Review of 11th Annual Women in Print

by Kara Wilson Yuen
Women in Print 2014
Women nin Print 2014
Women in Print 2014
Women in Print 2014
Women in Print 2014
Women in Print 2014

The 11th annual WOMEN IN PRINT was held on March 19, 2014, at the Worcester Public Library. Upon arriving at the library’s Saxe Room for the event, I was pleased to find a warm, welcoming atmosphere created by the WWHP Membership Committee with a table set up to greet people as they entered and a refreshment table set up by the WWHP Events Committee, who organized this annual event. I also enjoyed viewing the artwork by Nancy Skamarycz displayed on the walls around the room.

Shortly after 5:30pm, WWHP President and Worcester Public Library Board of Directors member Dianne Bruce approached the podium to begin the event. Ms. Bruce referenced the membership table at the entrance and spoke about several upcoming WWHP events. She then introduced the "eclectic" mix of authors, beginning with Patricia Glodis, author of Snooky.

Patricia Glodis has spent most of her life in Worcester and grew up in the Quinsigamond Village neighborhood with her five sisters. Ms. Glodis mentioned that she mostly writes poetry and admitted to being a novice at writing children’s books, but she wanted to write a story about her "beloved dog Snooky." Ms. Glodis began by reading the introduction to her book, which set the scene of Quinsigamond Village in the 1940s and 1950s. As she read, she displayed Amy M. Archambault’s illustrations for the book on a screen, which captured the time-period nicely. She also showed illustrations of Snooky and of her family. According to Ms. Glodis, "Most families would choose a dog, but Snooky chose us." Snooky was a rebellious, mischievous dog, but a very loyal dog. He would follow Ms. Glodis and her sisters to school each morning and afternoon, causing the principal to want to give Snooky an award for perfect attendance. In addition to the school and her home, Ms. Glodis mentions many other places around Quinsigamond Village in the book, making it not just a story about Snooky but also a first-hand account of Worcester during the 1940s and 1950s.

The second authro was Susan Elizabeth Sweeney, who holds a PhD in American literature from Brown University and is currently associate professor of American literature and creative writing at the College of the Holy Cross. Dr. Sweeney lives in Worcester now, but grew up in Baltimore surrounded by many old items owned by family members. Her most recent book of poetry entitled Hand Me Down was written to “remember loved ones through objects that were once important to them.” The first poem Dr. Sweeney read from this book was “Wish List,” which is about her parents asking her which objects of theirs she wanted to have when they passed away. She then read two more poems about her mother from Hand Me Down: “Beginning at the End,” which is about imagining her mother’s death and “In My Mother’s Hair,” which included many of the expressions that Dr. Sweeney’s mother would commonly say and focusing on what it meant to be in her mother’s hair. She then read one more poem about her mother entitled, “The Age of Ironing.” This poem is from a book Dr. Sweeney is currently working on entitled Slow Going. She followed this with a poem she had never read aloud before, "Instructions on Streetwalking" which is her "only Worcester poem." Dr. Sweeney read two poems about her late sister: "The Farewell" and "Saving a Place For You." She finished by reading her latest poem "Beginning Riding," which discusses taking horseback riding lessons, and "Sweet Oranges," which talks about eating oranges with her husband.

The final author of the evening was C.J. Posk, author of Worcester Stacks Up: Firsts and Fun Facts. Ms. Posk is a strong advocate of Worcester and created her book in the hope of "developing in children a love of the history of Worcester" and to show the humor in history. When Ms. Posk returned to Worcester after living in Denver for several years, she noticed there were no books for children about Worcester. She decided to take on the task of writing such a book, in spite of being legally blind. In her research, she discovered she had a list of "United States firsts" that had happened in Worcester. These discoveries set up the structure for the book. Ms. Posk wanted to have "history as entertainment", so the second part of the book is a "Did You Know?" segment with fifty trivia questions in the back about famous Worcester firsts. Ms. Posk wants to present the book to schools with the help of her editor, Cheryl Cory, with whom she has been putting on trivia contests around Worcester for children and also at the Worcester Historical Museum and senior centers. At the trivia contests, questions are asked from the book and prizes are handed out. This has been a good way of getting the book out to the public. Ms. Posk and Ms. Cory asked some of the trivia questions to the audience at WOMEN IN PRINT, including a question about Casey at the Bat author Ernest Thayer, who came from Worcester, and a question about Revolutionary War patriot, Deborah Sampson. In addition to the trivia contests, word is spreading about Worcester Stacks Up through a donor who wants to put the book into libraries, schools, and colleges. Ms. Posk came up with the title because she "stacked up" all of the firsts under different categories and arranged the book by subject matter instead of chronologically.

Dianne Bruce returned to the podium to thank the audience for coming and to encourage everyone to visit with the authors if they would like to purchase books and have them auto-graphed.

I was pleased to learn that Sarah Harker, an intern at WCCA-TV, Channel 13, videotaped WOMEN IN PRINT to show on local television. Many thanks to the WWHP Events Committee for all of their efforts in organizing another inspiring and informative WOMEN IN PRINT 2014.

Published Date: 
September 9, 2014