Letter Announcing the Formation of the New York Salon

October 31, 1975

Dear Friends,

As a result of some excited conersation at a recent reading, several of us are tring to form a literary salon for women. We are writing to you in the hopes that you'll want to become part of this salon.

This idea grew out of two readings: the first, a reading by Marilyn Coffey of her article on Dorothy Richardson which was published in the summer issue of the Feminist Art Journal, and the second, a reading by Lu Stone of her recently finished (and as yet unpublished) biography of Marianne Moore. Both readings were funcions for women only, and both provided warm, sympathetic, and supportive audiences for the writers. Now we hope to extend these good experienes into a series of readings, perhaps once a month.

Our next planned function is a slide-lecture by Gloria Orenstein entitled "The Women of Surrealism," Saturday, November 22nd, at 8 p.m. This will be at Gloria's home, Apt. 12G, 711 Amsterdam Avenue (at 94th Street, near the 96th Street IRT stop). This evet will celebrate the publication, by New York University Press, of Gloria's book, The Theater of the Marvelous: Surrealism and the Contemporary Stage. Like the earlier two events, it is open to women only. Bring interested friends, if you like, and bring food or drink to allay Gloria's hostess budget.

If you want to become a permanent member of this salon, bring with you (or sed to Gloria, if you can't come) five stamped self-addressed envelopes to offset our mailing cost. We plan a fiction reading for the December event.

Our hopes for the future of this salon are high: we want to present, in our monthly readings, work of genuine literary merit as wll as critical writings that elucidate works by other women artists--as we did in these first events. We expect the bulk of our audience to be writers, critical scholars, artists, and other women with a genuine interest in the arts. The four of us, below, come from various groups of women writers, some of them overlapping. When we met, recently, we discussed a number of possibilities for this salon. If interest warrants it, we thought a series of smaller, more informal readings, might be arranged among mebers. Or perhaps we might want to plan a public function, such as a fund-raising event for Aphra which, we hear, needs a sizeable contribution in order to continue functioning. Perhaps we can start a newsletter, keepng one another informed of readings, showings, and performances of women's work in the city. We're open to suggestion and, of course, will need help if our salon is to extend beyond the monthly readings.

Our primary goal is to use the sizeable and supportive audience we believe available in a way that provides maximum enthusiasm and support for us all. We hope you'll join us.

Marily Coffey
Erica Duncan
Karen Malpede
Gloria Orenstein

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