Arlo Haskell is an award-winning writer, historian, literary organizer, and publisher. Much of his work focuses on the literary and social histories of Key West, Florida.
He is the author of The Jews of Key West: Smugglers, Cigar Makers, and Revolutionaries (1823-1969), which received the 2017 Florida Book Award (Philip and Dana Zimmerman Prize for Florida Nonfiction). Drawing on years of independent research, this is the first book to chronicle the development of South Florida’s oldest Jewish community and the first major contribution to the history of Key West since the emergence of important documents from digitization projects around the country. Admirers of The Jews of Key West include Bancroft Prize-winning historian Robert D. Richardson, who praises the book’s “fascinating and vivid detail”; and literary critic Phyllis Rose, who admires Haskell’s “dazzling breadth of vision.”
In 2015, C-SPAN’s Book-TV featured Haskell and his research for The Jews of Key West during their American Cities Tour. His other film and television credits include appearances in the Elizabeth Bishop feature documentary Welcome to this House (Barbara Hammer, 2015) and the short documentary Key West: Bohemia in the Tropics (Timothy Long, 2010), which continues to air on PBS stations nationwide.
As executive director of the Key West Literary Seminar, Haskell is responsible for the vision and programming of one of the country’s preeminent literary conferences. He has interviewed bestselling writers including George Saunders, Thomas McGuane, and Richard Russo onstage and made appearances at national venues including the 92nd Street Y, the Sun Valley Writers Conference, and the Miami Book Fair. In print, his interviews and book reviews have been published by the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Miami Rail, and the website of the Academy of American Poets, and he has been featured on popular podcast series including the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry off the Shelf.
Haskell is also the author of the poetry collections Fool Proof (2003) and Joker (2009). He has edited critically acclaimed editions of poetry and literature in translation, including The Last Books of Héctor Viel Temperley (translated by Stuart Krimko and named a BOMB magazine “Editor’s Choice” for 2011). He published Harry Mathews’s poetry collection, The New Tourism (selected as a Times Literary Supplement “Book of the Year” in 2010), and is the editor of Mathews’s posthumous Collected Poems: 1956-2016 (forthcoming, 2018).
Born and raised in the Florida Keys, Haskell continues to live in Key West with his wife, Ashley, and their daughters, Aviva and Zadie.