Annual Hemingway Festival Kicks off Today
KETCHUM, Idaho (KLIX) – Ernest Hemingway, who had traveled the world seeking big-game adventures and fodder for his stories, is remembered locally not only as a world-famous author but as a fellow Idahoan.
While in the Gem State, he filled many of his days doing the same things he’d done in other places – fishing and hunting and writing.
Starting today, “The Sun Also Rises” author will be the topic of discussion at the annual Hemingway Festival. Hosted by The Community Library in Ketchum, this year’s festival takes the theme “Hemingway in Nature,” a fitting title for an event that honors the famous writer and outdoorsman.
The three-day festival, now in its 11th year, includes a variety of speakers and discussion. Keynote speaker will be Rick Bass, author and environmentalist, who will address the crowd on Friday at the Next Stage Theater.
Other events will be at the library, with speakers that include Hemingway Review editor Suzanne del Gizzo; University of Alaska professor Kevin Maier; College of Idaho professor Scott Knickerbocker; and small-group discussions of Hemingway’s two-part story “Big Two-Hearted River,” a tale about a man who returns home to find his town had burned, but the river still there and teeming with fish.
Nick's heart tightened as the trout moved. He felt all the old feeling. He turned and looked down the stream. It stretched away, pebbly-bottomed with shallows and big boulders and a deep pool as it curved away around the foot of a bluff.”
Hemingway’s character echoes sentiments similar of Idaho anglers. As Nick loses himself in the moment, “He felt he had left everything behind, the need for thinking, the need to write, other needs. It was all back of him.”
But the festival is not all book discussion and lectures. There also will be a trip to the Silver Creek Preserve, Hemingway’s favorite fly-fishing venue, said the library’s program director Scott Burton. Here, perhaps as you see the flowing water and maybe a kingfisher, you’ll be better able to empathize with Hemingway’s character, Nick.
Previous years saw some 120 people turn out for the conference, Burton said. He expects a comparable number of participants this year. Cost to attend is $60. Sign up online or at the library. For questions or more information, contact The Community Library at 806-2640.