Posted by: tksellman | March 3, 2009

Reflections on Jane as she weaves through her second decade

I had the great pleasure of meeting up with some fine women writers I haven’t seen in a good long while at the recent AWP conference in Chicago. I was there to present on Internet metrics and small press publishing for the CLMP, but happily sat at the JSPF table at the bookfair to show my support.

  • Linda Mitchell remains a timeless and beautiful soul who’s just a ball to be around! She was one of the original crew of Wild Dove back in the pre-Jane days [read history here] and continues to be a great source of inspiration and energy for the entire Jane community. You can tell by her speaking voice what a fine blueswoman she is as well, bronchitis or not.
  • You might have read about poet Jan Kent already in the latest Jane newsletter: she’s Jane’s resident “word whisperer”… Jan co-hosts the Chicago branch of Jane with Bonnie Tunick. I found Jan to be the consummate Jane: smart, driven, engaged. She’s a former board member and now regular volunteer. She and Linda were also quite instrumental in finding homes for many past editions of JS while at AWP.
  • It was so fun to run into fairy godmother Bonnie Tunick, however briefly. She’s a person after my own heart, a maven for the nonprofit world and brimming with a terrific sense of humor. We only had a short meetup at the Jane table, and I’m sorry we didn’t get to chat more; she’s a vital resource for Jane and an all-around great woman.
  • It was fun to see Christine Swanberg because we share a love for both Chicago and the Pacific Northwest. She migrates to the west coast frequently to do her business as a working poet and teacher. I’ve only just talked to her on the phone and chatted with her in email, so it was great to put the face to the name IRL.
  • Susanna Lang was there to sign books and it became clear almost immediately why she was a Jane in her own right: again, we’re a smart, savvy, driven group of creative women! I was unable to attend her reading but did have the pleasure to chat with her at the Jane table as well.
  • Finally, what a treat to meet Anne Martin Fletcher! She has a great spirit, a good sense of humor, and serious smarts! I can’t wait to read her upcoming book about women in the USAF Academy. She’s quite an interesting person, with a background in piloting and a love for skiing. I hope to run into Anne again at future Jane meetups!

One of the greatest pleasures that came with sitting at the Jane table at AWP was the open interest in our organization. So many women passing by were thrilled to see what Jane was up to, and the list of potential new members grew wonderfully long and varied as each day passed. It’s my hope these new members will sign on and help to extend the wonderful energy that comprises this active, vital, grassroots women’s writing organization. I’m so proud to be part of it and pledge to do more in the coming years!


  1. Tamara, you can do our promo anytime! So glad you were able to make it!

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