3 October 2012

Dear Wolfe Friends,

In honor of Thomas Wolfe’s birthday today, I would like to extend a special autumn greeting to you. I enjoyed seeing you in Asheville in May at the 2012 Thomas Wolfe Conference. The meeting was a great success, featuring excellent presentations on the life and work of Thomas Wolfe. And how special it was to hold the conference in Tom’s hometown! Thank you for participating in the event and for giving our speakers such a warm and enthusiastic reception.

I write also to give you information about the Thirty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the Thomas Wolfe Society, which will be held May 24-25, 2013, at the Grove Hotel in beautiful Boise, Idaho.

Hotel reservations must be made before April 24, 2013 in order to get the special room rate of $99 for the block of rooms allocated to the Thomas Wolfe Society for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Rooms two days before and after this period can be reserved at the $99 rate as well, based on availability.

The conference is being held during Memorial Day weekend, so be sure to reserve your room as soon as possible to take advantage of the special conference rate and to be guaranteed a room for the nights you desire. (You can always cancel later if you decide not to attend).

To make your reservations, please call the Grove Hotel at 1-888-961-5000 and let them know you are with the Thomas Wolfe Society.

The theme of the 2013 Thomas Wolfe Conference is “Wolfe and the West.” The Society invites papers that explore Wolfe’s connection to the West, although proposals are welcome on any theme related to Thomas Wolfe and his work. We are especially interested in ecocritical approaches to Wolfe, as well as considerations of his experience of nature tourism, auto tourism, and our national parks (now threatened by moneyed interests). Other topics might include treatments of Wolfe and Western writers or other writers who had ties to the American West, considerations of Wolfe and literary regionalism, and, more generally, how Wolfe’s experience of the West compares with his lives in the South and the Northeast.

In addition to scholarly papers, the conference will feature a public lecture by acclaimed writer Robert Morgan, author of Lions of the West, Boone, Gap Creek, and many other books. Morgan’s talk, co-sponsored by the Idaho Humanities Council and the North Carolina Humanities Council, will address the topic of Wolfe and the West in the American imagination. The 2013 Wolfe conference will also feature a dramatization of the correspondence between Thomas Wolfe and Idaho writer Vardis Fisher. The annual banquet will be held at Leku Ona, a fine Basque restaurant in downtown Boise, with the keynote address given by Dr. Tara Penry, Associate Professor of English at Boise State University and Acting Director of the Hemingway Western Studies Center.

You may want to participate in a special excursion being planned for Sunday, May 26. A bus will take us to the Sawtooth Mountain Range, to the birthplace of Ezra Pound and on to Sun Valley and Ketchum, where Ernest Hemingway wrote, partied, and died. The trip will also remind us of Lewis and Clark and the challenge of the Sawtooth Range to the Corps of Discovery. A very special thanks to Joe Flora for scouting out the area in advance of the conference and helping with the planning.

For those of you who teach, I am happy to announce that the Thomas Wolfe Society now offers travel grants for undergraduate and graduate students who are presenting scholarly papers at Wolfe conferences. The Society will award up to three travel grants in the amount of $300 each to help qualified students travel to Wolfe conferences each year.

I would like to thank George Hovis for his leadership, as well members of the Grants and Student Essay Prize Committees and the TWS Board of Directors for their work in making the travel award program a reality.

Please make plans now to help us celebrate Wolfe and the West at the 2013 Thomas Wolfe Conference on May 24-25 in Boise, Idaho.

Best regards,
Paula Eckard, President
Thomas Wolfe Society

Links of Interest:

The Grove Hotel: http://www.grovehotelboise.com

Leku Una Restaurant: http://www.lekuonaid.com

Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau: http://www.boise.org

Robert Morgan: http://www.robert-morgan.com

Dr. Tara Penry: http://english.boisestate.edu/contact/faculty/tara-penry


For more information, please contact:

George Hovis at george.hovis@oneonta.edu OR

Paula Eckard at pgeckard@uncc.edu


Wolfe on the West Overhang of the Grand Canyon, Photo Courtesy of Pack Library