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2018

 


Eudora Welty Mary Karr


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Wed Mar 14 2018 noon program.

Director of Center for the Book Reveals
American Women Writers Who Influenced Her!

Sponsored by: American Women Writers National Museum
Time & Place: noon-1 p.m. in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20045.

        Becky Brasington Clark, Director of Publishing and Acting Director, Center for the Book at the Library of Congress will discuss which American women writers most influenced her and why: Eudora Welty (1909-2001) and Mary Karr (1955- ).
        AWWNM is one of about 80 national reading promotion partners with the Center for the Book. CFB, a public-private collaboration, was established by Congress in 1977 to promote books, reading and literacy. Included is the Poetry and Literature Center in the Jefferson building.
        "I find in the work of Eudora Welty and Mary Karr a fearless compassion that is simply startling. Both women are keen observers of people, yet, even as they expose the foibles of the human condition, they write with deep empathy and affection for their subjects. So many writers hide behind their pens or laptops, using prose to eviscerate the weak and the flawed. In the work of Welty and Karr, we recognize our weaknesses and flaws as essential parts of our humanity", Clark added.
        Before joining the Library of Congress, Clark spent 12 years as marketing director for Johns Hopkins University Press. She held similar positions at the Brookings Institution Press, New Republic and Counterpoint Press, and Moon Travel handbooks.
        Clark serves on the board of the American Association of University Presses, and has served as an adjunct faculty member in George Washington University’s master of professional Studies in Publishing program.
        Pulitzer Prize winner Eudora Welty is an American short story writer and novelist from Jackson, Mississippi who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is known for writing about “the paradox of human connection.” VIDEO AVAILABLE: Click Here to see and hear off-Broadway actress Benda Currin perform a dramatic reading of Welty’s work.
        Mary Karr is a poet essayist and memorist from East Texas whose 1995 best-seller book about “her troubled childhood” put her on the road to literary stardom. Her subsequent books have discussed her journey “from agnostic to conversion to Catholicism.” She is a professor of English literature at Syracuse University.
        
*50-state Project honors women writers in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona and Arkansas. For more details, See State-Meant 4 U Page

     

 

 


Emily Post Amy Vanderbilt
Judith Martin Pauline Phillips


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Tues Feb 6 2018 noon program.

SEASONAL OPENER & AWWNM 6th Birthday:
Women Who Are Always Write.

Sponsored by: American Women Writers National Museum
Time & Place: noon-1 p.m. in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20045.

        Writing about business and social etiquette is a narrow specialty. But four iconic American women writers became household words in this niche which retains popularity today.
        A seasonal opener honoring these extraordinary women writers seemed even more appropriate to celebrate AWWNM’s sixth anniversary in the “correct” way.
        “You can deny all you want that there is etiquette, and a lot of people do in everyday life. But if you behave in a way that offends the people you’re trying to deal with, they will stop dealing with you”, Judith Martin (AKA Miss Manners) told a 1995 interviewer.
        Business and social etiquette expert Margery Sinclair will profile four dazzling women writers who achieved “big time” international success: Emily Post (1872-1960), Amy Vanderbilt (1908-1974), Judith Martin AKA Miss Manners) (1938- ), and Pauline Phillips AKA Dear Abby (1918-2013).
        Sinclair, a former international model, became interested in etiquette at the age of 12 in small town Markesan, Wisconsin, population then 900.
        “I received my first etiquette book, Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Guide to Gracious Living. I still have it. I didn’t know that it was a reference book: you look up a specific topic, read the answer, then replace the book on the shelf. Not knowing that, I read the entire book cover to cover,” Sinclair remembers. www.margerysinclair.com
        “I wanted to escape my small town. That book was my first glimpse into a wider world. If I knew how to behave in other places with different people, I could fit in anywhere in the world, I reasoned”, Sinclair added.
        Baltimore born Emily Post was “tall, pretty and grew up in a world of grand estates”, said one biographer. Less known is that Post authored five novels. Her children Nicholas and Jacobina continue her legacy via the Emily Post Institute.
        Daughter of a journalist mother, Amy Vanderbilt also authored cook books including one illustrated by Andy Warhol in pen and ink line drawings. Born on Staten Island, she also hosted radio and television programs, and worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of State.
        D.C. born syndicated columnist Judith Martin, always speaks of herself in the third person as Miss Manners. Known for her sarcastic but hilarious wit, Martin says her writing “clarifies the essential qualities of politeness.”
        Pauline Phillips first took the pen name of Abigail van Buren, then became even more widely known as Dear Abby. “She covered all aspects of human behavior, although she didn’t write specifically about etiquette,” Sinclair explained.
        “I will speak just a bit about Sue Fox, author of ‘Etiquette for Dummies’, a best seller”, Sinclair added.
        
*50-state Project honors women writers in West Virginia, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Washington. For more details, See State-Meant 4 U Page

     

 

2017

 



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Wed Oct 18 2017 noon program.

TWO-TIME OSCAR NOMINEE DOROTHY PARKER

Sponsored by: American Women Writers National Museum
Time & Place: noon-1 p.m. in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20045.

        Two-time Oscar nominee (screenwriting 1937 “A Star is Born” and 1947 “Smash Up, the Story of a Woman”) Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) will be the subject of a presentation by Elaine Flynn, a Washington, D.C. tour guide who appears as a “dramatic recreation” of Ms. Parker and reads from Parker’s work.
        Born Dorothy Rothschild to affluent parents in New Jersey, Ms. Parker was a Roman Catholic convent and Miss Dana’s finishing school graduate who ended up with a bulky FBI dossier and placement on the 1950s era “blacklist” by Hollywood movie studio executives.
        She was a poet whose work was described as “short vicious and humorous”, who also wrote short stories, was a radio personality, trenchant book reviewer, razor-edged columnist and editor. Her personal life was chaotic and messy as she struggled with alcoholism and depression. She was part of the Algonquin (Hotel) Round Table (1919-1929) , a literary and theatrical group who met daily at the New York Algonquin Hotel. In later years, she publicly attacked the group.
        Ms. Parker died of cardiac arrest at age 73. Her ashes remained unclaimed in her attorney’s filing cabinet for 17 years.
        Elaine Flynn, a Washington D.C. tour guide whose avocation is researching Ms. Parker, will appear October 18 as a “dramatic recreation” of Ms. Parker. Ms. Flynn explains she became interested in Dorothy Parker’s work and life as an outgrowth of her original intent to portray historic First Ladies in dramatic recreations. She has worked as a docent in historic homes, and studied at American University’s School of International Service.
        “My October 18 talk will introduce or reintroduce the audience to the work, life and wit of the fascinating Dorothy Parker. I will discuss the people at the Algonquin Round Table, her marriages and her successes, and read some of her verses. She gave voice to the women of her age”, Ms Flynn said.
        
*50-state Project honors women writers in D.C., Florida, Georgia and Hawaii. For more details, See State-Meant 4 U Page

     

 

 



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Thur Sept 28 2017 noon program.

ZORA NEALE HURSTON

Sponsored by: American Women Writers National Museum
Time & Place: noon-1 p.m. in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20045.

        Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960), among the first African American women writers to achieve national recognition will be the subject of a presentation by A. Anokwale Anansesemfo a National Park Ranger whose avocation is studying Hurston’s work and legacy. 
        Hurston, born in Notasulga Alabama, is the author of four novels and more than 50 plays, short stores and essays. Eatonville, Alabama, where she grew up, which is the setting for some of her work, holds an annual festival in January in her honor. Her literary interests included racial struggles in the American South, anthropology and ethnography, and Haitian voodoo. She attended a Baptist private boarding school in Florida, then attended Barnard College of Columbia University where she received a B.A. degree in anthropology in 1928 when she was 37 years old. She also attended Howard University.
        Hurston’s work was relatively unrecognized by the American literary community until a 1975 magazine article featured what became her most famous book: Their Eyes Were Watching God.
        Anansesemfo holds a B.A. degree in history from Coppin State University (which honored her with an Outstanding Public Service award) and a Master’s degree in art history from Howard University. She says she is is “most passionate about the African Diaspora in America.” She has appeared on C-Span3 and spoken at various conferences and schools. She is scheduled to teach at Goucher College this fall, and has served as an adjunct Public History professor at Stevenson University.
        Anansesemfo works as a National Park Service Ranger at the Hampton National Historic Site near Towson, Maryland.
        “It is through the National park Service that I can perform my mission in life which is to tell the trials, tribulations and triumphs of my ancestors to the world’s community,” she said.
        
*50-state Project honors women writers in Mississippi, Missouri, Montana and Nebraska. For more details, See State-Meant 4 U Page

     

 

 



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Thur May 18 2017 noon program.

STIRRED, NOT SHAKEN: NARRATIVES OF EARLY FEMINIST WRITERS

Sponsored by: American Women Writers National Museum
Time & Place: noon-1 p.m. in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20045.

        Megan Metcalf, Women’s Studies specialist in the historic Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress will speak noon May 18 on early feminist writers in America. 
        She also has an interest and has creaed an exhibit on the women’s music movement.
        In STIRRED NOT SHAKEN I will be discussing how I envision using influential feminist texts as a launching point to uncover what popular history gets wrong about American feminism.
        “I’m gong to reveal my research process and highlight the vital role libraries and archives play in preserving, interruptiing and re-interrupting mainstream narratives of American womanhood, Ms. Metcalf explained.     
        “My interests in feminism and library science both started while I was still a high school student. By the time I got to college, I was a self-identified feminist ready to dive head first into the world of libraries and research, It became clear to me then that feminism has a lot to contribute to conversations about how we organize, preserve, and facilitate access to information, and to our very own stories,” Ms. Metcalf said.
        “While I was in graduate school, I taught “An Introduction to Women’s Studies” while also working in the reference department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where I received a Masters degree in Women’s and Gender Studies. In August of 2015 I moved to Washington, D.C.”
        
*50-state Project honors women writers in Kansas Kentucky Louisiana and Maine. For more details, See State-Meant 4 U Page

     

 

 




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Tues Apr 18 2017 noon program.

CLARE BOOTHE LUCE (1903-1987) HAD IT ALL

Sponsored by: American Women Writers National Museum
Time & Place: noon-1 p.m. in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20045.

        The multi-dimensional American woman writer Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) had it all, and was all: playwright, war correspondent journalist, U.S.Representative, Ambassador to Italy, and Medal of Freedom honoree, for starters.  She had no college education.
        Attorney Michelle Easton, founder and President of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute in Reston, Virginia, will speak and show photos of Ambassador Luce’s extraordinary life, April 18, 2017 at noon in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20045.
        Beautiful and witty, Clare Boothe was married to multi millionaire Henry Luce, owner and publisher of TIME, Life, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Vanity Fair magazines when print journalism dominated They were known as one of the great “power couples” in America’s history.
        Her 1936 satirical comedy play, with an all woman cast, was a 1936 Broadway smash made into a 1939 movie. Her plays Kiss the Boys Goodbye and Margin for Error were also made into successful movies. Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann attended opening night. Otto Preminger directed.     
        Known for the acidic tinge to her wit, her most famous line was: “No good deed goes unpunished”, and “Widowhood is a fringe benefit of marriage.” In 1942 Luce was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut, a seat formerly held by her stepfather.
        In 1952 she was appointed America’s ambassador to Italy, the first female to hold such a high ambassadorial post.
        Her only child, a daughter Ann, was killed in a 1944 car accident. Ms. Luce died of a brain tumor in 1987, Her fortune was estimated at $50 million.
        
*50-state Project honors women writers in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona and Arkansas. For more details, See State-Meant 4 U Page

     

 

2016

 




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Thur Oct 20 2016 noon program.

MEET NPR’S Senior Business Editor
Marilyn Geewax “Here & Now”!

Sponsored by: American Women Writers National Museum
Time & Place: noon-1 p.m. in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20045.

        Marilyn Geewax, Senior Business Editor for National Public Radio, always has her finger on the pulse of business, as she assigns, writes and edits national stories.  She is an award-winning  regular contributor to NPR’s midday Here and Now show.  She has traveled the world covering business  and economic issues, filing news stories from China, Japan, South Africa and Europe.
        She will discuss her personal career: how she came up through the print journalism ranks as national economics correspondent for Cox Newspapers’ Washington bureau, as well as her work at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where she also served on the editorial board. She got her start as a business reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal.
        She is a native of Youngstown Ohio.
        Her work on the foreclosure-crisis contributed to NPR’s 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for hard news , and she was also recognized with a 2009 Heywood Broun Award.     
        A graduate of The Ohio State University, she earned a Master’s degree from Georgetown She also won a Neiman Fellowship at Harvard.
        
*50-state Project honors women writers in Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey. For more details, See State-Meant 4 U Page

     

 

 




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Wed Apr 6, 2016 noon program.

STAND BY YOUR MAN: FIRST LADIES CAMPAIGNING

Sponsored by: American Women Writers National Museum
Time & Place: noon-1 p.m. in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20045.

        Who could forget Nancy Reagan’s mesmerized focus on her Ronnie’s (Ronald Reagan) every activity as he campaigned for the Presidency?
        
Decades before Mrs. Reagan , wives of Presidential candidates did little to actually campaign with their husbands on the hustings. But after Mrs. Reagan set the pace, wives of Presidential hopefuls became, and continue to be, very actively involved in on- the -scene campaigning.
        Patricia Krider, executive Director of the First Ladies Library and Museum in Canton, Ohio, will review that fascinating historical arc.
        Before 1920, women were literally in the background because, by law, they were ineligible to vote because of their gender.
        Nineteenth century wives “might wave a handkerchief from a window during a parade”, or “ delight the crowd by sending them a winsome smile from the front porch of her own home”. Krider said.
        “But the right to vote also gave women the opportunity to take a dynamic role in the political arena. Today a potential First Lady must multi-task while campaigning. She must know her husband’s issues and concerns while answering questions about her own causes and activities”, Krider said.
        “The media still scrutinize her clothes and hair, but now they also report on what potential assets she brings to a presidency”, Krider continued.
        “Dolly Madison was the first openly successful political First Lady who hosted the first public Inaugural Ball. Helen Taft worked so tirelessly on Howard’s Presidential campaign that President Theodore Roosevelt accused her of aspiring to the Presidency on her on behalf!” Krider added.
        Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were probably the first true “team” of campaigners—giving the astute Eleanor a public independence as a politically active woman never seen before. Eleanor was the first candidate’s wife to speak publicly at a party convention.
         Krider is a magna cum laude graduate of Ashland University and also holds degrees from Walsh University and Stark State college.
         *50-state Project honors women writers in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho. For more details, See State-Meant 4 U Page

     

 

 




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Wed Mar 9, 2016 noon program.

LET's KEEP DANCING!
PULITZER WINNER SARAH KAUFMAN TALKS ABOUT WRITING CULTURE

Sponsored by: American Women Writers National Museum
Time & Place: noon-1 p.m. in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20045.

        Texas- born Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sarah Kaufman, dance critic for The Washington Post, will on Wed March 9, share her 20 years of experience writing about arts, sports and culture.
        She was, in 2010, the first dance critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 35 years
        NBC News and The PBS News Hour have featured her work. She has done onstage interviews with celebrities and newsmakers for the Smithsonian museums, the Goethe Institut, and City Arts & Lectures since she began writing for the WP in 1996.
        While an undergraduate at University of Maryland, work at a ballet school, triggered her first published dance reviews
        “As a young survivor of open-heart surgery, I learned that life is fragile—and rebuildable. Ballet paired well with my recovery and my writing. I learned to perfect small details, get the rhythm right; smoothing and refining and making it all look easy”, Kaufman explained.
        “I apply my sense of grace and movement everywhere in my writing: seeing the (bicycle) Tour de France as art, analyzing politicians’ body language, and examining pop music’s Lady Gaga as a cultural phenomenon” she added.
        Raised near Washington, D.C., Kaufman served as a US Senate page at the age of 15. At that time, pages lived in an attic of the Library of Congress—a space now utilized as an office-reception area by the Poetry Center.
        A year as an exchange student in Cannes, France followed.
        She won a scholarship to Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where she earned a Masters degree. She began working for newspapers in Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo.
        She is married to a trust and estates attorney with whom she parents three children in Takoma Park, MD.
        Her just-released first book nonfiction “The Art of Grace” explores the many ways grace, or the absence of grace, affects our daily lives.
        *50-state Project honors women writers in Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa. For more details, See State-Meant 4 U Page

     

 

 




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Wed Feb 3, 2016 noon program.

AWWNM CELEBRATES A 4th BIRTHDAY!
with
OBIE AWARD WINNING ACTRESS BRENDA CURRIN
PRESENTINg DRAMATIC EXCERPTS FROM her
ONE WOMAN SHOW on EUDORA WELTY’s WORK!

Sponsored by: American Women Writers National Museum
Time & Place: noon-1 p.m. in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20045.

        Obie (Off Broadway) theatrical award winner, actress Brenda Currin will help AWWNM celebrate embarking on a fourth year honoring America’s premier women writers, historical and contemporary.
        Currin will perform the theatrical fantasia portion of “June Recital” (AKA Sister & Miss Lexie) based on a short story by 1973 Pulitzer Prize winner Eudora Welty (1909-2001). The Fantasia was adapted by David Kaplan and set to the the adagio and rondo section of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, Currin explained.
        Mississippi native Welty is the beloved author of short stories and novels about the American South. In addition to the Pulitzer, Welty was awarded America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Legion of Honor from France. Welty is also a skilled photographer.
        Currin met and interviewed Welty in New York. “We started to talk about Stella Rondo and the characters in her short story “Why I live at the P.O.” (Post Office). We both started to laugh as if they were members of our family, and it just broke the ice,” Curriin remembered.
        Described by a literary peer as “a sure renderer of dialect” Welty so brilliantly captures the absolute tones and cadences of her friends, relatives and strangers with such mastery that readers can almost hear them speaking off the page.
        Currin’s film credits include: In Cold Blood and The World According to Garp. Her stage work includes: Three Penny Opera, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All for You, and many others. She has worked with actresses Estelle Parsons and Olympia Dukakis.
        Currin grew up in North Carolina. She received her BA degree from the University of Kansas, and her MA in anthropology from Hunter College.
        Currin explains her love for Welty’s work by citing the novel “Delta Wedding”. “I loved those ladies from my childhood in Oxford, N.C. playing bridge at 8 a.m., fully dressed with lipstick and nail polish, smoking and drinking Coca Cola,” Currin said.
        *50-state Project honors women writers in Mississippi, Missouri, Montana and Nebraska. For more details, See State-Meant 4 U Page

     

 

American Women Writers National Museum
National Press Club Building
529 14th Street NW, Suite 960-C
Washington, D.C. 20045

info@americanwomenwritersnationalmuseum.org

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