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!

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?


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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