The young women you see below is Ginger Hendricks, Director of the Salem College Center for Women Writers (www.salem.edu/go/cww). Ginger was the hostess during my visit to Salem for both the On the Same Poem program, co-sponsored by the Forsyth County public Library, and the William M. Hendricks Memorial Reading sponsored by the Forsyth County Public Library and the Salem College Center for Women Writers in Shirley Recital Hall, Salem Fine Arts Center. Ginger, a Salem Alumna, is a writer herself, and her family has contributed in important ways to the literary life of Salem College. I hope she will let me feature some of her work on my site in the near future.
(Ginger Hendricks, Director of the Salem College Center for Women Writers)
I had a lively time at Salem College, which must be one of the prettiest liberal arts campuses anywhere. Just before heading to the Forsyth County Library for the On the Same Poem luncheon, I visited Professor Edyta Oczkowic's
literature class, where the students had written essays about my work. Class visits are always my favorite part of any visit. The young women in this group listened intently and their questions were good ones.
Salem College is a congenial campus; being a woman's college alumna myself, I felt right at home there. Ginger, true to a women's school alum, arranged an elegant dinner for us, including selected students, before my reading. There I was astonished to meet Maggie Wynne, a Salem alumna, whose poem I had awarded first prize in the WNC Women Journal's poetry contest a year ago. She was thrilled to have finally received recognition for her work, and I plan to feature her work in a future post.
(Maggie Wynne, poet and alumna of Salem College, with Isabel Zuber and Kathryn Stripling Byer)
An extra highlight, on the second day of my stay, was hearing Chelsea Clinton speak just outside the guest house/dorm where I was staying. I stood on the fringes, letting the students press close to see her, but I could tell that she is an attractive and articulate young woman.
The folowing day I met the renowned composer William Bolcom and his wife Joan, in town for the 25th anniversary of the Piedmont Chamber Singers, who had commissioned a piece from him based on my poetry. We were treated to a recital of songs by Joan and Bill that night, and then next day--rehearsal time---I heard the suite he had composed for my poems. The songs gave me goosebumps! He did a splendid job, and I hope this suite will be perfomed many times over in the years to come. Bill Osborne, the director of the Piedmont Chamber Singers, had helped arrange this collaboration. Hearing the Chamber Singers recital, with two performances of the suite based on my poems, was the high point of the day, but I'll have to admit that meeting Joan and Bill at the Salem Tavern for lunch, ran a close second. What an energetic duo they are! Their website is bolcomandmorris.com.
(Ginger Hendricks, Director of the Salem College Center for Women Writers, Kathryn Stripling Byer and Caywood Hendricks, President of the William M. Hendricks Family Foundation. (left to right). I gave the fourth Hendricks Reading at Salem College on May 1, 2008.)
(At the podium)
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