Mr. Tobin Went to Florida!

Mr. Tobin Went to Florida!
Posted on 01/14/2020
group photoLast week, Mr. Tobin attended the 38th Key West Literary Seminar as a recipient of one of 20 scholarships awarded to teachers and librarians. This year’s theme was “Reading Between the Lines: Sports and Literature,” and the lineup was impressive. It left participants wondering about the intersections of reading and writing, and provided vast inspiration for those who attended.

David Maraniss, author of biographies of Vince Lombardi and Roberto Clemente, spoke about research with Jane Leavey, who wrote a definitive work on Babe Ruth. Joyce Carol Oates reflected on time spent with a young Mike Tyson, as well as the differences in seeing a boxing match live. Arthur Rampersad, who co-wrote Arthur Ashe's autobiography, meditated on the struggles of the black athlete, while two-time US poet laureate Billy Collins dug deep to find sports poems. On the fiction side, "We Need To Talk About Kevin" author Lionel Shriver wondered about what happens as the athletic body starts to fail with age, and Paris Review editor Emily Nemens shared excerpts from her forthcoming novel on baseball.

Teachers and librarians traveled from across the country to attend, covering ages from elementary to post-college. Some were published authors, some were aspiring, and all took heart from a private library tour that culminated in lunch with legendary children's author Judy Blume. She, like "Princess Diaries" author and fellow board member Meg Cabot, lives full-time in Key West, and the laid-back spirit of the island certainly contributed to the positive vibe of the deminar. It was a great experience that will be long remembered, even if the weather wasn't always that much warmer than back in Boston!
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