Since 1990, focusing on the Michigan influence in Ernest Hemingway's work, especially the Nick Adams Stories. Annual Hemingway Weekend in Petoskey features speakers, readings, exhibits, and tours
of northern Michigan sites where the
Nobel Prize-winning author
spent his boyhood years.

Dates for 2009 weekend: Oct. 16-18th
at the Odawa Hotel in Petoskey
Theme: Hemingway and Art

Print and mail registration form


Valerie Hemingway to keynote at fall 2008 weekend
She has a remarkable tale to tell: starting her life in an Irish orphanage, beginning her career as a journalist, and traveling to Spain at age 19 where she met Ernest Hemingway and began a friendship that would last until his death.

Valerie Hemingway’s book, Running with the Bulls - My Years with the Hemingways, tells how she was taken under the great author’s wing, employed as his secretary, and five years after his death was married to his youngest son, Gregory.

Valerie has made a number of appearances in Michigan this year for the Great Michigan Read, a program of history and literature built for its initial year around The Nick Adams Stories. Several MHS members heard Valerie speak during her tour, and were fascinated by her story of her relationship with Ernest that began in 1959 and included his years and his work in Cuba.

"There are not very many people left that can give us a firsthand view of Hemingway. She was very young when she knew him and her relationship was very important to him, and I think she told her story with dignity and insight," said Sandra Spanier. Spanier, a previous speaker at a Petoskey Hemingway Weekend, is the editor of a pending volume of Hemingway’s letters. She said Valerie Hemingway's book is a valuable contribution to the canon of information about the writer.

  • Paul Hendrickson, author of a work in progress about Hemingway’s boat, the Pilar, is also a featured speaker at this year’s conference. Hendrickson said he will talk about a flashback in his book that deals with “some ‘watery antecedents’ in Oak Park, specifically the Des Plaines River, where he took canoe trips. “ Hendrickson‘s talk will cover some of Hemingway’s life up in Michigan as well as “all the boats and streams and Sears,Roebuck fishing gear that prefigured the life of Pilar.”
  • MHS scholars Jack Jobst, Charlotte Ponder, and Fred Svoboda will discuss three of The Nick Adams Stories in which friendship contributes to the plot lines : “Summer People,” “The Three Day Blow,” and “Light of the World.”
  • Bill Nicholson and Chris Struble of Petoskey will lead tours to Hemingway haunts, where actual ghosts of Hemingway friends are expected to appear and talk about Michigan’s most famous author.
  • To close the weekend, board members/scholars Mike Federspiel and Ken Marek will show photos of some of Hemingway’s Michigan friends and talk about how they were used in Hemingway’s writing.Winners of the second annual writing contest will read their submissions.
  • Bookseller Steve Ruebelman will offer Hemingway-related books and magazines for sale, and share his knowledge and experience about collecting first editions.

This year’s conference returns to the historic downtown Perry Hotel, site of the first Petoskey Hemingway weekend in 1990. Hemingway stayed at the Perry in 1916, according to his diaries. Special rates for conferees (mention Hemingway weekend) are available until August 26. Call 1-800-737-1899; conference registration does not include lodging. Accommodations may also be available at nearby hotels; for information, call 1-800-845-2828 or see

New DVD available: Ernest Hemingway, A Life in Michigan, created by Central Michigan University, Michigan Council for the Humanities, and the Michigan Hemingway Society. Includes Michigan sites of his stories and life, interviews with scholars and family, historical photos. A CMU/WCMU-TV/PBS production. To order, please send $25 (includes shipping and handling) to:
Nancy Nicholson - P.O. Box 922 - Petoskey, Michigan 49770
The Great Michigan Read: This program puts a statewide focus on a single literary masterpiece. This year, it's Ernest Hemingway's Nick Adams Stories. Many resources are available to help you explore stories that are some of the author's first published works. Up North with the Hemingways is a traveling exhibit that will visit 28 communities during the Great Michigan Read. See Hemingway family artifacts, letters, unpublished manuscripts, photos.
Coming to northern Michigan? Want to tour historic Hemingway haunts?
MHS offers this guide with suggested readings.
Michigan Hemingway Society is proud to support the Ernest Hemingway collection and endowment
at CMU's Clarke Historical Library.

• Learn about MHS goals
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