News and Notes

“‘The Truth that Finally Overtakes You’: Katherine Anne Porter,” Sponsored by: American Women Writers National Museum

Porter, who famously observed, “Experience is what really happens to you in the long run; the truth that finally overtakes you,” was the subject of May 22, 2014, panel presented at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Dr. Christine Grogan, president of the Katherine Anne Porter Society, moderated a panel consisting of members of the KAPS Executive Committee. Grogan is a visiting professor at University of South Florida. Primarily interested in modern American women writers, Grogan has published articles in Feminist Studies in English Literature and Women’s Studies: An Inter-disciplinary Journal.

KAP’s residency in the D.C. area, including places she lived, people she knew, and work created or published during that period, were covered by Dr. Beth Alvarez, former Curator of Literary Manuscripts at the University of Maryland, College Park, Libraries where KAP’s papers are housed.

Dr. Christine Hait discussed Porter’s best-selling 1962 novel Ship of Fools, which was made into a 1965 movie. Hait is a professor of English at Columbia College, Columbia, S.C. In addition to serving on the executive committee of the Katherine Anne Porter Society and writing about Porter, she also is a co-founder of the Kay Boyle Society, and her most recent article is entitled “Publication and Recognition: Kay Boyle and the O. Henry Award.”

Challenges of writing KAP’s biography were discussed by Dr. Darlene Unrue, Distinguished Professor of English at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Unrue has published numerous articles and books on KAP, including Katherine Anne Porter: The Life of an Artist (2005) and Selected Letters of Katherine Anne Porter: Chronicles of a Modern Woman (2012). Professor Unrue is the recipient of many national and international awards and honors.

Dr. Jerry Findley came to the study of Porter through his work on the literature of the Early Modern Period, the period Porter calls “her stamping ground.” Findley taught courses on the literary masterpieces of the Western Tradition during teaching stints at universities across the South and Midwest. Recently retired and focusing on Porter, he addressed KAP’s “political understanding.”

The videorecording of the program can be viewed on YouTube.

“Katherine Anne Porter in Letters and Life,” sponsored by the University of Maryland Libraries at Hornbake Library, University of Maryland, College Park

The May 23, 2014, program included a presentation by Trevor Munoz and Elizabeth DePriest, members of the staff of the Katherine Anne Porter Correspondence Project that has digitized approximately 2,000 of Porter’s letters to her family written between 1913 And 1977. In addition, Mary Winslow Poole, Jane DeMouy, and Ted Wojtasik participated in a panel that explored their personal relationships with Porter.