Winter with the Writers is part of a long tradition of literary excellence at Rollins College, first in the continuing tradition of supporting living authors and also as a direct descendent of the Animated Magazine, established by Hamilton Holt, the eighth president of Rollins College.
The Animated Magazine presented an eclectic program of speakers during high winter before an audience of subscribers that often numbered in the thousands.
Over a span of forty years, statesmen, political and sports figures, actors, and notable writers read their pieces or spoke—Greer Garson, Bob Feller, James Cagney, Omar Bradley, J. Edgar Hoover, Fannie Hurst, Henry Luce, Henry Morganthal, Claude Pepper, Mary Pickford, Mohammed Ali, among others.
The collection of her letters of correspondence with many important poets of the early 20th century can be found in the Olin Library archives, including her correspondence with Eliot, Pound, Hart Crane, Robert Frost, Elinor Wylie, Amy Lowell, E.A Robinson, and Allen Tate.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings attended the Animated Magazine in 1934, 1937, 1938, 1941 and 1945. Photo in 1938
Other featured writers in the Animated Magazine series included Ogden Nash, John Erskine, Allen Drury, and Carl Sandburg, who first lectured in the Knowles Hall on March 30, 1928, and then returned for the 1940 animated magazine and received an honorary degree from Rollins on February 26, 1940.
Zora Neale Hurston visited Rollins College several times, though not as a part of the Animated Magazine. She gave a Master Class in 1938. Class visit, 1938
Other elements of the literary culture that WWW derives from are material—like the collection of Walt Whitman papers in Olin Library that includes a manuscript page of “Democracy” and a hand-written note—and some are abstract, particularly the enduring belief in popular eloquence.