Thomas Wolfe Society news.
Thomas Wolfe Society Officers, 2007-2009 President Shawn Holliday, Winchester, Kentucky (TWSPresident@aol.com) Vice President David Radavich, Charleston, Illinois (firstname.lastname@example.org) Treasurer Bob Powell, Birmingham, Michigan (email@example.com) Secretary Martha Morgan, North Wilkesboro, NC (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thomas Wolfe Society Meeting (May 25-26, 2007; St. Louis): In the city of The Lost Boy, Society members enjoyed a stimulating and well-organized meeting. Sessions were conducted at the Hyatt Regency in the restored Union Station. After welcoming remarks by Shawn Holliday and the prologue reading by Mary Aswell Doll, moderator David Strange introduced the day's first speaker, David Radavich, who presented "Images of the 1904 World's Fair." Ruth Winchester Ware followed with her paper, "Thomas Wolfe's 1918 Flu Story: The Death of Ben." The session concluded with Norman Baxter's presentation, "Grover's Death and the St. Louis Years."
After the business meeting, Anne R. Zahlan moderated Session 2, with papers by Paula Gallant Eckard ("Narrative, Work, and Grief in The Lost Boy") and George Hovis ("Beyond the Lost Generation: The Death of Egotism in You Can't Go Home Again"). That evening, meeting attendees and several community members enjoyed a dramatic reading from The Lost Boy introduced by James W. Clark and performed by Mary Aswell Doll, Jan G. Hensley, and Ruth Winchester Ware.
Saturday's first session, moderated by Joseph Flora, began with Jon Dawson and his paper, "Look Outward, Thomas: Social Criticism as Unifying Element in You Can't Go Home Again. He was followed by Chris Prewitt, 2008 winner of the Thomas Wolfe Student Essay Prize in Honor of Richard S. Kennedy, "Paper Doll Matinee: Thomas Wolfe's Theatre." Reid Huntley then presented "Thomas Wolfe's Literary Style Illustrated in Of Time and the River." The final session of the 2008 meeting was moderated by Joseph Bentz and featured papers by Janice McCullagh ("Max Beckmann and Thomas Wolfe: A Creative Sympathy") and Steven B. Rogers ("Manuscripts of the Night: Thomas Wolfe, Jack Kerouac, and Nighttime in America"). Jan Hensley's epilogue reading then concluded the meeting.
Following a bus coach tour of St. Louis, which included a brief stop at the site of Julia Wolfe's 1904 boardinghouse and a visit to the World's Fair Exhibit, the Saturday evening banquet was held at the Hyatt Regency. During this event, the Zelda and Paul Gitlin Literary Prize winner was announced: Lisa Kerr for "Journey to the Interior: The Influence of Xenophon's Anabasis on Thomas Wolfe's O Lost" from the 2007 Thomas Wolfe Review. Chris Prewitt received his Student Essay Prize, and three TWS Citations of Merit were announced for Matthew J. Bruccoli, Arlyn Bruccoli, and R. Dietz Wolfe. Sharon Smith, Bascom Curator at the Missouri History Museum, delivered the keynote address, and David Radavich concluded the banquet by leading the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Meet Me in St. Louis."
Future Meeting Sites: The 2009 Thomas Wolfe Society meeting will be held May 21-24 in Paris, only the second overseas meeting in TWS history. Society vice president David Radavich is handling the program and local arrangements. In 2010 the Society is scheduled to meet in Greenville, South Carolina. Send suggestions for future meeting sites to TWS president Shawn Holliday at TWSPresident@aol.com.
Publications: The Society's 2009 special publication will be a booklet containing a previously unpublished Wolfe manuscript.