Thomas Wolfe Society News.
President Rebecca Godwin, Barton College
Vice President Anne R. Zahlan, Eastern Illinois University
Treasurer Bob Powell, Birmingham, Michigan
Secretary Carolina Keizer, Durham, North Carolina
Thomas Wolfe Society Meeting (May 19-20, 2017; Indianapolis): The Society held its thirty-ninth annual meeting at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station, beginning with the Board of Directors meeting on Friday morning. Society President Mark Canada opened the meeting, and he was followed by Joe Flora, who read Wolfe's poem "A Field in Flanders" (written 100 years ago), and by Mary Aswell Doll who read a passage from chapter 40 of Look Homeward, Angel for the prologue. In Session 1, moderated by Rebecca Godwin, David Radavich presented his paper, "Fertile Frame: On Thomas Wolfe and the Midwest." Session 2 was moderated by Martha Jennette and featured "Tracking the Significance of Thomas Wolfe's 'Writing and Living' Purdue Speech: A Detective Story" by Joseph Bentz. Following a break, J. Todd Bailey moderated the third session, with papers by Amelie Moisy ("The Cather Connection in Wolfe's Life and Work"), Edwin M. Yoder Jr. ("A Very Long Train Journey"), and David Strange ("Back Home Again in Indiana: Thomas Wolfe and the Hoosier State"). On Friday evening, meeting attendees were treated to a screening of the 2016 film Genius at the Indianapolis Public Library, as well as an exhibition of Wolfe memorabilia from the collection of J. Todd Bailey.
Also during the Friday afternoon sessions, a posthumous Thomas Wolfe Society Citation of Merit was presented to Leslie Field for "his many contributions to the Thomas Wolfe Society and to Wolfe studies." Accepting the citation for her husband was Joyce Field, from West Lafayette, Indiana.
In Session 4, on Saturday morning, moderated by Joseph M. Flora, papers were presented by George Hovis ("By the Book? Adapting to Film A. Scott Berg's Maxwell Perkins: Editor of Genius "), Anne R. Zahlan ("From Text(s) to Screen: An Anatomy of Genius "), Andy Canada ("Focus on Film: An Analysis of Genius "), and Mark Canada ("The Real Thomas Wolfe: Did Jude Law Get Him Right?"). Following the business meeting, Caroline Keizer moderated Session 5, in which Paula Gallant Eckard presented her paper, "Thomas Wolfe, Hurricane Katrina, and Lost Children in Southern Literature." After closing words by Mark Canda, David Strange read from Wolfe's "Writing and Living" speech for the epilogue. In a special session, the Indiana University Kokomo Players performed "Wolfe's Wanderlust: Scenes and Music from His Life and Fiction."
The keynote address at the Saturday evening banquet was delivered by A. Scott Berg, whose biography of Maxwell Perkins, Editor of Genius, was adapted into the film Genius, starring Jude Law and Colin Firth. Berg's talk was titled "A Strange Destiny: My Thomas Wolfe Journey."
Future Meeting Sites: The 2018 Thomas Wolfe Society meeting is in Charlotte, North Carolina, 1-2 June. Anne Zahlan planned the program; the Local Arrangements Committee is chaired by Anne Zahlan and David Radavich. The 2019 meeting is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the 2020 meeting is likely to be held in Asheville. Send suggestions for future meeting sites to Terry Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Publications: The Society's 38th special publication, edited by David Strange, was The Last Photographs of Thomas Wolfe by Jerry Cotten. The 39th publication is Found: "Magic in a Dusty World," edited by Janice McCullagh and featuring her introductory essay. The book contains the Look Homeward, Angel illustrations of Lew Tilley. Special publication #40, focusing on the correspondence between Thomas Wolfe and Catherine Brett, is being edited by Caroline Keizer and Bob Anthony.