Michigan Hemingway Society

Fall, 2007

Great Michigan Read premieres at MHS Annual Hemingway Weekend

The Nick Adams Stories are considered by many scholars to be some of Ernest Hemingway’s best writing, a masterpiece literally made in Michigan. Hemingway spent the marjoity of his first 22 summers in northern Michigan. The experiences he had here played an essential role in his development as one of the world’s most significant writers.

The importance of Michigan to Hemingway originally led to the creation of the Michigan Hemingway Society nearly 20 years ago. This year, the Michigan Humanities Council chose the Nick Adams Stories as the focus of its statewide program to encourage reading of great literature.

With its cumulative expertise in the Hemingway-Michigan connection, MHS was a natural to help outline activities and resources for the year-long endeavor. With our partner, CMU’s Clarke Historical Library, MHS was privileged to cooperate with the Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs to produce a printed tour of Hemingway sites, a reader’s guide, a film entitled Hemingway: A Life in Michigan, and an exhibit of Hemingway artifacts entitled Up North with the Hemingways. After its July premiere at Crooked Tree Arts Council in Petoskey, the exhibit is traveling to 28 Michigan communities.

More than 100 Michigan communities have planned events to coincide with the Great Michigan Read, from film festivals to lecture and discussion series. Many of MHS’ board members are serving as speakers and resources for these events.
See the brochuer at 2007 Great Michigan Read

This was the view overlooking Little Traverse Bay from the Odawa Hotel the weekend of our 2007 conference in July.

Hemingway writes in the Nick Adams Stories "Ten Little Indians" about walking up the hill above Petoskey and looking back out over the bay.

Website photos courtesy
Art Wagner



Letter added to Clarke Historical Library Hemingway Collection; endowment grows, too

With the help of MHC, the Clarke Historical Library at CMU was able to purchase the letter auctioned by North Central Michigan College. It was written by Ernest Hemingway to his father and discusses his living arrangements in the fall of 1919 when he decided to live in Petoskey and make a serious effort to live as a writer. The letter lists a number of books the young Hemingway was reading, although he unfortunately doesn’t share any opinions about the authors, according to Frank Boles, library director. The Windemere home tour offered by Ernest Mainland to benefit the Michigan Hemingway Endowment, together with other recent pledges, has grown the fund by $10,000 to a present balance of approximately $30,000, Boles reports. “Two traveling exhibits, using two sets of the banners that were first shown at the Hemingway exhibit at Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Art Center this summer, are now making their way around the state, along with copies of the exhibit catalog and the dvd created as part of the exhibit. We are equally pleased with our partnerships with the MHS and the MHC in the Great Michigan Read program,” Boles said.

MHS Members Contribute to Hemingway Letters Project

Jack Jobst, Ken Marek and Fred Svoboda are contributors to the first volume of Hemingway’s collected letters, providing annotations on Michigan places and events from the author’s life. This multi-volume collection to be published by Cambridge University Press will collect the 6,000-7,000 letters that Hemingway is known to have written over his lifetime. Volume 1 of The Cambridge Edition of the Letters of Ernest Hemingway will contain the more than 400 letters that Hemingway wrote through 1925. It currently is being compiled under the general editorship of Sandra Spanier of Pennsylvania State University, with the first volume edited by Robert Trogdon of Kent State University. It should appear late in 2008. For detailed information on the project, consult

2008 Hemingway Weekend
booked at Perry Hotel Oct. 24-26

Fall is fast approaching and our thoughts usually would turn towards northern Michigan and all that is Hemingway. Except this year we’ll have to be content thinking of 2008’s festivities. After two years away from our traditional conference headquarters, the Michigan Hemingway Society’s Oct. 24-26th ’08 weekend will return to the Perry Hotel. The theme is Hemingway and Friends. As always, our advice is to mark your calendars now and plan to bring your own suntan lotion and/or long underwear.


International conference headed for Kansas City June 9-15, 2008
The Hemingway Society and Foundation, also known as the International, will host its 13th biennial conference in Kansas City, Missouri, in June of 2008. A must for journalists and Hemingway biographers, the conference will feature a tour of The Kansas City Star, the paper that launched the teenaged Ernest Hemingway on his writing career. Numerous other activities which relate to Hemingway’s time in Kansas City are planned. One of these is a visit to the new World War I museum which should be of particular interest to historians and Hemingway biographers. A new feature of the 2008 conference will be the participation of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winners and finalists. Among those award recipients who have already accepted the invitation is the 2007 winner, Ben Fountain. Because the Hemingway Society and Foundation sponsors the prestigious annual award for the best first book of fiction, an evening reading and fund raising dinner will be part of the program. Full conference information and call for papers is available at

Hemingway items on auction block

On November 29, 2007 Swan Galleries in New York is placing several unique Hemingway items on the auction block. Among these is a proof of For Whom the Bell Tolls. The volume, which is dedicated to Ernest’s friend Toby Bruce and which comes from Bruce’s estate, is expected to sell for somewhere between $75,000 and $125,000. Also to be sold is a little known edition of Men Without Women, but no identifying information was given for that volume.


In order to coincide with the grand opening of the exhibit Up North with the Hemingways at the Crooked Tree Arts Center, this year's annual meeting and conference were held in July with headquarters at the Odawa Hotel in Petoskey. While Bill and Nancy Nicholson (pictured at right) skillfully handled registration in the hotel lobby on Friday, new members gathered informally with "old pro" members for refreshments and a get-acquainted session in the hotel lounge.

The reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibit was held at CTAC with guests from our membership, the Petoskey arts community, Central Michigan University, and the Michigan Humanities Council. Following the private preview of the exhibit, the gathering adjourned to the arts center theatre to receive a welcome from president Mike Federspiel and greetings from Judy Rapanos, Chair of the MHC. Next came the premier showing of the DVD “Hemingway: a life in Michigan.” The film, a longtime dream of our organization, was produced by WCMU-TV with funding from the Michigan Humanities Council, WCMU, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters, and MHS. It will be provided to every school district in Michigan in conjunction with the Michigan Reads project. Each conference participant received a copy as part of his registration packet. The quality and content of this production are outstanding, and board members Jack Jobst, Mike Federspiel, Ken Marek, Jim Sanford, and Fred Svoboda appear in it as commentators. Fred offered the audience further insights into Hemingway and Nick Adams following the DVD screening. (Pictured at the reception are Maddy Wagner, Christine Ney, Jan Byrne and Carole Underwood.)

Bus tours of Hemingway-related sites were offered on Saturday morning, hosted by board members Chris Struble and Bill Nicholson. Other board members led story discussions of “Big Two-Hearted River,” “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife,” and “Fathers and Sons” at the Petoskey Public Library. (Pictured is Bill Nicholson conducting his tour while being filmed by CMU's video crew for the Great Michigan Read documentary, "Hemingway: A Life in Michigan.")

Saturday’s banquet at the Odawa Hotel was capped by Mike Federspiel’s presentation “The Rest of the Story (Grace’s Photo Albums)”. He showed slides of photos donated by The Sanford family to the Clarke Historical Library’s Hemingway Collection.

On Sunday morning, we heard a brilliant and moving paper by Jim Sanford on life at Walloon Lake, illustrated by more historical family photos. Also on Sunday, three writers were recognized for the entries in the just-for-fun Hemingway vignettes writing activity. MHS board member Susan Lightcap and Diane Fox judged the entries. (Susan is pictured with two of the winners, Matthew Smith and Joe Meany)

Kudos to Marian Sanford and Nancy Nicholson who "never let us see them sweat" as they coordinated weekend events

MHS ranks grow with new -- and renewing -- members

For a copy of our 2004 revised By-Laws, click Here
Our membership continues to grow. We had 64 participants for the full weekend conference this year, among them 11 first-timers! If you came to our 2007 conference this July, your membership for 2008 was a part of your fee. If you could not attend…then the time to renew is now, before the end of this year. We are considering an increase in dues and perhaps different levels of support, but we haven’t worked out the details yet. We’ll keep you informed. Dues are still a bargain at $10 for 2008 if you renew now. Join now with this easy print-out form.