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 2010 weekend: Oct. 15-17
Theme: Dining at Hemingway's Table
featuring Valarie Hemingway

2010 Conference Headquarters:

Odawa Hotel


Eighty-five people attended the 20th annual Hemingway weekend in Petoskey, eighteen of them first-timers. The sun shone on visitors from Connecticut to California Oct. 16, 17, and 18, adding its good cheer to an agenda of talks, tours, and renewed friendships.

Conference headquarters was the Odawa Hotel, and conferees reported all A’s on generous buffet meals, comfortable conference facilities, helpful staff, convenient parking, and shuttle service to downtown Petoskey.

A 20th birthday cake was cut on Friday, commemorating the years of Hemingway weekends in Petoskey since the Perry Hotel hosted the first event in 1990. Founders Ken Marek, Fred Svoboda, and Audrey McMullen were recognized for their ongoing contributions to what has become the Michigan Hemingway Society. Nancy Nicholson read a list of some of the conference themes developed over the two decades.

President Mike Federspiel introduced Robert Trogden, Hemingway Society and Foundation Board member, who announced that MHS has been chosen to host the 2012 International Hemingway Conference in the Petoskey area. Dr. Trogdon will be program chair for the event. The conference will take place from Sunday, June 17, through Friday, June 22, 2012, with the possibility of an add-on tour to the Upper Peninsula on Saturday, the 23rd. We are very enthusiastic about this conference and hope to see many of our annual participants at this event. Federspiel also acknowledged MHS members who will be organizing local arrangements and fund raising for the prestigious conference.

Friday’s speaker was Ken Marek, who had planned to share the podium with artist Jerry Gates. Gates was unable to attend due to last minute health issues, so Ken filled both sides of the ticket. He set four criteria for someone to be considered an artist, one of which was the ability to invent and imagine. Marek read portions of “Big Two Hearted River” and illustrated where Hemingway’s prose took creative liberty with the facts of the landscape. He then showed slides of fine art selected by Gates, speculating on what Hemingway might have liked or disliked about each. Each conferee was given a note card featuring a reproduction of one of Gates’ paintings.

Saturday afternoon conferees attended a special reception at the Little Traverse History Museum to view the newly expanded Hemingway exhibit that MHS helped fund. Artifacts and new interpretive text help the visitor to a better understanding of Michigan’s influence on Hemingway’s life.

Saturday the audience was treated to presentations by Hemingway family members. John and Judy Sanford spoke about the relationship between Grace Hall Hemingway’s paintings and Ernest’s literary art.

Sean Hemingway told about his efforts to create a “restored edition” of Hemingway’s posthumous A Moveable Feast, to which he added entries based on a typed manuscript with original notations in Hemingway’s own hand. Saturday afternoon Sean was present for a book signing at the McLean & Eakin bookstore, which sold out of his books early. Sean then autographed book plates which will be placed in books ordered online (www.

Keynote speaker Colette Hemingway, author of in his time: Ernest Hemingway’s Collection of Paintings and the Artists He Knew, showed slides of the artwork acquired by Hemingway and discussed its importance in his own creative process. During her presentation, she said Hemingway believed that painters were essential in learning how to see, hear, think and write. She said Hemingway learned to write landscapes by studying Cézanne, who “broke things down into swatches of pure color that together give a true feeling for his subjects.” Hemingway acquired much of his collection from contemporaries and friends, as Gertrude Stein recommended. His writing and their art alike reflected how work by the “lost generation” sought to reach beyond traditional means of expression.

Patricia Innes, who holds her master’s degree in fine arts, judged the entries in MHS’s first photography contest which was on exhibition Sunday morning. Nearly 30 photos were entered, evoking the spirit of Hemingway’s art. First prize went to first time conferee Harry Gordon of California for his portrait of Gregorio Fuentes. Second and third prizes went to Audrey McMullen and Cecil Ponder. Innes then told about her 15 years’ work on the Michigan Legacy Art Park at Crystal Mountain, which focuses on Michigan arts and culture and has a strong Hemingway representation.


This year’s conference will once again be held at the The Odawa Hotel, located on Route 131 South. The conference will be from Friday, Oct 15, 2010 to Sunday, Oct 17, 2010.

The Odawa is holding a block of 33 rooms and 4 suites from Thursday October 14 to Monday October 18 so you may come early or stay late to enjoy Hemingway country. All rooms are non smoking.

The rates for the rooms are Sunday thru Thursday $68, Friday and Saturday $77. The rates for the suites are Sunday thru Thursday $98, Friday and Saturday $107. These rates are based on single/double occupancy with a $15 charge for additional adults.

The Odawa will hold these rooms until September 15, 2010, one month before the conference begins.

To book your room now, call 1-877-442-6464 and ask for the Michigan Hemingway Society special conference rate. Accommodations may also be available at nearby hotels; for information, call 1-800-845-2828 or see

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
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
Join MHS
Contact MHS

Copyright © 2010. Michigan Hemingway Society. All rights reserved.