MSUB Announces 2018 Writer-in-Residence Valerie Hemingway

MSU Billings is pleased to announce that Valerie Hemingway, daughter-in-law and former assistant to Ernest Hemingway, is the 2018 Writer-in-Residence. She will be teaching the course titled “Hemingway’s World,” which will explore literature, life, and the times of Ernest Hemingway.

The “Hemingway’s World” course begins Jan. 23, 2018 and will be held on Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for 15 weeks. It is open to all MSU Billings students for credit. Additionally, faculty, staff, and community members may audit the course for $15, on a space available basis.

Ms. Hemingway was actually the first writer-in-residence at MSUB back in 2012 and is returning as the seventh writer-in-residence. Previous writers include Tim Cahill, Gary Ferguson, Craig Lancaster, and Virginia Sprague.

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Valerie went to Spain at the age of 18 to work as a journalist with the intention of gaining experience to be hired by the Irish Times. During her visit, she interviewed Ernest Hemingway who presented her a job offer. She worked for two years as his assistant, and became his protégé.

Valerie met Gregory, one of Ernest’s sons, at Ernest’s funeral, and they married in 1966. This relationship further solidified Valerie’s interest in Ernest Hemingway and the connection to him.

In 1980, Gregory and Valerie Hemingway moved to Montana. At that time, she was unemployable because she was not a citizen of the U.S. nor did she have a degree. However, with the advent of the internet she earned a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University in Modern Language with minors in Spanish and English Literature. Ms. Hemingway still resides in Bozeman, Mont.

Interest in Ernest Hemingway as an author led to many biographies, books, and articles. Ms. Hemingway went on to write a memoir as well, published in 2004. The book, titled “Running with the Bulls - My Years with the Hemingways” centers around her time with the author.

Ms. Hemingway is currently serving as a consulting editor on a 17-volume, “Complete Letters of Ernest Hemingway,” which will be published by Cambridge University Press. Volume four of the series was published in October 2017.

“This is a rare opportunity to get to study with someone who knew Ernest Hemingway’s life and literature personally, edited his papers, had access to him, and understands how it applies today,” shared David Craig, MSU Billings Director of University Honors Program.

Ms. Hemingway provides great insights into many of Ernest’s perspectives including masculinity, war, and education. An interesting fact she shared is that Ernest believed that “A Farewell to Arms” was his best book.

“Ernest wrote about the essence of things; views and behaviors change but essence doesn’t,” Ms. Hemingway shared. “He tapped from the source and somehow he is always in vogue.”

For more information about the writer-in-residence contact David Craig, Director of University Honors Program at 657-2908, david.craig2@msubillings.edu.

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