This just in from Festival Rep Lorrin Krouss:

Mary Kate Jordan


“Today was amazing!  There were over 30 women at Mary Kate Jordan’s “Sedna” event — she is an incredible story teller.”

Mary Kate sent us a note later in the day, sharing her perspective on her panel:
“I spent much of the rest of the day basking in the afterglow of the morning. The women and men who co-created the tribal circle with me were profoundly present: open, vulnerable, and solid. No easy task, that. I honor the heart and integrity each one brought to the event. They wanted to know why Sedna matters to us; they cared.”The Inuit myth of Sedna speaks profoundly to me of the capacity to hold hope and (Lorrin’s word here) courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable circumstances: personal, cultural, even geographical. The way we hear her story, and the way her story plays in us as we listen, challenges easy, habitual, comfortable thinking about our own stories, and our own writing.
“Sedna’s story became available to those of us outside Inuit culture with the announcement in early 2004 of the discovery of a new planetary body in our solar system which now carries her name. In the version I present of this archetypal tale of the Primal Mother, Sedna invites each of us to claim a place as one ofher children, and then challenges her children with opportunities for radical trust: What if there’s actually a gift in whatever is, no matter what the packaging seems to predict?
“Thanks so much for the opportunity to share Sedna’s story with women and men of such good heart.  Long live the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers!”
Thank YOU, Mary Kate, for sharing this important message with us here in the Berkshires!
Lorrin Krouss went to both Mason Library panels, and she reports:

Sonia Pilcer

“At the “Women of a Certain Age” event there were over 75 people!!! Sonia Pilcer mentioned to me that next year, she would like a bigger space!  The women who read from their stories or their poetry were excellent and the crowd went wild after each one spoke.  It was a fascinating and diverse group.”

 Festival Rep Pauline Dongala was also there, and she wrote:

“This afternoon’s program was standing-room-only. I cannot find words to describe how good all the women writers were. I was proud of all of them. We have talented women around here and it takes a festival like this to bring them out. I am still flowing with joy.”


Barbara Slate also drew a great crowd at The Bookstore in Lenox, where she talked about her latest graphic novel, Getting Married and Other Mistakes, and the art and craft of the graphic novelist.  Here are some photos from her event, contributed by Richard Minsky.

This is how Festival Rep Judy Nardacci described it:

“Barbara Slate was fabulous! She had the audience right with her, from her first words, and Matt (Tannenbaum, owner of The Bookstore) said he hadn’t heard so much laughter in a long time. Barbara read from a tall stack of her comics- and even a sheaf of rejection letters. She took us on a tour of her evolution as a feminist graphic artist, starting with her line of “Ms. Liz” greeting cards in the early days. Women picked them up, read them, laughed – and then they “put them back and picked out a Hallmark card”. The world wasn’t ready yet for her pointed, acerbic wit.

“Besides Archie and Beauty and the Beast, she even drew Barbie comics (“with a breast reduction”, she said). It was fun to see the range of her work, and her colorful, very individual style as both artist and person.

“She expressed her disappointment that her overtures to schools and libraries haven’t been more successful, so one woman promptly suggested she do a workshop on “Graphic Art for Adults” right here at The Bookstore. She already has seven people enrolled!”

Barbara Slate


Let the joy flow on at the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers!

Please send us your impressions and responses to the Festival events you attend, as well as any photographs you’d like to share with us, and we’ll be happy to post them here on our blog.

Let’s keep the Festival spirit burning brightly in these gloomy last days of winter!

Women of A Certain Age panel, 3-2-13. L-R: Ellen Meeropol, Barbara Janoff, Lee Schwartz, Susie Kaufman, Alyson Dineen and Sonia Pilcer.