Members' Recent Activities:
On October 14 and 15, 2022, Marilyn L. Geary presented her book Miners, Milkers & Merchants: From the Swiss-Italian Alps to the Golden Hills of Australia and California at “Settimane Ticinesi,” a series of events dedicated to Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Canton of Ticino held at the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco. On the first day focused on Ticino’s immigration to California, actors from the American Conservatory Theater read letters from Marilyn’s book dramatizing the immigrant experience. On the next day she gave a talk on the history of Swiss-Italian immigration to California, a mass migration which brought 28,000 Ticinesi to California between 1850 and 1920. Marilyn also conducted oral histories of the Rev. Dr. Jane Spahr and Paula Pilecki for the Anne T. Kent California Room of the Marin County Free Library.
Presbyterian Minister Janie Spahr has committed her life to advocating for justice and greater inclusivity for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. She was the founder and first executive director of Spectrum, the Center for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns in San Anselmo, California, now called the Spahr Center. Paula Pilecki served as its executive director for over sixteen years. Both were instrumental in providing services for the LGBTQ community and in changing attitudes by reaching out to and
collaborating with organizations throughout Marin County.
In October, California Audubon published Leslie Friedman
’s poem, “Meeting the Vulture.” “At a very large online gathering discussing raptors,” Leslie writes, “my name was picked out of a pot. I was asked if I had a
comment or story about raptors, so I read ‘Meeting the Vulture.’ I was immediately asked for permission to publish it
Jim Gasperini’s work in progress Fire in the Mind won the Grand Prize in the 2022 San Francisco Writers Conference Writing Contest. For this annual contest, literary-agent judges read excerpts from unpublished manuscripts and choose First Prize Winners in four categories. The Grand Prize Winner is then selected from among the four winners. Fire in the Mind took top honors in Adult Non-Fiction.
At the November meeting of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry, held in New York City, Peter G. Meyerhof was awarded the Hayden-Harris Award. “This award is the Academy’s highest award and given to those who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the history of dentistry. Dr. Meyerhof shares an interest in dental history as well as in the history of California.”
Dan Kohanski’s latest book is now out: A God of Our Invention: How Religion Shaped the Western World (Apocryphile Press, 2023). The book examines the history of the development of Jewish and Christian ideas of God and then explores how this history has led to Christianity’s enormous impact on the Western world. Dan wishes to acknowledge the tremendous help of the Writers Group, without whom
this project would not have been successful. On April 4th, Dan will speak about A God of Our Invention at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, in conversation with Club member George Hammond.
The paperback edition of Robert McNally’s The Modoc War is now available. “It was a nonfiction finalist in the Northern California Book Awards and the winner of a California Book Awards gold medal from the Commonwealth Club as the year’s best book on California. Available online from Bookshop.org
and University of Nebraska Press.”
A book launch and reception for Peter Stansky’s The Socialist Patriot: George Orwell and War (Stanford University Press, 2023) took place Thursday, February 23 at the Green Library at Stanford at 4:30, in the Bender Room. The program featured a talk by the Orwell scholar John Rodden about Peter’s earlier
Orwell work, The Unknown Orwell and Orwell: The Transformation. Peter himself spoke about his new book. The Socialist Patriot was available for sale, along with the combined edition of the two previous books.
Welcome new members:
Vince Emery created Vince Emery Productions http://www.emerybooks.com/
where he combines his skills as writer, literary detective, editor, and publisher, producing books and videos by and about established writers. “Our goal,” he writes, “is to give readers a deeper, closer connection with their favorite authors.” Dashiell Hammett, Harvey Milk, Jack London, and George Sterling are among the featured authors. Vince is currently working on “George Sterling's Greatest Hits,” “The Harvey Milk Letters,” and soon, “Writers of Carmel: An Anthology.”
Nathan Alexander Foxton is an artist living in San Francisco. Before moving here last year he had been working in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Harrison Center for the Arts (curator), at Ivy Tech Community College, University of Indianapolis, and Herron School of Art + Design (adjunct instructor). He’s a figurative painter, constructing space from a two-dimensional perspective. Nathan is interested in telling stories through his art about the soul of place and has a background teaching art history among other subjects. He has exhibited his work in group and solo shows.
John Hyde Barnard is a musician, writer, historian, and a retired Los Angeles City Librarian. He recently signed a publishing contract for “The Creole Incident: The Beginning of the End of Slavery,” a runner-up in the San Francisco Writers Conference Adult Non-Fiction Category (2021). “This historical narrative,” he writes, “details how the Union and the Constitution were saved, twenty years before the Civil War, by the actions of a few select members of the House of Representatives, led by the venerable John Quincy Adams, along with a handful of radical abolitionists and 19 enslaved individuals. The book is slated for release in late 2022.” John is still active as a musical arranger, director, publisher and performer and divides his time between Sausalito, Los Angeles and New York.
Members: Please submit news of your history-related publications, lectures, awards, research finds, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org.