Photo, Ellen Hart, Katherine Forrest, Lee Lynch 2008

Katherine Forrest – “Proud of what my sisters and I achieved”

Karin Kallmaker Sisters of the Pen

Photo, Ellen Hart, Katherine Forrest, Lee Lynch 2008

The 2008 Golden Crown Literary Society conference is over and time never flew by so quickly for me before. There were so many moments of revelry and sisterhood, it’s impossible to capture them all. Over the next little while I’ll probably have a few more things to talk about, but right now the strongest memory is still the conclusion of Katherine Forrest’s keynote address on Saturday morning.

After amusing us with stories of Barbara Grier (every lesbian writer of a certain age has at least one Barbara Grier story) and a recap of her personal history in lesbian literature, Katherine spoke movingly of the early years of her career, when a network of bookstores, feminists and women, with little money, and driven by the strength of individual and collective determination, put stories of our lives into the hands of readers. Such work saved lives, over and over again.

Singling out Ellen Hart and Lee Lynch, she drew them to the stage with, “I am so proud of what my sisters and I achieved.” All three shared a hug and tears. Sniffs from the audience were audible and I was struck how all three women relaxed into the contact as if to say, “Yes, we survived, and we’re still safe.”

One of the audience sniffs was definitely mine.

The photo (left to right) of Ellen Hart, Katherine Forrest and Lee Lynch was taken by Teresa Marie, who has a wonderful array of photographs from the convention at her Flickr site, including the landscapes around the conference site and a breathtaking close-up of a dragonfly. If you click the photo, you’ll go to her GCLS Conference set.

Read here about why the Golden Crown Literary Society conference is my favorite event of the year.

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