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CNY Branch of the NLAPW

To Create Takes Courage and CNY Branch Shows All That and More!

The theme of the 51st Biennial of the NLAPW was "To Create Takes Courage," and the CNY Branch showed up in numbers displaying creativity and courage in abundance. Hosted by the Central Ohio Branch in Columbus, Ohio, the Biennial took place over several days from April 26-April 28th with several CNY Branch members arriving a day early and staying a day or two later. President Sheila M. Byrnes opened the Biennial meeting with a welcome and challenge to extend membership to other creatives.

A highlight for the CNY Branch was the awarding of Biennial competitions to eight Letters members and with two Art members' works chosen for the gallery showcase at the Cultural Arts Center in Columbus. Those Letters members receiving awards were: Rachel Dickinson, first place for her memoir The Loneliest Places; Mary L. Gardner, third place for her poem "Solo" and second place for her ekphrastic essay "The Gift." Janine DeBaise was in a category of her own, honored for six awards, including second place for her poem "Pachelbel's Canon in D" and third place for her poem "I'm Just Here to do the Flowers." She earned Honorable Mention for her poems "Evening Visit" and "Seventh Generation." In addition, she took honorable mention for her nonfiction "Pandemic Companion" and essay "Out of Time." Lisa Harris won first place for her poem "Out the Window" and third place for her nonfiction "Amachol: Lenape for Boat."

Shown above left outside the Columbus Cultural Arts Center are CNY members (clockwise from top left): Stacey Murphy, Georgia Popoff, Nancy Dafoe, Florida Branch member who joined us Kristen Hines, CNY Branch member Janine DeBaise, and Mary Gardner. Shown above right are President Sheila M. Byrnes and Nancy Dafoe at the Literary Salon tables.

Janet Fagal won first place for her poem "Beach Music." Priscilla Berggren-Thomas won second place for her essay "Tilted: Seeing the World Aslant." Stacey Murphy won second place for her middle grade story "Branching Out." Nancy Dafoe won two first place awards for her ekphrastic prose "Sudden Turn of Events" and for narrative nonfiction "Journey Up the Tioughnioga." She earned second place for her memoir "Unstuck in Time: A Memoir and Mystery on Loss and Love" and third place for her short story "Brother/Son." Dafoe was also honored with the President's special award from NLAPW President Byrnes for her contributions to NLAPW.

Shown above left is the sculptural deer overlooking the Scioto River in downtown Columbus and the head table at the Vinnie Ream Banquet, including from left: Bev Goldie, keynote speaker Angela Meleca, Darlene Yeager-Torre, President Sheila M. Byrnes, Joan Applebaum, and Karen McAferty Morris.

Georgia Popoff offered an exciting and well-attended workshop to Biennial participants on the topic of creating poetic persona: "Look Who's Talking: Expanding Voice through Persona Poetry." Dafoe taught a workshop on "Writing for Social Justice." Joan Applebaum taught an art workshop on "Doing More with Less: Urban Sketching."

Shown above are the river Scioto and downtown Columbus, Sue Murphy's art in the Cultural Art Center, and a CNY Branch contingent of Mary L. Gardner, Janine DeBaise, Stacey Murphy, and Georgia Popoff.

All were inspired by the music of 91-year-old Yucca Branch member Elizabeth Lauer, and by the keynote addresses of Angela Meleca, Nannette Maciejunes, and Linda Kass. After events, NLAPW members enjoyed seeing the sights of Columbus. Special thanks to President Byrnes, Registration Chair Susan Zerweck, Program Designer Gayle Holton, Art Exhibit Curators and Biennial Co-Hosts Darlene Yeager-Torre and Bev Goldie, National Art Chair Joan Applebaum, National Chaplain Rev. Robin J. Moscati, and Vinnie Ream and Letters Chair Karen McAferty Morris.


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