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Letter from the Director — December 2017

Cones on an Ojibwe jingle dress

Cones on an Ojibwe jingle dress

 

 

Dear WWW Members,
Jingle. Jingle.
Jingle does not necessarily indicate Santa or Christmas in Ojibwe. The jingle dancer has origins from a vision and culminated to a healing dance. The metal cones, often made of chewing tobacco lids, attach to the regalia making a jingly sound. Imagine the noise when hundreds of jingle dancers move at once. It is powerful.
December is bibooni-giizis in Ojibwe. Biboon means it is winter. There are over 40 different ways to communicate snow in Ojibwe.

 

 

December Holiday Luncheon

Our festive holiday luncheon had 18 diners who exchanged books at the University Club.

 

 

December Meeting and Readings

Two visitors and 18 members gathered at December’s meeting. The slate of officers was unanimously approved. On Jan. 1, 2018, Diane Cruze will be the director, Kim Esteran the secretary, and Susan Bauer the treasure. Welcome and thank them for their service, and support them by being ready to volunteer. Our authors’ quality continues to delight. Readers shared a variety of topics.

 

Holly Hinson – Untitled
Diane CruzeWe Are Their Humans
Kim SneadNew Blood
Kim EsteranThe Teddy Bear
Jenn FranklinThe Forest of Diamonds
Polly MoterThe Stories I Could Tell
Janet FingerYoung Man at Nineteen
Selene PhillipsAh, Those Women Who Write

 

Upcoming Events

Winter Rites
Kim Crum hosts the first 2018 Winter Rite on Fri., Jan. 19, 9 – 11 a.m., 1448 St. James Court, Louisville. RSVP at kimberly.g.crum@gmail.com. Selene Phillips hosts one on Wed., Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 5730 Moser Knob Rd., Floyds Knobs, Ind. RSVP at selene.phillips@louisville.edu. Contact a board member to host a Rites.

 

Readings & Respite
The first Readings and Respite will be on Mon., Feb. 19, 2018. This café version of our November Bards Town event will be at Fante’s Coffee, 2501 Grinstead Drive, 40206, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Fante’s menu includes soup, salads, sandwiches, coffee, tea, wine, and beer. Invite your friends. Sign up to read at selene.phillips@louisville.edu. Fante’s is one of our conference sponsors.

 

12th Annual Kentucky Women Book Festival
Save Sat., March 3, 2018, for a full slate of author presentations, book signings, and opportunities to mingle with fellow book lovers. WWW helps sponsor the Festival at UofL’s Ekstrom Library. See https://louisville.edu/womenscenter/our-programs/kwbf.

 

WWW Seventh Annual Spring Rejuvenation Conference
Mark your calendars for Sat., March 24, 2018, for our Spring Rejuvenation Conference. The theme “How Do I Get My Words Out to the World” highlights keynote speaker George Ella Lyon, the 2015-16 Kentucky poet laureate. More info will come.

 

Louisville Writing Project: Poetry Network
The Louisville Writing Project Poetry Group has invited us to their meetings on the second Saturday of each month. The next gathering hosts poet laureate Frederick Smock on Sat., Jan. 13, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and lunch with Smock from 11 to noon. They will meet at UofL in Education 110.
Sat., Feb. 10, they will have a video conference with our conference keynote speaker George Ella Lyon. Future meetings will be held on March 10, April 14, and May 12. For more information, contact John T. Bensing at johntbensing@gmail.com or Maria J. Reyes at reyesm5215@gmail.com.

 

Book Club
Want to read and discuss books? Our new book club will meet on a regular basis to read a variety of books. E-mail selene.phillips@louisville.edu to participate.

 

 

Member News

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp’s essay was selected for an anthology to be published in partnership with the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop. Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now…Before We Forget is described as “fall-on-the-floor-and-roll-around-in-stitches” funny. See http://humorwriters.org/2017/12/08/40-writers-selected-ebww-humor-anthology/.

Holly Hinson will have a column on a regular basis with Louisville’s Today’s Woman Now. Check it out. http://www.todayswomannow.com.

Darlene Snow’s husband has been diagnosed with cancer. We’re sure she could use your good words.

 

 

Call for Kentucky or North Carolina essay author

Kentucky and North Carolina authors are invited to submit writing for consideration in a collection of personal essays to be printed in the spring of 2018. Selected essays will resonate with themes of “making-do,” “bearing up,” and “overcoming adversity.” Essays should be about the author’s true-life experiences, a family member, or someone the writer knows. Pieces should target 750 words but less than 800. Deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Feb. 17, 2018. See more at http://www.DanielBooneFootsteps.com.

 

 

Annual Report

Member Success & New Programs
Members reported regular publications and success in 2017. Over 25 members were published or honored by their writings from 2016 through 2017. WWW has a steady membership that consistently reads at monthly meetings. Seven new programs were introduced in 2016-17, including a new member celebration, bi-annual meeting speakers, workshops, nine Seasonal Rites, public readings at Bards Town and a café Reading and Respite, and a book club. We changed the bylaws for board continuity and eliminated the long-distance membership, and created a WWW code of ethics. We updated forms, new member packets, and the reading and critique process. We attended the 2016 and 2017 Writer’s Block Festival to promote the organization and sell books. We updated our website and thank the previous board for establishing it as an integral part of our organization.
Conference
We moved the conference to the Purdue Research Foundation, PRF, in New Albany, Ind. The 2017 conference made more money than in 2016, due to the generous donation of the PRF facility and its operation manager Mike Chappell. Members participated in writing activities, workshops, and enjoyed breakfast, lunch, a nature walk, and a wine and cheese reading party.
Membership
We have 54 members, with 18 new 2017 members. Reaching out to Indiana resulted in quite a few members, placing us closer to creating a WWW branch. The organizations could meet on different days, thus increasing potential participation. The membership attendance was 121 for monthly meetings with 27 visitors. The average monthly attendance was 12. We averaged 5.5 readers a month for a total of 33.

 

giga-waabamin minawaa
I have had the privilege and honor of being your director and working with Joan Dubay, Mel Dixon, Terri Lindsey, and Debbie Chartoff. These women have been a blessing. Our organization will be in good hands with Diane Cruze, Kim Esteran, Susan Bauer, and the continued work of Terri and Debbie.
In January of 2016 I wrote, “I look forward to helping members realize their writing dreams. At the end of the two-year term, I will have succeeded if you engaged with writing in a way you haven’t before, wrote something you’ve been meaning to write, submit to a writing contest you’ve never entered before, or thought enough of WWW that you bring a guest or two.” I hope this has been your experience.
As a tribute to all of you, I wrote and read something I would like to share with those of you unable to attend the December meeting.

 

Those Women Who Write
To the Women Who Write
by Selene Phillips
December 7, 2017

Ah, those women who write.
They crack me up
Talking to their mirrors
critiquing their make up
creating tears.

Words and symbols.
Tis’ not standard procedure.
What we choose to feature.
It’s a 29 below effort.
It’s saying yes
to plains and grasses and winds and cones.

They write about every little and big thing.
From living Olmsted to the Spanish Civil War.
From a walk in the park, to a hill far away and cheating the Black Sea.
Over bridges and other unmarked territory.
From the coolest possessed grandmother saga, to grandpa’s hands.
From concrete Mary, to Mary’s emergency.

They write about people.
Anti-warriors.
Hunters and those who leave marks.
Runaways, prodigal sons, and the homeless.
Young Samson and elder Byron.
Muriel who’s gone, and the not really there Marvin the Mirror.
Aunt Polly’s and Will Gray.
Budger the hero.
Amanda and Moniakwe.

They take on cell phones.
They voice what is silent.
From being between, to being stuck in the middle.
From being lost, to treasure found.
From cleaning house, to limbo.
From real and unreal, to magic and realms.
Waiting rooms, and a really good spot,
for a bus stop.

Their possessions ephemeral.
Of
morning runs,
coffee’s aroma and pumpkin pie,
tomato envy,
a forest of diamonds,
spiders,
hard chairs,
fire and ice,
and
views.

From songs and drumming
to
lonely,
pretty,
grace,
exposed,
walled in,
and
a soul eclipse.

From the start of novels, to preparing to die.
From being ten, to finding joy at the state fair.
From writing prompts and reading out loud, to pieces untitled.
From Mel’s first reading, to giving trees toes.

Their seasons sing
of crisp autumn leaves,
eleven petals,
flower thief confessions,
grading papers, and flying lessons.

Ah, those women who write.
They show me things,
With magic mirrors.
Taking to pen without fear.
Share, care, and dare,
With feminine flair.
Spreading beauty everywhere.
Ah, those women who write.

As we end 2017, I’d like to repeat my toast at the November Bards Town event.

 

Raise your glass to yourself, to your fellow women writers, to the guests who came to support us, to our organization and the good women, the WWW board who have led us the past two years… Joan Dubay, Terri Lindsey, Debbie Chartoff, and Mel Dixon. Here’s to the outgoing Joan, Mel, and myself. Here’s to the 2018-17 slate of officers, Diane Cruze, Kim Esteran, and Sue Bauer. May you enjoy each other’s company as much as the current board. May the WWW members support your efforts. Here’s to the fact that we live where we may write what we want, and pray for women everywhere, especially those who are oppressed and unable to read or write. Here’s to empowering all women. Finally, from my heart to yours, giga-waabamin minawaa, which is Ojibwe for see you later. And miigwetch, which is thank you for a good two years!

 

Ojibwe have no words for good-bye. It’s just giga-waabamin minawaa, or see you later.
Happy holiday writing days to you and good will to all.
Mino-oshki-biboon! (Happy new year!)

Selene Phillips
Director, Women Who Write

A place, a space, a voice

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Monthly meetings are the second Tuesday of each month, from 6:30-8pm, on Zoom. Our next meeting is Tuesday, April 13.