Back to Havana at a momentous time

November 26, 2016 § Leave a comment

fidelThis morning we have the news that Fidel Castro has passed out of this world. Whatever you think of his policies there can be no question that he was one of the most colorful and important world-historical figures of the 20th century. I’m heading to Havana in a few days, traveling with a small group put together by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. One of the things I’ll be doing is giving an illustrated lecture about the history of the Cuban Revolution. I’m sure we’ll be talking quite a lot about Fidel, both with among my fellow travelers and with Cubans. It will be a very interesting time to be there.

img_9704Historical moment aside, I’m extremely happy to be heading back to the island of Cuba. It’s been several months, and it will be great to check in with old friends, breathe the tropical air, reconnect with the familiar sights and smells and sounds. And yes, it will be be a welcome relief to make a quick escape from social media and the constant reminders of our new electoral reality. In this context, nine packed and fascinating days away sound pretty good. We’ll be in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad, with highlights including Hemingway’s house at Finca Vigía, world-class traditional music everywhere but especially on the steps in the main square of Trinidad, a few special paladares, and visits to certain unspoiled regions on and near the southern coast.

img_7832Particularly looking forward to visiting the old sugar central of Soledad (near Cienfuegos), the site of some fascinating research I’ve been doing on Edwin Atkins, a Bostonian sugar planter who was the largest foreign property owner during the war of 1895-98 and an influential adviser to both the Cleveland and the McKinley administrations. Atkins’ old mansion still stands, and I’ve played a small role in the process of a local initiative to restore and conserve the house and to create a new museum.

If you’re looking for ways to get to Cuba yourself during what may prove to be the short-lived window of the recent relaxation of U.S.-Cuba relations, don’t hesitate to send me a note. Happy to share my experience and reach out to essential contacts, or at least point you in the right direction. ¡Viva Cuba!

 

National Geographic Student Expeditions in Cuba

July 1, 2016 § 2 Comments

DSC04327Very excited to be participating in the first ever NatGeo student programs to Cuba. I’ll be starting out with the first group toward the end of their program in the province of Santa Clara, a few hours east of the capital, and then joining the second group for the beginning of their program in Havana. Traveling to Cuba, by now, feels something akin to going home for me. It’s been a few months, so I’m looking forward to checking in on the evolving situation!

IMG_8931I’m also excited to be traveling with student groups, because leading student groups is how I spent most of my early career in educational travel. I relish the sense of adventure that usually arises within such groups—and in my experience NatGeo students are an exceptionally positive, creative, and intellectually curious bunch. It will be hot this time of year, but that’s nothing to worry about, as we’ll be on an island surrounded by crystalline blue water!

Cuba Writers Program!

May 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

IMG_8878Very excited to be heading down to Havana for the first annual Cuba Writers Program, which I’m launching in partnership with two astoundingly talented writing colleagues, Alden Jones and Ann Hood. If you’re feeling a bit of “FOMO,” never fear! We’ll be offering it again next year.

IMG_8934And if you want to explore the idea of setting up your own trip to Cuba, either independently or in a preexisting program, don’t hesitate to send me a note. I’m happy to point you in the right direction and/or help you to make the soup-to-nuts arrangements. There’s never been a better time to go to Cuba!

New: Customized Independent Trips to Cuba

March 22, 2016 § Leave a comment

CURRENTLY BOOKING TRIPS FOR WINTER ’21 AND BEYOND  – Hey everybody, recent changes in US law now make it possible for individuals to travel to Cuba without signing on with a tour group. This is an exciting development because it can now be done more affordably than ever, at your own pace, and according to your own interests. You DO need to make arrangements in advance, however—and in order to avoid falling into the well-grooved touristic route it’s a very good idea to seek expert advice. And, well, that’s where I come in!

IMG_0277If you’ve been meaning to get to Cuba, but don’t like the idea of being on a tour group and/or don’t want to spend a fortune doing it, click here to read all about letting me help you up a customized independent trip.

New article out on current situation in Cuba

December 28, 2015 § 1 Comment

IMG_7060If you’re wondering what the situation is on the ground in Cuba right now, in the aftermath of the Obama Cuba policy shift, here’s my take, published recently in Cuba Journal. It’s based on frequent first hand observations since 1999, and especially on the four trips I took to the island in 2015.

If anyone is interested in going, by the way, it’s easier than ever to do so legally as a US citizen, though there are still a number of hoops you have to jump through. Send me a note and I can either help you set up a trip or point you in the right direction.

If you’re interested in traveling to Cuba independently or with a small group, read this first. 

Collection is Semifinalist for Subito Press Book Prize

November 26, 2015 § 2 Comments

DSC04036Pleased to note that my short fiction collection, “A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing,” was named a semifinalist for the 2015 Subito Press Book Prize. So far, earlier versions of the same book have also been shortlisted for the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project, the Autumn House Fiction Prize, and the Lewis-Clark Press Discovery Award. Stories within the collection have won a Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award and the Grand Prize of Outrider Press’s The Mountain anthology, and have been shortlisted for many awards including the Lightship Publishing International Literature Prize, the Glimmer Train Short Story Award, The Richard Yates Short Story Award, and others.

It’s been a long road for these stories, all of which  have appeared previously in literary magazines and/or anthologies, but a final home may be in sight. Stay tuned for more exciting news about the collection . . .

Hemingway talk at the Brattleboro Museum

August 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

Thrilled to be giving this talk at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, next Thursday, September 3, at 7pm. If you’re in the neighborhood, I’d love to see you there!

Ernest_Hemingway_and_Others_with_Marlin_July,_1934_-_NARA_-_192675The Expatriate Novelist: Hemingway in Spain and Cuba

“Drawing upon his extensive experience in Spain and Cuba, novelist and travel guide Tim Weed gives a vividly illustrated talk on author Ernest Hemingway’s life in the two countries he loved most, with particular reference to the influence of place and culture on Hemingway’s fiction. This talk will be of interest to writers, travelers, Hemingway readers, and anyone interested in learning more about BMAC’s upcoming ARTravel programs in Spain and Cuba. Admission is free.”

Vermont Humanities Council Speakers Bureau

June 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

After a somewhat harrowing audition process, I’m pleased to report that I’ve been invited to join the Vermont Humanities Council Speaker’s Bureau! Here’s the title and description of my talk:

IMG_0366A Playground for Empire: Historical Perspectives on Cuba and the U.S.A. Spain lost Cuba in 1898, after nearly 400 years of colonial rule. The Cuban Revolution of 1959 is one of the great underdog stories in modern history, in which a tiny band of young rebels prevailed against all odds and despite the ambivalence of the world superpower only ninety miles to the north. This nationalist Revolution quickly fell under the sway of another world empire, the USSR, and Cuba’s previously close ties with the U.S. were abruptly severed. This visually rich lecture by a long-time observer of the island will highlight recent changes in light of Cuba’s long struggle for sovereignty.

If you belong to any nonprofit organization or municipality in Vermont, you can book this talk through the VHC. Link here for instructions, which should be updated with VHC’s new catalog soon. If you’re interested in booking talks on a different subject, please feel free to contact me directly.

New Cuba travel article out

March 15, 2015 § 3 Comments

630x355A new article about the changes on the ground in Cuba, based on observations made during my recent National Geographic Expeditions trip to the island, is up at TravelPulse. Take a look.

Short fiction out in three new anthologies

October 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Excited and honored to be included in all three of these newly released anthologies! If you like to support emerging writers and are interested in new directions in quality short fiction, you can order any of these by clicking on the links. Enjoy!

1981749_10152076755785665_9026521051802965047_n“The Money Pill.” An American tour guide living in Cuba discovers hidden powers and comes to understand the costs of putting them to use. Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet. Press 53. 

Basic RGB“Six Feet Under the Prairie.” A college kid takes a summer job on an electrical construction crew as Denver’s sprawl encroaches. Manifest West. Western Press Books /University of Colorado Press.

IMG_2910“Tower Eight.” A pair of teenage misfits experiment with LSD and put themselves into dangerous situations in rural New Hampshire, establishing a tight friendship as they hurtle toward a tragic end. Grand Prize Winner, The Mountain. Outrider Press. (Order directly from Outrider Press by emailing outriderpress@sbcglobal.net)

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Cuba category at Tim Weed.