Branch News

(See more news: NLAPW National Level News and News from Pen Women.)


Pen Women Connect in a Statewide Florida Event

Members of the National League of American Pen Women in Florida will come together for the extraordinary FSA/NLAPW 2017 Conference November 10-12, 2017.

Florida Pen Women will explore ways to enhance branch effectiveness and the personal goals of each member.

Only current (dues paid) Florida Pen Women – members of Florida Branches and Members-at-Large living in Florida – may participate in the conference boutique and enter in the many competitions for awards: in Art, Letters and Music, and specialty awards, including Pen Woman of the Year Award and Individual Achievement Award.

FSA/NLAPW 2017 Conference November 10-12, 2017 at Daytona Beach, Florida

All the details:
FLORIDA 2017 Conf contests-boutique
FLORIDA Room-meals-registration form

 


In The Pen Woman, Summer 2017:

Cape Canaveral Awards Writing Scholarship

At a luncheon meeting on May 13, the Cape Canaveral Branch awarded its 2017 Writing Scholarship to Taylor Martin, a Viera High School senior.

Scholarship Chair Wanda Luthman presents scholarship award to Taylor Martin.

The 21 members present enjoyed hearing Taylor read an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, as proud parents Carrie and Scott Martin looked on.

Carol Jose, Joan Herrick, and Joan Gerlach chat before lunch.

Hosted at the Indian River Colony Club in Melbourne, the luncheon gave an opportunity for branch members not only to recognize the scholarship recipient, but also to socialize one last time before their summer break.

Photos by Mary Dall

Treasurer Mia Crews welcomes hostess Anna Flowers, guest Annette Clifford, President Marion Coste, Pam Webb, and Luanne Faulkender.

 


Palm Springs Members Participate in Book Expo

By Carol Mann

Palm Springs Branch authors, left to right: Joanne Hardy, Paula Trimble-Familetti, Carol Mann, Judith Fabris, and D. Marie Fitzgerald.

Five Pen Women writers from the Palm Springs Branch took part in the annual Desert Writers Expo Book Festival at the Rancho Mirage Library in Rancho Mirage, California, in March. The event, sponsored by the library and the Palm Springs Writers Guild, hosted 40 authors. Genres ran the gamut, as highlighted by the books created by these Pen Women.

Joanne Hardy’s novel, “The Girl in the Butternut Dress,” tells the story of Gabrielle Pryor as she faces chaos and violence when her familiar neighborhood comes apart in divided loyalties on the eve of the Civil War.
“Prostitutes, Virgins and Mothers: Questioning Teachings About Biblical Women,” a nonfiction book by Paula Trimble-Familetti, gives women the voice they have been denied to shatter traditional interpretations of their stories.

A collection of original poetry and art by author Carol Mann and local artist Lynn Centeno, “All Ways A Woman” celebrates and honors a woman’s journey — her thoughts, her loves, her many roles in life, her dreams and desires.

“Sargent’s Lady,” a novel by Judith Fabris, is a broad, sweeping story of women’s friendships, tragic love, lost children, and the incredible portrait that sparks the journey in the opening chapter.
Using the idea of a rerun associated with a television episode that is repeated for viewing pleasure, “Reruns” by D. Marie Fitzgerald draws on episodes from her life, transforming and adapting the episodes into short story, memoir, and poetry.

These Pen Women enjoyed an afternoon rich in books, ideas, sales, and camaraderie.

 


Pensacola Celebrates 75th with Legacy Show

By Karen Morris & Nancy Nesvik

Branch President Mara Viksnins and her painting, “Coming Off the Pedestal”  Photo by Anne Baehr

On one of Pensacola, Florida’s idyllic, sunny winter afternoons this past January, a dozen women assembled at St. John’s Cemetery to make gravestone rubbings as part of an effort to appreciate the talented Pen Women who were Pensacola’s early- to mid-20th century poets, historians, and educators.

Today’s Pensacola Branch will celebrate its 75th birthday in 2018. In their 2016-2017 monthly meetings, members focused attention on their heritage, which they honored with a show (26 participants) at the Wright Place in May called Pen-Sational: Our Pen Women Legacy Continues.

“We were excited to celebrate our 75th anniversary with our show at the Wright Place, which featured art, poetry, and music,” says Mara Viksnins, the branch’s president and driving force behind the historical and artistic project.

Debbie Pearson works on her gravestone rubbing as part of the branch’s project.  Photo by Anne Baehr

Linda Devins created a period-dressed doll, “Owlberta,” for the show. Photo by Anne Baehr

“The many paths taken by Pen Women nationally and locally in the past have added a whole new dimension to our organization,” she says. “They were the pioneers who shaped the roles of women and were instrumental in setting the stage for the future, in times when women were not acknowledged nor respected for their artistic gifts. We find ourselves grateful and more interested than ever in keeping our heritage alive, respecting it, studying it, and  learning from it.”

Pensacola Pen Women

The reception for the show took place on Mother’s Day. It was a poignant connection for Nikki Strahota’s piece, “One Woman’s Journey,” a collage of Pen Women memorabilia honoring her mother, Marie Fortune-Burkhart Blood, an accomplished short-story author and a Pen Woman herself (1918-2004). Linda Devins created a period-dressed doll,

“Owlberta,” for the show. The writing within Mara Viksnins’ painting, “Coming Off the Pedestal,” comes from personal letters written by young girls during the 1920s.

 


Greenwich Honors Oldest Member

By Judy Crystal, PR Chair, Greenwich Branch

Marie Schwartz, the oldest member of the Greenwich Branch, maintains an active interest in the affairs of the group at the impressive age of 97, serving as a mentor and adviser to many of the younger members.

Marie Schwartz (right) with branch President Deb Weir.

Her literary career has been long and impressive. As Marie Smith (her maiden name), she covered the White House, writing a column for the Washington Post for 16 years. During that time, she served as head of the Washington, D.C. Branch of the NLAPW.

Her experiences led to several books about life in the White House and its inhabitants. Her friendship with Lady Bird Johnson was the base of her interest in the Wildflower Center, to which she made a most generous gift.
After her marriage to Arnold Schwartz, Marie was deeply involved in a number of philanthropic projects, ranging from the arts to medicine.
She has served on the boards of many organizations, including the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

An interesting footnote: Four of the 72 Greenwich Pen Women members reside on Dempsey Lane, a short street with only six houses. In addition to its oldest member, the branch’s youngest member and its current president have addresses on the road. A confluence of talent!

 


Boca Raton Branch Hosts Spring Festival

Spring Family Festival prizewinners, left to right, Mary Unterbrink, Pat Wilson, Barb Capeletti, and Rhoda Hollander

As part of the branch’s ongoing outreach program in the community, the Boca Raton Spring Family Festival in March featured a juried art show. Prizes went to: Rhoda Hollander, first place; Barb Capeletti, second place; Pat Wilson, third place; and Mary Unterbrink, honorable mention.

Branch President Sheila Firestone and a young participant in the “Peace Patch Ballet.”

 

 

 

 

The highlight of the festival was Sheila Firestone’s original composition, “Peace Patch Ballet.” One of the young participants from the neighborhood was thrilled to be included.

Poets Vera Ripp Hirschhorn, Carol White, Alexandra Goodwin, and Marlene Klotz presented a workshop at the Parkland City Library.

 


Santa Clara County Awards Four Scholarships

In April, the Santa Clara County Branch honored four talented young women with annual scholarship awards. The quality of the applicants was outstanding and these young women stood out in their field of study with their artistic creativity and academic goals, as well as community service.

Left to right,  branch President Kathryn Tyler, Luanna Leisure, Rachel Hildebrand, Elena Jorgensen, Patricia Dennis, Isabella Baynard, Jeanna Sheen, and Nancy Deussen.

Nancy Bloomer Deussen, music chair and a music composer, presented Jeanna Sheen with the music award for her concert piano performance. Jeanna is a senior from Saratoga High School and is considering attending University of California San Diego, where she will double major in biology and music. The audience had a chance to hear her play a movement from a Mozart piano sonata.

Patricia Dennis, art chair, author, and photographer, presented two awards. The Felicia Pollock Memorial award, donated by Felicia’s husband, Michael Pollock, went to Isabella Baynard, a Los Altos High School senior with a chosen field of fashion design. She has already started her own business and aspires to continue giving back through outreach programs.

The Santa Clara County Branch art award’s recipient was Elena Jorgensen, an Abraham Lincoln High School senior. Elena’s talent with different art media impressed the judging committee. One piece in particular caught the judges’ eye, as it demonstrated the feelings of a young woman starting out on her own. Elena has numerous art pieces on display at different locations and is looking forward to pursuing a graphic arts career in college.

Luanna Leisure, scholarship chair and a published author, gave the letters award to Rachel Hildebrand.  Rachel kept the audience spellbound as she read an excerpt from her story, titled “Power.” Her goal is to become a pediatric oncologist, which entails spending 14 years in undergraduate school, medical school, and residencies. Next year, she will major in cell development and biology.

Membership Chair Susan Zerweck gave a brief message about NLAPW and presented the young ladies with student membership applications to join the Pen Women.

The Santa Clara County Branch is honored to help these young ladies with their educational goals and hopes to see them in the membership ranks soon.

 


Connecticut Pioneer Showcases Art, Letters, Music

Members of the Connecticut Pioneer Branch presented their work in “Spring Colors,” an exhibition hosted at the Gertrude White Gallery of the Greenwich YWCA, from May 1 to June 15. The reception included readings by letters members and performances by music members, along with the presentation of Junior Art Awards to promising creative young women.

Junior Letters Award recipient Phoebe Jacoby

The recipient of the Junior Letters Award was Phoebe Jacoby, who exhibited two of her works. Phoebe is an advance-placement studio art student of Sherry Tamalonis at Greenwich Academy, where her art has been featured in its national award-winning literary magazine, Daedalus. She also has studied art at the Silvermine Art School and at Stamford’s adult education classes under Carol Dixon.

 

Elizabeth Dunn, winner of the Junior Letters Award, is a junior editor of Daedalus. She has published poems in several publications, and has earned national recognition from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program, and will receive its gold medal at Carnegie Hall in June. She read her poem, “Homer, Alexander,” at the reception.

Both winners of the Junior Music Award study music with music co-chair Patti Preiss Harris. A 17-year-old junior at Darien High School, Daphne Gray is a gifted performer of classical piano music. She performed “Reverie” by Debussy.

Caroline Lacy, 18, a senior at Darien High, was accepted into the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University. She sang “Du Ring en Meinem Finger” by Schumann.

Among the area artists exhibiting their art work were Lucie Anderes, Vivian Bergenthal, Carol Dixon, Mary Fike Dowling, Grace Le Vander, Kathryn Shorts, Marcia Penny Preston, and Katia Streiff. Letters members Regina Krummel, Polly Memhard, Elvira Sisca, and Missy Wey read their prose and poetry. Music members  Patti Preiss-Harris and Thalia Cokkinos performed.

The reception and exhibition were open to the public, and a large crowd attended.

 


Scottsdale Supports Community College Student

By Kiki Swanson, Branch President

Scottsdale Branch award honoree Bonnie Lewis, left, with branch President Kiki Swanson.

For eight years, the Scottsdale Branch, Arizona, has awarded a scholarship to an outstanding female Scottsdale Community College student, rotating among arts, letters, and music. The college sponsors the Vortex competition of art, essays, plays, poetry, scripts, short stories, and composition as a tribute to the spiraling energy evident in student creativity. Judges are faculty members, and President Jan Gehler endorses the publication of an anthology of the winning work.

This year, our NLAPW honoree is Bonnie Lewis, and she presented the program at our May meeting. She identified herself by several careers, in addition to being the wife of a physician and mother of three sons.

Our members enjoyed her youthful enthusiasm and the pieces of art she brought to our meeting; we were astounded when she referred to her retirement age as the start of her college painting classes. Her winning painting, titled “Walking to Nowhere,” reflects her mature understanding of the problems of refugees and homelessness, and it appears on the cover of the anthology.

Yes, our members were inspired by Bonnie in her Vortex, her whirlwind of creative energy. We promised each other to renew our commitment as professional women in leadership in arts, letters, and music. We continue to grow by listening to each other and sharing our stories!

 


Diamond State Encourages Young Writers

Every April, the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers announces the national medal recipients of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. The program had been dormant in Delaware until 2011, when Diamond State Branch members JoAnn Balingit, former Delaware poet laureate; and Betsy Greer, visual arts member, worked with the Delaware Division of the Arts to revive the competition in the state.

Kathryn Klebon (center left), Diamond State Branch scholarship recipient, with parents and Pen Woman JoAnn Balingit (center right) at a reception honoring Delaware  Gold Key recipients. U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester delivered the keynote.

This year, the Delaware Writing Region awarded 30 Gold Keys to 28 writers. These Gold Key works are entered in a national competition, juried by nationally known writers.  Fewer than 1 percent of works submitted to national receive a gold medal. Four of the Delaware young writers received this prestigious recognition this year. The gold medalists and their teachers are invited to a recognition event at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

State affiliate organizations like the Diamond State Branch awarded a total of 19,000 “Gold Keys” or first-place awards to participants. Across the country, some 2,500 teen artists and writers received scholastic medals, including about 850 young writers. They walk in the footsteps of program alumni such as Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Joyce Carol Oates, Sylvia Plath, Ken Burns, Stephen King, Luis Jiménez, John Updike, and Lena Dunham.

If your branch would like to learn about sponsoring students in your area and become an affiliate for this wonderful contest, branch members are happy to talk to you!

 


Central New York Members Share Talents at Workshop

The Central New York Branch presented a three-hour workshop, “Writing Creatively,” at Pen Arts Building and Art Museum, in Washington, D.C., in May.

CNY members at the workshop, Mary Gardner, Judith McGinn, Nancy Dafoe, Bobbie Dumas Panek, and Sheila M. Byrnes (National second vice president), with National President Virginia Campbell.

A small but highly engaged group of participants explored writing techniques. Experienced and novice writers were guided by instructor Nancy Avery Dafoe and CNY Branch members Sheila M. Byrnes, Mary Gardner, Judith McGinn, and Bobbie Dumas Panek. The aim of the workshop was to help writers at every level stretch their writers’ muscles and leap into employing less familiar techniques in order to discover.

“Exposing writers to techniques such as catachresis and metonymy or synecdoche and chiasmus causes us to perceive and create in original pen strokes; this exploration often surprises even the most advanced writers,” said Dafoe, an author of six published books and numerous articles and poetry. Dafoe is also the recipient of the William Faulkner/Wisdom 2016 Creative Writing award for poetry.

With the focus on writers, participants enjoyed sharing their explorations in multiple genres with the entire group. Each of the CNY Branch Pen Women read from their own published work and modeled specific techniques, offering comment on how the technique was manifested in the work.

Following a short break after the workshop, the CNY Branch hosted a reading for the public. The afternoon and evening events at Pen Arts were highly successful.

“We would love to do this again,” said Dumas Panek, speaking for the branch members. “It was very meaningful for the participants. You could see their excitement in the learning and sharing processes.”

 


MORE BRANCH NEWS:

Cape Code Branch announces winners of the final Haiku Contest

 

Congratulations to the winers of the recent Haiku contest of the Cape Cod, MA, Branch! This is the 11th and final year the Cape Cod women have sponsored this contest, which raises funds to support youth attending a summer writing course at Cape Cod Writers Center each August. Appreciation to the contest judge, Anna Di Bella, past national president.

 

Third Prize: Marguena Daniels of Philadelphia, PA

shifting winds
sudden squall passes over
shaft of sunlight

Second Prize: Lucia Kiersch Haase of Spring Valley, IL

one robin singing
on the cherry blossom branch
springtime duet

First Prize: Christina Laurie of West Falmouth, MA

hushed marsh
dawn colors the mist
wood thrush song

Student Recognition Award: Kaiden Holt, 8, East Falmouth, MA

Flowers are blooming
Green, white, bright, and beautiful
Springtime is pretty.


Earlier news from NLAPW Branches:

Spring in NorCal! – Modesto, CA branch news

From left to right: Luanna Leisure, NorCal Facebook editor; Kathryn Tyler, Santa Clara County president; Judy Bingman, NorCal vice president; Dorothy Atkins, NorCal president; Nancy Haskett, Modesto president; Jill Adler, “NorCal News” editor; Carolyn Henry, NorCal secretary and Stockton/Lodi president; and Barbara Chamberlain, NorCal treasurer.

On Saturday, April 22nd, the Modesto, CA branch hosted the spring NorCal NLAPW meeting at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock. In addition to a catered luncheon and regular business meeting, attendees were able to view the spring art show at the Carnegie and enjoy a program which featured the winners of our recent NorCal letters contest.

Eight contest winners attended, read their poetry and prose aloud to the audience, and received award certificates. A silent auction was held to raise money for the Shirley Elke fund which supports NorCal NLAPW art, letters, and music competitions.

Aileen Jaffa Winners with Jill Adler, Modesto Branch Vice-President (front row, left) and Gillian Wegener, President of Modesto Stanislaus Poetry Center (back row, far right).

On Sunday, May 21st,  members of our local branch attended a reception for student winners of the Aileen Jaffa poetry contest. This contest, which is co-sponsored by the Modesto branch of NLAPW and the Modesto Stanislaus Poetry Center, is open to all students in grades K-12 who live or go to school in Stanislaus County. The students were invited to read their winning poetry aloud to the audience and received awards and certificates.

Submitted by Nancy Haskett, Modesto Branch President


Central New York Branch Hosts Writing Workshop, Readings at Pen Arts, May 8, 2017

By Rachael Ikins, Central New York Branch

For 90 years, the Central New York Branch members turned “no” into “yes.” Through their arts, they deepened understanding of women’s issues. In celebration of their milestone, they created an illustrated anthology of members’ work, titled “In the Company of Women.”

Cover of “In the Company of Women” anthology

Thanks to National President Virginia Franklin Campbell, the book inspired the idea for a multi-genre workshop at Pen Arts Building and Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

On May 8, CNY Branch member Nancy A. Dafoe — poet, writer, educator, and Faulkner Poetry Contest winner — will lead a workshop titled “Writing Creatively” from 1 to 4 p.m. The workshop will guide participants through a variety of poetic and literary techniques to allow for richer writing and reading experiences. Dafoe will be joined in teaching the workshop by award-winning poets and writers.

Branch member readings will follow from 5 to 7 p.m. They will include Sheila Byrnes’ journey through breast cancer, Bobbie Panek’s warrior poem, Mary Gardner’s forward, Nancy Dafoe’s short fiction, and Janet Fagal’s poem/photo featuring our oldest member. Audience members will be invited to read their own poetry.

Seating is limited for the workshop. Donations (suggested $50) will be accepted at the door and will secure participants a copy of “In The Company of Women.” The evening reading is free.


Success Story

Fort Lauderdale Fundraising Programs Attract New Members

By Tammy Seymour, Fort Lauderdale Branch Art Chair

With at least a half dozen talented artists capable and eager to teach, the Fort Lauderdale Branch members are discovering that passing on their knowledge raises needed revenues and opens the doors to increased membership.

From left: JoAnn Culligan, Lillian Ragland, Marcia Hirschy, Lee Tatem, Tammy Seymour, Mary Harding, and Mary Belle Cordell in the Lost Wax Jewelry Class a few years ago.

Modestly priced workshops — watercolor batik, jewelry making (lost wax process), watercolor pouring, “small” abstracts, papermaking, and rebel doodling — are creating interest throughout the community. The one-day workshops take place at our community art gallery and invitations are emailed to area artists and friends.

Beverly Dameron during the  Abstract Class last year.

Membership information is made available during the workshops and questions like “what are Pen Women” and NLAPW’s history are discussed during the day.

“We often have members bring friends to classes who want to learn a technique, but don’t know anything about us,” said President Phoenix Marks. “It is such a good way to introduce new people to our group where they can learn more about us in a casual environment.”

Workshop attendees are invited to upcoming luncheons. “This way, they get a more formal view of our organization and our talented members and learn about the fundraising goals for our Achievement Fund,” Marks said. “We have been able to provide $3,000 in annual awards to talented young women for the past five years and are adding an average of three to four new members with these programs.”


Central Ohio Honors Ann Hansen, Pen Woman of 60 Years

Ann Hansen holds one of her books. In the foreground is the desk pen set that the Central Ohio Branch gave her.

Few members have celebrated 60 years as a Pen Woman but Ann Natalie Hansen of the Central Ohio Branch has earned those bragging rights. In December, Central Ohio members honored her at their annual December brunch.

Generous contributions by fellow members were sent to the Commemorative Endowment Fund and Ann Hansen was presented with a beautiful, inscribed desk pen set.

Hansen, who became a NLAPW member at age 29, celebrated her 90th birthday on Sept. 15, 2016. She became a member while working at The Columbus Dispatch daily newspaper as a feature writer.  She subsequently had five books published and has a long list of scholarly and literary accomplishments on her resume.

As a Pen Woman, first in the Columbus Branch and now the Central Ohio Branch, Hansen has held almost every office, including first vice president, 1972-74; president, 1976-’78, 1992-’94, and 2000-2002; membership chair, 1983; treasurer, 1984-’86; and historian, 1970-’72. She has received many honors and awards, including the NLAPW Biennial Award for Lyrics in 1976.


Portland Branch Publishes Anthology

By Anne Price Yates

Portland Branch members are celebrating the publication of their anthology, “Jubilee.” Back row: Barbara Peters, Anne Price Yates (anthology editor), Doreen Gandy Wiley (assistant proofreader), Joanne Stevens, Jane McDonald Johnson, and Lani Clark. Front row: Myrna Tambino Perkins, Barbara Affleck, and Linda Varsell Smith.

Thirteen women of the Portland Branch contributed their poems, prose, and artwork to be compiled into what was originally intended to be a chapbook and ultimately became a 104-page anthology.

The image on the cover of “Jubilee” is member Anne Price Yates’ painting, “Summer Reunion.”

They chose the title “Jubilee” to represent a time of rejoicing and festivity and to celebrate their connection with one another — their sisterhood as well as their creativity and appreciation of writing and the arts.

After the collection, compilation, and editing of contributions from branch members, “Jubilee” was published through CreateSpace and became available from amazon.com for $11 just after Christmas.

The cover of “Jubilee” is in color, and the interior pages are black and white.

At a celebratory luncheon the end of January, most of the contributing branch members collected their own copies of the book, which had been preordered and stored for them until the event.


Central New York Marks 90th Birthday with a Year of Events

By Janet Fagal, Branch President

Central New York Branch President Janet Fagal with Sen. John DeFrancisco, one of the recipients of the Friend of the Arts Award. Photo by Herm Card Photography

The Central New York Branch celebrated the 90th anniversary of our Oct. 1, 1926 founding with a show and exhibit at the Onondaga Historical Association (OHA). It was the culmination of a year spent honoring our past, planning for our future, and enjoying the Pen Women in our branch.

We began in November 2015 with a visit and talk by Candace Long, NLAPW past president, and then a trip to the National Women’s Hall of Fame where President Long and our branch presented the nomination of Vinnie Ream.

This past October, we hosted a “mini-gala” reception and ceremony at OHA in Syracuse, New York, to celebrate the history of our branch with a show of art and letters by our current members. We presented our 2016 Friend of the Arts Award to three individuals who have made unique and sustained contributions to the creative arts: Jim Emmons, founder and coordinator of the Syracuse Haiku Poster Project; Cheryl Chappell, artist and proprietor of the Edgewood Gallery; and Sen. John A. DeFrancisco, who is a longtime supporter of the arts.

Testimonials written by Vice President for Programs and Special Events Mary Gardner and President Janet Fagal were read for each winner. In partnership with four area arts organizations, we were able to give tickets to attend theater, the symphony, an internationally acclaimed music festival, and author lectures to the winners.

We are grateful to Syracuse Stage, Symphoria of Syracuse, the Skaneateles Festival, and the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series for their support.

Among the many guests was Dorothy Wakker, whose mother, Pen Woman Virginia “Rose” Lowell, appears in a photo that hangs in Pen Arts. Dorothy attended the Biennial with her mother in 1928 and is the 3-year-old in the photo with President Coolidge, her mother, and branch President Nellie Molyneaux.

Honorees, friends, family, area artists, writers, and supporters of the arts enjoyed birthday cake, art, writing, and great conversation. As a branch, we look forward to a bright future.


Southwest Florida Branch Takes Pen Women on Tour

By Sara Williams, Publicity Chair

Southwest Florida Pen Women speakers, left to right: Sara Williams, Honey Costa, Gay Cable, Lorraine Walker Williams, and Joyce Daniels.

The Southwest Florida Branch recently presented “Pages, Brushes, and Gems” at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Lorraine Walker Williams explains the making of a poem.

SWFL Branch President Lorraine Walker Williams offered an overview of the historic role of NLAPW in promoting the careers of women artists.

Letters Chair Joyce Daniels moderated the event as half dozen branch members recounted how they built their careers around their passions, from poetry, fiction, and history, to the production of art and jewelry.

All available seats were filled with an enthusiastic audience.

“Thank you, all, for creating this event with us! Folks really enjoyed it,” said one of the Copperfish owners, Serena Wyckoff. “One woman even stopped by the next day to tell us how much she enjoyed it.”


Boca Raton Plans Spring Festival

Left to right: Sheila Firestone, Elaine Bossik, Barb Capeletti, Vera Ripp-Hirschhorn, and Marlene Klotz are discussing the plans for the Family Spring Festival.

Boca Raton Branch Art Chair Barb Capeletti and President Sheila Firestone arranged for a complimentary fundraiser luncheon for the branch’s Achievement Awards Program. The luncheon took place on Feb. 18 and was sponsored by the Florida Community Bank.

Featured were beautiful, handmade jewelry by Dawn DeMarco Book; artwork by Barb Capeletti; a wine tasting; and various raffles.

Board members discussed plans for the March 4 Family Spring Festival hosted at the Center for Spiritual Living. Festivities for adults and children included music, storytelling, open microphone bits, poetry and publishing workshops, juried art shows, art demonstrations, author talks, a food truck, and a closing concert by Sheila Firestone. Admission was free and funds were donated to the ongoing achievement award program.


Santa Clara County Honors Arts Achievers

By Patricia Dennis

Laissez les bons temps rouler! Let the good times roll!

Edie Matthews and Susan Zerweck are having a great time.

Swinging to the beat of those jazzy entertainers, Eddie Matthews and Susan Zerweck, the 2017 Celebrity Luncheon was off and running. There was a full house of guests, including NLAPW President Virginia Franklin Campbell and her husband, Verne. All were willing to bid on the silent auction and put their tickets in for those wonderful raffle prize baskets, which the Santa Clara County Branch members so lovingly assembled the weekend before.

We were not short of entertainment! Our talent was abundant as singer and achiever Lijah Roof performed, with accomplished pianist Nancy Deussen accompanying her. Nancy also played background music throughout the event and later performed a duet with Judy Bingman, who was on saxophone.

Cymber Lily Quinn, also one of the music achievers, soothed our souls with her melodic harp music and when she played her composition of Cricket’s song, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd.

Lijah Roof, Diana Chan, Bonnie Jo Smith, Erica Goss, Julia Watson, Lille McGhee Queen, Cymber Lily Quinn, and Dorothy Brown at the Celebrity Luncheon.

The Celebrity Luncheon was to honor eight professional women in the arts. It is also the main source of fundraising for the yearly scholarships given out by the Santa Clara County Branch.

The Valley is known for being an art center and our eight honorees were exceptional representatives of their fields.

Dorothy Atkins did the honors of introducing the three artists, Dorothy Brown, Bonnie Jo Smith, and Julia Watson. Luanna Leisure rolled out the carpet for the three literary ladies, Diana Chan, Erica Goss, and Lille McGhee Queen. Susan Zerweck presented music laurels to Lijah Roof and Cymber Lily Quinn.

And now on to the scholarships!


Pikes Peak Zentangles with Imaginative Results

By Sarah Byrn Rickman, Branch Secretary and Newsletter Editor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combatting the snow and cold of January, Pikes Peak Branch gathered in the warmth of our creative camaraderie and produced some astonishing works of arts.

Our arty duo, Cheri Issel and Rosie Eylens — known to the rest of you as the national arts chair and vice chair, respectively — brought buckets (in a past life they were cottage cheese containers) filled with paints, brushes, a Sharpie, and rectangles of watercolor paper on which we were to produce our very own masterpieces.

What fun! Seventeen of us sat around a large craft table and each fashioned her own Zentangle picture with watercolor and ink.


Diablo/Alameda Hosts President

At the February potluck. Front row (sitting), left to right: Branch President Winnie Thompson, Charlotte Severin, Virginia Degner.
Back row: (standing) Jo Ann Frisch, National President Virginia Franklin Campbell, Natica Angilly, Ann Maloney-Mason, Kazumi Cranney, Connie Rusk, Betty Enoch, Carol Markos.

Diablo/Alameda Branch, California, hosted National President Virginia Franklin Campbell and her husband, Verne, at the February potluck lunch meeting. President Campbell spoke of need to increase membership and make the world aware of Pen Women.

She said there is no limit to what we can create with our new membership amendments and a new, positive view. President Campbell also asked members to support the GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/nlapwdc.

Proceeds of the branch auction ($87) were donated to NLAPW. The auction was started by early member Lucy Bogue, who figured this was an easy and fun way to raise money.

The branch will host its inaugural art show, “A Woman’s View of the World,” Sept. 29 to Nov. 17,  at the John O’Lague Art Galleria in Hayward City Hall. Branches invited to participate along with Diablo/Alameda are Golden Gate-Marin, Modesto, Santa Clara, Stockton, and Sacramento. Please contact the Diablo/Alameda Branch president for questions.


Yucca Branch Welcomes New Member

Also on Friday, December 16, 2016 Jeannie Gibson of Los Alamos, New Mexico was awarded her Art Certificate and welcomed into Albuquerque’s Yucca Branch of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc.

Left to right: Esther Vigil, Yucca Membership Chair; Fran Krukar, Yucca President; Jeannie Gibson new member; Jane Maclean, NLAPW 5th Vice President and Jeannie’s Sponsor

Jeannie has a “tremendous story” about recovering from a brain injury through her art. Jeannie’s sister Charly Potts is a Pen Woman, a member of the Pikes Peak Branch. Last year Charly brought Jeannie to Colorado to share her heart-stirring story with the Pikes Peak Pen Women.


Sarasota Branch Honors High School Seniors in the Arts

By Barbara Jendrysik, Publicity Chair

The Sarasota Branch, Florida, presented awards to high school seniors in the arts from Sarasota and Manatee schools in February. The purpose of the awards is to encourage students to pursue their education and interest in the arts.

Letters chairs Dr. Sylvia Price (second from left) and Amy Elder (far right) with letters award winners Olivia Hoefling, Peyton Hoey, Jazrielle Couran, Coralie Jean-Marie, and Amy Elder. Photos by Polly Curran

Sarasota members on opening night
(left to right): Brenda Spalding, Marge Bennett, Maddy Ginsberg, Lolly Owens, Margaret Mills, Judy Allen, Alice Moerk,Art Exhibit Chair Carol Doenecke. Photos by Justus Doenecke

The artwork was displayed, compositions were read, and music was performed by the students for the luncheon guests, which included many of the students’ teachers and family members.

Music award winners Sommer Altier, Dominick Medico, and Kavitharini Saravanan with Dr. Alice Moerk, music chair.

The branch raised funds for the awards through donations, a silent auction in December, and monthly meeting raffles. The Betty Altman Art Awards were funded by the David Altman Foundation in memory of Betty Altman, whom we gratefully remember as furthering the hopes of young artists. Sylvia Price donated the Dr. Sylvia Anderson Price Writing Award in memory of her late husband, Joe.

Tiffany Rojas (Lakewood Ranch High School) with her winning entry, “Under the Moonlit Cave,” acrylic paint on repurposed material.

The winning students received a certificate, award ribbon, a monetary award, and information about student membership in NLAPW and the Sarasota Branch mentorship program. The mentorship is a branch outreach program, open to award winners who are continuing their education in art, letters, music, or dance. It matches a Pen Woman with a student for a year, with the goal of helping the student have a meaningful, successful career in the arts.

Branch members who chaired the event were Barbara Jendrysik (awards and art chair), Audre Marans (art chair), Amy Elder and Sylvia Price (letters chairs), and Dr. Alice Moerk (music chair).

The Sarasota Branch is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Planned events include an outreach project and panel discussion titled “The Artist’s Journey” at the Selby Library in Sarasota, participation in the Sun Circle Arts Festival and the Venice Reading Festival, and an exhibit of members’ artwork and books at the Ringling College of Art and Design.


Modesto California Branch hosts visit by NLAPW President Virginia Franklin Campbell

On Wednesday, February 15, thirteen members of our branch had the rare opportunity to meet with national president Virginia Campbell during her visit to California.

Jill Adler, Modesto Vice President, Virginia Franklin Campbell, NLAPW President and Nancy Haskett, President, Modesto, CA Branch

After a luncheon at a local restaurant, Virginia shared a PowerPoint presentation with the group and updated us on NLAPW finances, the Pen Arts Building, ideas for future national projects, and more.

This was the first time our branch has ever been honored with a visit from the national president, and we are grateful for the opportunity we were given to meet Virginia.

– Submitted by Nancy Haskett, Modesto Branch President

 


Santa Clara County Reflects on 2016

By Patricia Dennis
The Santa Clara County Branch had a very successful year in 2016. Our talent runneth over!

Santa Clara County Branch celebrity luncheon achievers, left to right: Norma Slavic, Marjorie Johnson (letters); Ushma Vahia, Christine VanHoy (music); June Lyman, Giselle Gatrelle, Joanne Tillman (art); Mary Ann Savage (letters).

Writers have been taking pen in hand, with many notable works being released, such as Ursula Meier’s “The House on the Hillside” and Barbara Chamberlain’s “Sword of Smuggler’s Point.” Mary Lou Taylor received an honorable mention from the San Francisco Book Festival 2016 for her poetry book, “Bringing Home the Moon,” as did Audry Lynch with “Garth Jeffers Recalls His Father, Robinson Jeffers.”

In children’s books genre, Luanna Leisure’s “Best Buds” hit the press, as did Norma Slavit’s captivating “Peaches, Frog, and the Man in the Moon.”
Composer Nancy Bloomer Deussen was honored many times throughout the year. Her latest orchestra composition, “Trinity Alps,” won first place in NLAPW’s first conferring of the Vinnie Ream Awards. Judy Bingman’s photography graced the walls of the Pen Arts building, and her photo of Mt. McKinley won first place in the Vinnie Ream competition.

Marilyn Miller, Patricia Dennis, Patty Dick, Jeannie Carbonne, Carolina Mueller, and ShaRon Haugan are but a few who had art juried in shows during 2016 and Dorothy Atkins’ lovely paintings were on exhibit in a lawyer’s office.

In fashion news, Jerri Scaife graced the cover of Fuse Fashion Magazine and Louise Webb was honored by the city of Saratoga for “random acts of kindness.” The list goes on!

The celebrity luncheon at the Elks Lodge in San Jose featured a Hawaiian theme, and members and guests were mesmerized by the San Jose Hula Club. Comedian Edie Matthews as well as ventriloquist Carol Green had the crowd in stitches. Susan Zerweck and Kathryn Taylor emceed with grace and ease.

Celebrity lunch achievement awards went out to Christine Van Hoy for music; Norma Slavic, Mary Ann Savage, and Marjorie Johnson for letters; and Joanne Tillman, Ushma Vahia, June Lyman, and Gisella Gatrelle for art. Proceeds of this gala event went to help fund the scholarships awards presented by the Santa Clara County Branch.

The depth of talent of the young ladies applying for the 2016 scholarship was simply amazing. After much deliberation, the final choices for the $2,000 scholarship awards went to: Melody Hsu, music/composition; Kim Do, letters; and Rachel Geng, art. The  $1,000 Felicia Pollack Memorial Award for Art went to Codie Chang.

Judy Bingman and Dorothy Atkins turned over their roles of president and vice president, respectively. New 2016-2017 officers are: Kathryn Tyler, president; Carolina Mueller, vice president; Luanna Leisure, secretary; and ShaRon Haugen, treasurer. Susan Zerweck is membership chair.<br />
The Santa Clara County Branch is once again gathering forces and looks forward to a wonderful 2017.

 


Greenwich Bestows Owl Award

Arlene Mark is the 2016 recipient of the Greenwich Branch’s Owl Award. It is given to a member for outstanding achievement in her field and service to the community.
In presenting the award at this year’s holiday luncheon, Vice President Marcia Hamilton noted that Mark, a longtime member of the organization, has contributed her “time, talent, and treasures to our community and beyond.”

Mark is the author of novels and short stories, many featuring children. She has served as a board member and chairman of the Letters Committee, and has been a dedicated volunteer in a variety of community organizations. Accepting her Owl Award, an emotional Mark said, “I would be outrageously happy for a feather.”

 

 


Sacramento Branch pastel artist, Urania, honored at event in China

California artist Urania Christy Tarbet, a Sacramento Branch letters and art member, was invited by the host organizers of the 2nd China Biennial Pastel Exhibition in Suzhou, China, to be their honored guest last fall.  The exhibition catalogue foreword, printed in both Chinese and English, honored only two artists: China’s Master Hang MingShi, for whom the museum is named, and Tarbet.
Tarbet’s invitation was the result of her work as the founder and president emeritus of the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS). The complete exhibition included pastel paintings of a hundred artists from 14 countries, including 40 from the United States.
See Urania’s story in The Pen Woman magazine, Winter 2017.
The Pen Woman magazine is free to members. Extra copies available for purchase here.