Key West Literary Seminar: Real Portraits, Invented Biographies

Jan 17, 2013

All this week, we're bringing you stories from the Key West Literary Seminar which runs through this weekend. Shayne Benowitz originally posted this piece on the KWLS blog.

During the first session of the 31st Annual Key West Literary Seminar, we had a little fun online with portrait photographer Curt Richter. Each morning, we tweeted out a new picture and asked you to write a 140-character invented biography inspired by the photograph. Here’s what you came up with. The entry in bold is our favorite for each photograph.


  @KeyWestAuthor: Found wandering abandoned and naked in an Amazon jungle at age 12, Louis Mfume attended Harvard and is now a K Street lobbyist.

@NSUShark: Professional storyteller, artist Antonio LaFitte noted for carribbean travels. Resides with wife, daugher, parrot in New Orleans.

@TooMuchMe: Lost my Foot Locker job, and then tried to make a button-up suit out of my former uniform

@JollyBenson: Before, I was a respected physicist, the best in my field. Now I am a cab driver, but can afford to feed my family. I am happy.

@KT_Anna: ”…He was also a staunch supporter of the ‘horizontal stripes with pockets’ shirt movement.”

@ShayneBenowitz: Jafar Abduljabar was many things, a high end pajama designer, a jazz saxophonist, & a lover of many women.


  @KeyWestAuthor: Emily was born shy. As she grew, she continued to withdraw into herself. Then into the wallpaper. Finally she disappeared.

@BCSTAR80: Born into an insular Quaker family, she was raised without words, but expression, replied to the simplest query with a twitch.


  @KeyWestAuthor: She could be a tempress, she could be a tramp. But Kaneesha was happiest in her role as a librarian. Or so she said.

Join us during the second session of the Literary Seminar January 17-21 as we continue with the invented biography fun using hashtag #WoWbio. We’ll tweet a new photo by Curt Richter on Friday at 10:00 a.m. Stay tuned for updates.

The Key West Literary Seminar runs through Sunday. You can find a schedule of events at the KWLS website.