Passings–from Dodos to O’os

Poet Holly Hughes, Hypatia 2013, has been working with Myrna Keliher at Expedition Press on a chapbook of poems about extinct birds, Passings. Holly began the collection years ago with a poem for Martha, the last passenger pigeon. That led to another and another… now the collection brings together poems about fifteen extinct birds, from the dodo to the O’o.  Holly has added a preface to provide context and an afterword with information on what we can do to protect the species that remain.

The chapbook will be published in two limited editions:  a trade copy bound by hand with a letterpress cover on recycled paper and a deluxe copy with covers of handmade paper and an archival slip case.  You can check these out (and pre-order) at:  The official book launch is at 7 p.m. March 24 at Elliot Bay Books in Seattle. She’s also reading at 7:30 p.m. April 14 at Eagle Harbor Books in Winslow and at 7 p.m. April 21 at Northwind Gallery in Port Townsend with poet Linda Bierds.

Holly will be a featured reader at the Earth Day/National Poetry Month celebration co-sponsored by Hypatia and Great Old Broads for Wilderness at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 22, at Brilliant Moon Bookstore in Shelton. Holly will be reading with Bill Yake.
As she schedules more readings this spring, she’ll post on

Holly House resident teaches blogging

It wasn’t only Timberland Regional Library patrons who benefited from a blogging workshop by Kelly Wallace, a writer and entrepreneur from Portland spending part of August in a residency at Holly House.

Kelly Wallace shows board member Colleen Keoski how to add a photo to her blog entry.

Kelly Wallace shows board member Colleen Keoski how to add a photo to her blog entry.

Several board members learned how to navigate the complexities of blogging via WordPress in an evening workshop with Kelly. Working with the Hypatia-in-the-Woods website, board members learned how blogs should feature regular postings, include current events for Holly House and the organization as a whole, and focus on aspects of Holly House and Hypatia-in-the-Woods as well as the local community. They learned about keywords and tags, which are ways to draw traffic. They learned how to insert photos (and how not to), and discovered the uses of links.

While at this point the main mission of Hypatia-in-the-Woods is maintaining Holly House as a place for women in the arts, academia and entrepreneurship to spend time apart to finish (or begin) a project away from the distractions of everyday life, another of its goals is to enrich the local community with workshops, classes and programs. In the past year, Hypatia and the Shelton Timberland Library have enjoyed a cooperative project offering readings, workshops and programs by Holly House residents to the wider community. But this time around, the board enjoyed its own workshop. Thanks, Kelly!

Hypatia Friends Present Neglected Olympia History

The Café intermezzo, Rita Mae Brown at Evergreen as the Vietnam War ended, Lily Tomlin in Olympia for the 1984 Olympics Women’s Marathon Trials, the 1976 Women’s Music Festival in Olympia produced by Tides of Change, The Janes of All Trades, and much more … local history to revel in!


Highlights of Olympia's Lesbian Gay history

Highlights of Olympia’s Lesbian Gay history

Elspeth and I were in Olympia a couple of days ago for the first SAGE Salon, a presentation by Llyn De Danaan and Carol McKinley, two great, long-time friends and supporters of Hypatia-in-the-Woods. (more…)

Looking forward, looking back — thanks to all who made the Timberland series possible!

As applications for residencies in Holly House for 2013 come in, we begin conversations with these women about sharing their work with our local community. Hypatia is pleased to partner again with the Shelton Timberland Regional Library which hosts readings, workshops, and performances by our residents. We don’t know yet what all the second year of the program might hold — basketry, oil painting, and memoir writing are being planned thus far — but I want to take a moment in this blog to thank again the residents of 2012 who made our first year’s partnership with the library so much fun.  Here’s a recap of the last season; we’ll post news of upcoming events as details are worked out. Hope to see you at the Library!

Photo of Ruby Murray reading from her latest book.

Ruby Murray reading from her work.



Ruby Hansen Murray initiated the Timberland series (and yes, it was 2011, but December, so almost 2012) with an afternoon discussion of researching and telling family stories and reading from The Heart Stays People, the story of an Osage Indian girl who is captured and must find her way home in 1820’s Arkansas.  Since her reading the book received First Place in the Historical Novel category of the 2012 OWFI Annual Writing Content.  Congratulations and thank you for sharing, Ruby! Do I remember your saying you’ve finished it?


Maggie Chula

As Days Get Longer …

Maggie Chula ( who has been a Holly House resident twice, is well known for her haiku, but not exclusively.  Here is an evocative poem she wrote after walking the labyrinth one warm day last summer.

Maggie Chula

Maggie Chula reading at the Timberland Regional Library in Shelton



June. The air smells of rotting logs, wet and fecund
like beginnings and endings, with nothing between.

Buttercups have taken hold on the loamy path,
narrowing the trail of the labyrinth with their runners.

It’s hard to pull up buttercups, their cheerful innocence
and shiny petals that smell of sunshine.


Looking toward next year’s alum gathering …

As I drove the last of the Hypatia resident alums to leave this week’s gathering back to Olympia to catch the Amtrak for Seattle, we chatted about this year’s gathering and looked toward next. The sheltering cedars at Holly House had made even the almost-record high temperatures bearable. Lenore read Thursday evening at the Shelton Timberland Library from her screenplay American Ubuntu. We got just a taste of it — just enough that all of us are looking forward to seeing the entire story play out in movie form. Then Saturday was lunch with all the alums, and afterward they shared bits of their work: Ann’s poems, some of the backstory from Lenore’s screenplay, and stories related to the book Ruby is at the editing stage of — the book she worked on and read from while a resident herself. The gathering thus over, we look forward to having these and other alums return next August.

Book Arts In Progress

ARTIST’S REPORT:  Pat Chupa, book artist (P. Chupa WordArts)

Preparing for an annual book arts show is always a mixture of excitement, stress, and gratifiying pleasure. If  one is trying to do the artistic work around the edges of a full-time ‘regular job’ – it becomes disproportionately fraught with the challenge of producing enough work that will be good enough to choose from – and also available for the time it must be displayed. Last year, I had pieces that I had done in earlier years, that were suitable and included in the First Annual Puget Sound Book Artists’ Exhibit. This year, I was a bit more anxious, as most of the pieces I created this year were larger commissioned pieces, that were shipped off to their owners, and therefore not available for the show. (more…)

Photo of the book "What Remains" by Margaret Chula and Cathy Erickson.

The Poet and the Quilter

Last Friday we launched Hypatia’s new website.  At the end of that very long day I was physically exhausted, mentally drained and a little over-emotional that the new site went live.  Elspeth, my host, was watching a movie and I joined her.  Here is my advice — Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly is not a good choice if you are running on physical, mental and emotional fumes.  As tired as I was, I did recognize that at least I was not as mentally ill as the main character, Karin. (more…)

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