Branch News, Spring 2021

Santa Clara County Honors Five Longtime Members

By Patricia Dennis, Santa Clara County Branch

Top row: Mary Lou Taylor (left) and Carol Brolin. Bottom row, left to right: : Bonnie Vaughan, Edie L. Matthews, and Dianne Glass MacNair.



Through a virtual Zoom ceremony, the Santa Clara County Branch was proud to honor five women who have been members of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. for more than 20 years. We congratulate them on these years of achievement and dedication to the organization. Ladies, it’s an honor to know you.

The five recognized members are:
• Dianne Glass MacNair: Letters member in SCC Branch since 2005 and Pen Woman since November 2001
• Edie L. Matthews: Letters member since 2001
• Bonnie Vaughan: Letters member since 2001
• Carol Brolin: Art member in SCC Branch since 2005 and Pen Woman since October 2001
• Mary Lou Taylor: Letters member since 2001



Diablo-Alameda Hosts Virtual Multimedia Show


Show poster


The Diablo-Alameda Branch recently launched its annual show online, presenting it as a virtual multimedia show titled “Peace & Peaceful Activism.”

“With compassion and foresight, contributors to this show demonstrate how 2020 has influenced our lives and how peace and peaceful activism make for a better world,” branch President Winifred Thompson said. “We hope our show might be a blueprint to help other branches in using new forms of expression.”

You may view the branch’s show on YouTube:
Online art show
Playlist for artist talks


Boca Raton Stays Connected, Productive Virtually

All of Boca Raton Branch’s board meetings and events are now held via Zoom. Membership, Music, and Outreach Chair Sheila Firestone is the Zoom organizer and moderator.

The January Zoom event featured three of the branch’s authors, who discussed their books and then answered audience questions. Lea Hope Becker discussed her newly published “Think Yourself Young,” a collection of humorous poems, cartoons, and chatter. Barbara Bixon, a novelist, screenwriter, and comedy writer (writing under the pen name of A.R. Alan) presented “Confessions of a Slut,” a spoof on internet dating services. Meryl Davids Landau presented “Warrior Won,” a mindfulness and yoga women’s novel.

The February meeting speaker was Dr. Rose Feinberg. The subject of her discussion focused on how two accomplished women, Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart, became major decision makers and established an industry under each of their names.

The Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) planned to join the branch for a writers workshop on April 14 via Zoom, hosted by the Delray Beach Public Library. Letters Chair Carol White and Linda Rosen of WNBA are the workshop co-moderators.

Holly and Central New York Meet Virtually, Share Projects

As a member of two NLAPW branches, Joan Applebaum was in the enviable position of knowing Pen Women in two regions of the country. Applebaum suggested and organized a Zoom meeting to share ideas and professional work with her Holly Branch in Delaware and the Central New York Branch in New York State on Jan. 18. Working with CNY Branch President Nancy Dafoe, Applebaum and Holly Branch President Dorene Petrosky set the date and hosted the Zoom meet and greet.

meeting sketch of members
Sketch of joint branch meeting participants created in real time by artist Sue Murphy, CNY Branch member.

“I was delighted to be able to bring the two Pen Women branches together,” Applebaum said. “The exchange of ideas and energies was invigorating.”

Pen Women artists and writers shared poems, stories, paintings, and art projects, as well as offering one another advice and links to websites for publishing and art shows. Pen Women had much to discuss and shared personal stories in addition to professional work during the two-hour meeting.

“I’m loving the chance to get to know other Pen Women from a distance, using Zoom,” said CNY Branch member Janine DeBaise.

Pen Woman Nancy Dafoe, NLAPW letters chair, noted, “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a trial for America and the world, but these wonderful Pen Women found a way to extend our reach and support to one another even during a pandemic.”

Eighteen members of the two Pen Women branches were able to attend the virtual meeting. CNY Branch artist Sue Murphy sketched in real time as the meeting progressed, finishing her colorful character sketch of all the participants by the end.

Kari Ann Ebert, Holly Branch member and poetry editor of The Broadkill Review, said after the meeting, “What a wonderful way to spend the morning getting to know the CNY Branch Pen Women. Listening to what inspires them and what their current projects are left me inspired and energized to get back to my own work-in-progress. One of the great things about the creative spark is that it catches when a connection is made. I’m looking forward to connecting with these ladies again.”

Holly Branch President Dorene Petrosky, PhD, summed it up nicely by describing the event as “connection with members, not just a show-and-tell but a stimulating interchange of ideas.”


Golden Gate-Marin Learns about Historic Artists’ Spaces

By Melissa Woodburn

Taking advantage of our continued need to meet remotely, Golden Gate-Marin President Lucy Arnold and branch member Catherine Bohrman arranged a January meeting for us that would not have been possible if we had been meeting in person.

book coverCatherine Bohrman, a former member of the Pioneer Branch, Connecticut, arranged a presentation by her friend Valerie Balint, senior program manager of Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios (part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation). Balint’s program was titled  “Women of the Chisel and Brush: Artists, Muses, and Preservationists of the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program.”

The 35 attendees of the Zoom meeting included our special guest, national President Evelyn Wofford. Other invitees included members of the NorCal branches: Diablo-Alameda, Santa Clara County, Stockton-Lodi, Modesto, and Golden Gate-Marin. The Greenwich and Pioneer branches from Connecticut were also invited.

Balint is a passionate supporter of the arts and the historic preservation of the sites where artists have created their works. Her fascinating talk focused on the studios of many East Coast women artists, but also included Grace Hudson of California, Elisabet Ney of Texas, Clementine Hunter of Louisiana, and Georgia O’Keefe of New Mexico. The presentation provided insights into the careers and marriages of these women artists, some of whom were overlooked in favor of their more well-known male partners, and many of whom led the efforts to preserve these historic sites.

A particular favorite studio of Balint’s is Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollack’s cottage in the East Hamptons. The floors and walls there are still covered in the paint splatters that evidence the energy and physicality of their work.

Valerie Balint’s recently published book, “Guide to Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios,” is widely available.

For more information about these historic sites, go to

Central Ohio Members Busy with Exhibits

Central Ohio members have been busy despite COVID restrictions. Many showed their work at various exhibits.

Five Central Ohio Pen Women’s work was displayed in the 2020 Ohio Art League Juried Show:

  • Evangelia Philippidis: “Bayou Blues”
  • Dawn Petrill: “I Wanted You to Know”
  • Robie Benve: “Christmas at the Ohio Theatre” and “Scioto Deer”
  • Rebecca Zelanin: “ Tangled Eyes” and “Floating Away”
  • Jane Flewellen: “Freesia Delight”

Darlene Yeager-Torre had three works on display in November and December. “Along the Road to Sinawave,” a travel photograph, was juried into an international exhibit at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon. The exhibit ran Dec. 1 – 20. One of Torre’s painting-with-light seascapes was also selected for the juried international photography exhibition, “After Dark: Dusk to Dawn” at PRAXIS Photography Gallery in Minneapolis.

Photo by Darlene Yeager-Torre
“Along the Road to Sinawave,” photography by Darlene Yeager-Torre

Three works by Anita Burgess were accepted into the Akron Society of Artists 89th Anniversary Juried Member Show in December 2020. Her mixed-media piece, “Transformation,” received honorable mention.

Rebecca Zelanin’s solo exhibition was on display at 3060 Artworks in Columbus, Ohio, through Jan. 29.

Works by Jane Flewellen, Robie Benve, Bev Goldie, and Darlene Yeager-Torre were juried into the 2021 Bryn Du Art Show in Granville,  Ohio.

painting by Jane Flewellen
“Freesia Delight” by Jane Flewellen


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