Among the island's literati: David and Lynn Kaufelt. He writes novels; she presides over the Key West Literary Seminar and supports local arts efforts.
Allen Rokach, Charles Walton IV
A respite from urban life and a love for nature drew Cricket from New York City to Key West. She first crewed day charters to the reef, and then earned her captain's license. "Now in the summer," she explains, "I charter myself out to different outfits," traveling to other countries. But, she adds, "As much as I love the water, it doesn't afford me much time to pursue my art."
In addition to dance and theater, Cricket creates poetry; works on a novel; writes for a Keys-wide newspaper; and edits the secret of salt: an indigenous journal, founded and published by friend Kim Narenkivicius.
"Writing is such a solitary act. Being part of the Key West community is a nice counterbalance to that," says Cricket.
"People who gravitate here are open-minded and somewhat eccentric with a general appreciation for individuality and the creative process." Or, as she and Kim write in their literary journal: "The Florida Keys are a unique place...home to artists, writers, healers...fishermen, sailors, dreamers. We arrive by land, by sky, and by sea, and whether our drift here brings us to stay for the weekend, for a year, or for a lifetime, we are never the same for the experience." With such a poetic promise, it's small wonder that writers continue to surrender to the tantalizing ebb and flow of Key West.
Paradise for Writers and Readers
Here's a sampling of literary events and places in town.
- Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition: www.shortstorycompetition.com
- Key West Literary Seminar: www.keywestliteraryseminar.org
- Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum:www.hemingwayhome.com
- The Studios of Key West: www.tskw.org
- The Secret of Salt: An Indigenous Journal: www.thesecretofsalt.com or (305) 296-4763
"A Writer's Town" is from the June 2007 issue of Florida Living: People & Places, a special section for Florida readers of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.