People of Hypatia
Elspeth Pope’s legacy lives on in the dreams of those she has mentored. She shared her love of printing with inspired artists and now Pope Press Olympia will be opening soon in her honor.
We honor our mentors that have come before us by continuing to breath new life into the legacies that they have created.
Last winter. Jennifer Hukee began helping Elspeth with her basement printing press, organizing the studio and printing together. Elspeth shared her vision with Jennifer for using the studio to teach others letterpress and providing the space and equipment for aspiring artists. After Elspeth passed in May 2013, Jennifer approached her family about buying Elspeth’s printing equipment with the intent of opening a printing press studio in honor of Elspeth Pope.
Less than a month from opening on March 15, 2014 Pope Press Olympia is in the final stages of fundraising. Just $500 shy of their goal, Pope Press Olympia has an active fund-raising campaign on Indiegogo.com
Pope Press Olympia will house a haven of print artists. In addition to housing the Elspeth’s letterpress, the printing studio will include classroom space as well as exhibition space. It is designed for the beginner as well as the advanced printer. Jennifer has years of teaching printing classes but has lined up a very special guest instructor for the first class at Pope Press Olympia. Catherine Alice Michaelis, owner and letterpress printer of May Day Press and Elspeth’s neighbor and dear friend will teach a pressure printing class on Sunday March 16th, 2014
The poetry trail adjacent to Hypatia-in-the-Woods’ Holly House residence has found a new home on the wooded grounds of Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.
With the death of Hypatia’s founder/director, Elspeth Pope, her large property above Hammersley Inlet went on the market. The poetry trail circled an area of cedar woods on that property, and because there remained the possibility that Hypatia’s property where Holly House is located may have to be sold as well (the two properties share a water system, septic system and easement) the board determined that the poetry trail should be removed to a more public venue. The issue: where could it be enjoyed by more people, yet be secure?
Several locations were deemed possible. In mid-July, poet Jeanne, her daughter Karen Lohmann and friend Shelley Kirk-Rudeen, who was advisor to the installation, drove to Shelton to walk the path. En route home, they came up with the inspiration: St. Peter Hospital’s award-winning wooded and gardened grounds.
Karen proposed the project to the hospital administration. Now, just over a month later, the six installations have been removed from Elspeth’s property and installed at locations on the Olympia hospital campus:
• Sunshine House interior outdoor patio
• Two on the Trillium trail – parallel to Lilly Road (trail shared by Thurston County Health Department)
• In the Cedar Circle- to the North East of the main paver walkway
• Overlooking the egg-shaped stacked-stone sculptures near the North Entrance/Surgery Critical care/ and Family Birth areas
• On the walkway between the back (west entry near the parking garage) and Emilie Gamelin Pavilion.
A huge thank you to Karen for shepherding this project. Jeanne’s wise, beautiful and calm poetry will bless staff and visitors alike, and friends of Hypatia-in-the-Woods can visit the installations any time.
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.
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-in-the-Woods’ beloved founder and director, Dr. Elspeth Pope, died peacefully, surrounded by loving family members, on Saturday, May 18. She underwent emergency surgery two weeks earlier for an intestinal blockage and made a brave attempt at recovery but found that she simply did not have the strength to fight her way back as she had several years earlier after a debilitating stroke. She leaves a startling vacancy in the world she inhabited.
A gathering to celebrate her beautiful life will be held Saturday, June 8, 2pm at St. David’s Church, 324 W. Cedar, Shelton, Washington. The gathering includes a reception in St. David’s Hall.
The board and volunteers of Hypatia are committed to continuing the program and vision to which Elspeth dedicated so much of her energy and her resources. Holly House remains a tribute to Elspeth’s beloved husband, Jim Holly; women will continue to come for their residencies in that place set apart for them to work uninterrupted.
Elspeth’s life was an inspiration. She put herself through her university studies, leaving her home province of Montreal, Quebec, to come to the U.S. in 1951. She worked in medical and university libraries before turning to teaching library and information science, frequently bumping into the “glass curtain” encountered by women in her profession. In 1983, she retired from the University of South Carolina, married Jim Holly, and moved to Olympia, Washington. The two built their home near Shelton in 1991, using windfall cedar trees from the extensive property.
Both letterpress enthusiasts, Jim and Elspeth planned to create a print shop in the cedar building that Jim had used as a workshop during their house-building project. That same year, at a book arts event in England, Elspeth met Dr. Melissa Hardie. Later, Dr. Hardie and her husband, Dr. Phil Budden, visited Jim and Elspeth and the dream of developing a U.S. branch of Hypatia Trust, which Melissa founded In Cornwall, was born.
It’s almost as if a friend were moving
to the other side of the country
and you said of course you’d stay in touch …
Long-time Hypatia friend and board memberCarolyn Maddux has finished (yesss!) her most recent book project, Care: A Hospital for Mason County. After sending the manuscript off to the printer her poet’s voice came forward expressing her emotions — (more…)
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!
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…)
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!
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 (margaretchula.com) 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.
WEEDING THE LABYRINTH
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.
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.