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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/AP) – Readers and writers from all over are gathered in Key West, exploring literature’s relationship to the inexplicable during this year’s Key West Literary Seminar.

The 33rd annual seminar, a sold-out event themed “How the Light Gets In: Literature of the Spirit,” began Thursday night with an address by Pico Iyer, author of “The Open Road” about his 30 years of conversations with the Dalai Lama.

During the four-day event, readers and writers explore a specific, unique literary theme.

More than 450 registrants are gathered in the Conch Republic for readings, lectures and panel discussions by writers including Marilynne Robinson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Gilead”; Barry Lopez, who earned a National Book Award for “Arctic Dreams”; and poet Marilyn Nelson, recipient of Newbery and Coretta Scott King honors.

The seminar concludes Sunday afternoon with a free public program of readings and commentary by featured presenters.

The next seminar, which will take place January 7-10 of 2016, is called “SHORTS: Stories, Essays, and Other Briefs. Panelists will include Hilton Als, Ann Beattie, Billy Collins, Junot Díaz, Deborah Eisenberg, Gish Jen, Thomas McGuane, Karen Russell, Brad Watson, Joy Williams, and more.

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