festival, Oct. 4-6.

Hemingway’s Idaho legacy is perpetuated through the university’s longstanding publication of The Hemingway Review, the world’s preeminent journal of Hemingway scholarship, and through the creative writing program’s recently established Hemingway Fellowship.

Five years ago, the creative writing program and the Hemingway Review partnered with the Hemingway Foundation/PEN New England in celebration of their annual award.

The Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award was established in 1976 by the late Mary Hemingway in honor of her husband Ernest Hemingway. The esteemed distinction is given for a novel or book of short stories by an American author who has not previously published a book of fiction, and includes an $8,000 cash prize.

This prestigious award has been bestowed upon such renowned authors as Marilynne Robinson, Jhumpa Lahiri and Bobbi Ann Mason. It has served as an excellent prediction of a young writer’s future success, with many winners having gone on to win Pulitzer Prizes and the National Book Award.

After receiving the award at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Mass., the winner visits Idaho to participate in and read during the Hemingway Festival in Moscow, Idaho. Past winners who have headlined the festival include Chris Abani, Yiyun Li, Ben Fountain, Joshua Ferris and Michael Dahlie.

This year’s winner, Brigid Pasulka, author of "A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True," will present a reading in Moscow, Wednesday, Oct. 6.

Events also include "A Moveable Feast" and after-dinner talk with Valerie Hemingway on Oct. 4, a screening of "Old Man and the Sea" at the Kenworthy on Oct. 5 and other events. A full schedule is available at:

Tickets to the feast are available at Bookpeople of Moscow, Mix, Black Cypress in Pullman, in the Department of English at the University of Idaho or by e-mailing Festival "passports" to the three days of events are available at Bookpeople of Moscow, The Red Door, Mix, The Kenworthy Performing Arts Center, One World and the Moscow Public Library.

Several interwoven events this year include:
• Leading up to and during the Hemingway Festival, Hemingway books tagged, "Steal This Book!" will be distributed around town. When people find one, it's theirs to take home, read and then return somewhere downtown for someone else to find and read. "Steal This Book!" editions contain festival passports. This event is sponsored by the Moscow Friends of the Public Library.

• Brigid Pasulka, this year's Hemingway Foundation/PEN award-winner, will meet with Moscow High School students and talk about writing, on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 4 and Oct. 5.

• The Hemingway Society of Oak Park, Ill., and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery have created, "Picturing Hemingway," a worldwide traveling photo exhibit of Hemingway and his life. The exhibit, which comprises some 16 panels and more than 70 photos, will be on display at the University of Idaho Library preceding and throughout the festival.

• MFA Creative Writing students also will work with Moscow High School students in the classroom. They will discuss the craft of writing and Hemingway's signature style.

For more festival information, visit
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About the University of Idaho

Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant 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 classification for high research activity. The student population of 12,302 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For more 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