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.
Pat’s post about Hypatia’s 2nd broadside reminded me that I’d written about the first back in March, back before the new web was live. This is old news by now — we’ve sent out many of the first printing as membership premiums and, as Pat wrote, are well started on the second, but the beginning, the first turn of the press, was so much fun, I just have to share this.
March 11, 2012: The press clacked and sighed as Pat turned the handle, then was quiet while I picked each newly printed broadside from the cylinder. Crisp letters on fine, muted papers. Four of us were printing broadsides, the poem “Swallowing the World” by local poet Don Freas. Probably a hundred repetitions for the seventy-four good copies printed. The others were proofs: determining placement on the page, realigning the plate after we cleaned the bed, checking the inking.
“墨流し suminagashi, which means ‘floating ink’ in Japanese is the oldest method of decorative paper made with floating colors that is known today. Author Einen Miura states that the oldest reference to suminagashi papers are in the waka poems of Shigeharu, (825-880 CE), a son of the famed Heian era poet Narihira. Various claims have been made regarding the origins of suminagashi. Some think that it may have originally come from China. Others have proposed that it may have derived from an early form of ink divination. Another theory is that the process may have derived from a form of popular entertainment at the time, in which a freshly painted sumi painting was immersed into water, and the ink slowly dispersed from the paper and rose to the surface, forming curious designs. (more…)
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…)
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…)
We are close, so close, to going live with Hypatia’s new website, and what a moment that will be! I’ve said that yes, I can write blog posts, do some editing. After all, I’ve done web pages before. Of course, my first page was direct HTML coding, quite simple in design, but oh, so satisfying.
Later I rebuilt a whole site where I worked using the Microsoft Word “publish as HTML” feature — much to the dismay of my system admin folks. Too much embedded code, too slow, too big … and so, I moved on to Dreamweaver with its ability to strip out all that excess MS code. And I could view the pages as I worked in both formatted and HTML versions, satisfying my need to actually understand what was happening. Ah … I miss that program, but no longer have access to a server as I did before I retired. (more…)