On March 5th, 2016, we literally and literarily took over a 120-year old gallery. We thank Pen & Brush Gallery for opening up their garage doors and allowing us to run wild. We transformed their two-story space into a handwriter's heaven: in nooks and crannies, we stashed pillows, paper, and pen; we turned the walls into chalkboards; to greet you as you entered, we invited The Haiku Guy & Gals to do their magic, composing beauty in brevity in a matter of seconds; and throughout the day, we had a series of workshops and presentations that got people to the page. Big thanks to all those who partook near and from afar — Found Magazine, Letter Writers Alliance, CursiveLogic, Domtar, and last but not least, five year-old Toby, who has handwritten every single country a letter. If the opportunity arises again for us to commandeer another beautiful space, we will let you know. Below, enjoy some photos and info about our participating partners and presenters.
1:00-2:30: LETTER-WRITING PLAYSHOP — KAREN BENKE
Karen Benke prefers paper and purple-tipped pens. Author of three popular creative writing adventure books, RIP THE PAGE!, LEAP WRITE IN!, and WRITE BACK SOON!, Karen leads creative play-shops on the east and west coast, inspiring kids and kids at heart to put aside their smart phones and pen short poems, letters, and more. A long-time California Poet in the Schools, she lives north of the Golden Gate Bridge with her teenage son, magic cat, and rescue dog.
3:30-4:15: 110 LOVE LETTERS
Carly Butler is a writer, photographer, and snail mail enthusiast from British Columbia, Canada. After discovering 110 love letters that her grandmother wrote to her grandfather after a chance meeting during World War II, she flew to London to retrace her grandmother's steps. What began as a personal journey has turned into a blog, forthcoming book, and calling: she has been invited to speak about the legacy of letters with university students, historical organizations, and genealogy groups.
4:30-5:15: THE INFLUENCE OF LETTER WRITING ACROSS THE ARTS
Dallie Clark, PhD, is a humanities professor at Collin College. Her doctoral work at the University of Texas at Dallas focused on the letter as art in the digital age and how letter-writing has inspired additional art forms. Currently, she is working on a forthcoming exhibit and documentary on these topics, both of which will debut in early 2017. Dallie serves on advisory boards for the arts in the Dallas, Texas area and is also the author of Pink, a poetry collection. Come for an illuminating session on where letter writing is surfacing today and how it continues to inspire all genres of art.