New York Women's Literary Salon

September 1976 Newsletter

Text of the Newsletter:

The Woman's Salon's second reading of this season will be from Marge Piercy's new novel. The reading will be:

By Marge Piercy
Thursday, October 7, at 8:OO P.M.
463 West St. Apt. 933B Duncan
Westbeth -- Between Bank & Bethune Sts.

Marge Piercy's new navel is the story of Connie Ramos, who, according to Carole Rosenthal, is one of the most oppressed characters in fiction since Dickens. In a recent review in The Villager, Carole writes, "Connie is dumped into a mental institution, where she is treated as if she is invisible. Her real crime is being a person society doesn't want to see: poor, minority hispanic, and female... But Connie Ramos, a woman living "on the edge of time", comes to see herself clearly as a political prisoner of war. She takes psychological nourishment and marshalls strength to act in the present by trips forward into a utopian future… The grizzly reality of a dehumanized technological now is set against a gentle, loving community in which social planning is scaled to meet personal needs."

Other navels by Marge Piercy are: GOING DOWN FAST (1969), DANCE THE EAGLE TO SLEEP (1970), and SMALL CHANGES (1973). Her books of poetry include: BREAKING CAMP (1968), HARD LOVING (1969), 4-TELLING (with three other poets 1971), TO BE OF USE (1973).

As usual, women only are invited to the salon. Guests are welcome. Although we urge you to subscribe to the year's programs as described in our brochure, if you are unable to do so, please bring a contribution of $1 or so to help us cover the cost of mailing, or contribute some wine or food. There will be an opportunity to talk, have wine and cheese, and meet the author from 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. The reading, itself, will begin promptly at 9:00. If you have a book or magazine or other publication that you would like to show or offer for sale at the October Salon, please bring a few copies to display on our book table.

SALON NEWS: Although we have had no scheduled events during the summer, support for our efforts continues to grow. We have been receiving letters and subscriptions from women all over the country, and books and news from feminist publishers in England and in France. Our first Salon for the new season for Susan and Nina Yankowitz, in celebration of the publication of SILENT WITNESS, was attended by over 100 women. As usual the intensity of response was very high.

SALON NEWSLETTER: If you want to have an event announced in this newsletter, you should contact any one of us by phone or by mail and simply ask to have your notice included. It is not possible for us to cover all the women's artistic events in the city, but we would be pleased to published any notice you send. Our newsletter currently reaches over 600 women.

MAGAZINES: We would like to call to your attention two new magazines on women and the arts: Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics. (First issue will be out in November) and Womanart, edited by Ellen Lubell. The Fall issue of Womanart will publish an article on the Woman's Salon and the history of salons by Gloria Orenstein. The Fall issue of New Boston Review will publish Erika Duncan's introduction to the Anais Nin Salon. Coda and Ms. will have small articles about the salon as well.

FICTION WORKSHOP: Erika Duncan will be teaching an informal workshop in fiction writing at her home 463 West St. (Westbeth) Apt. 933B, between Bank and Bethune Sts. It will meet on Wed. evenings from 8:15 to 9:45. The fee for 10 sessions will be $50.00. If you are interested please call Erika at 691-0539.

CONFERENCES: A second Women-In-Writing Conference was held at Harrison House in Glencove, Long Island on Aug. 7th and 8th. It brought together women writers from all parts of the country. It also served as a gathering point for small feminist presses.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Ursula Owens, one of the directors of Virago, a feminist press from London, met with members of the salon informally at Marilyn Coffey's house this summer. The feminist press, Edition des Femmes in Paris has sent us the following recent publications for display at the salons PAROLES...ELLES TOURNENT!, LES LIMACES BLEUES by Yolande Paris, LE PLACARD by Jeanne Ribaucour, LES MESSAGERES by Evelyne le Garrec, translations from the English of books by Sheila Rowbotham, Mary Chamberlain, and Marjorie Rosen, and translation from the Spanish (Argentine) of Griselda Gambaro's book GAGNER SA MORT.

SMALL PRESS NEWS: Frances Steloff, founder of the Gotham Book Mart, was a special guest at a party this summer in celebration of new books out from Magic Circle Press: LITTLE BOAT LIGHTER THAN A CORK by Ruth Krauss and Esther Gilman, and DIARY OF A MONARCH BUTTERFLY by Susan Thompson and Sass Colby. New books from the Feminist Press includes THE WOMAN AND THE MYTH (A Biography of Margaret Fuller) by Bell Gale Chevigny, PORTRAITS OF CHINESE WOMEN IN REVOLUTION by Agnes Smedley, KATHE KOLLWITZ: WOMAN AND ARTIST by Martha Kearns, THE GIRL SLEUTH: A FEMINIST GUIDE by Bobbie Ann Mason, and VOICES, a play by Susan Griffin with an Introduction by Adrienne Rich. Salon co-founder, Marilyn Coffey's poem "Pricksong" was selected for the Pushcart Prize Best of the Small Presses Anthology. It was one of 71 pieces chosen from about 3,000 entries. It was nominated by the editors of APHRA, where it was first published. Judges of selections included Anais Nin, Nona Balakian and Joyce Carol Oates.

VOICE LESSONS: Salon member Linda C. Smith will be giving voice lessons concentrating on the interpretation of poetry and its performance. She charges $10 for an hour and a half, but will work for free with anyone who can't afford to pay. Please contact her c/o The Woman's Salon.

VISUAL ARTST: The Sister Chapel, a traveling exhibition in celebration of the emergence of a new womanspirit in art, is now being elaborated by eleven feminist painters and one environmental sculptor. Artists involved in the project, who will be doing portraits of the female heroine, either historical or archetypal are: June Blum, Elsa Goldsmith, Shirley Gorelick, Betty Holiday, Cynthia Mailman, Alice Neel, Sylvia Sleigh , May Stevens, and Sharon Wybrants, Maureen Connor, Martha Edelheit and Ilise Greenstein.

INDIVIDUAL SHOWS: Alice Neel, Sylvia Sleigh and May Stevens are showing at the Everson Museum in Syracuse. The show is entitled "The American Realists." It opens on Sept. 17th. Miriam Schapiro will have a show at the Andre Emmerich Gallery opening Sept. 18th. May Stevens will have a show at the Lerner Heller Gallery opening Oct. 16th. Harriet Moore is having an exhibition of her sculpture. For further information contact her at 1016 Rahway Ave. Westfield, New Jersey. Rhoda Nathan, a photographer, had a show early this summer at the Avanti Gallery which included many portraits of women artists. Miriam Brumer was one of 10 painters who showed at the Lotus Gallery earlier this summer.

WORKSHOPS: The Women's Media workshop will be starting Sept. 21st at 7:00 P.M. at 69 Mercer St. It will have a free introductory session. It will focus upon a sharing of visual journeys of the inner-self. Scriptwriting, editing, and other audio-visual skills will be taught. Contact: Alida Walsh, 966-5944 or 666-6622. The Creative Woman Seminar was held at Pratt-Phoenix School of Design in N.Y. this summer. Featured speaker was Cindy Nemser.

TRIPS: Suzanne Benton, metal sculptor, has created her own journey. She will be making masks for ritual performances with women in Hawaii, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Bali, Singapore, India, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Italy, Denmark, and England. She will be keeping a detailed journal of her year's experience around the world.

Marilyn Coffey/Erika Duncan/Karen Malpede/Gloria Orenstein/Carole Rosenthal

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