Thursday, May 05, 2011

QUIP - Quakers Uniting in Publishing - April 2011

I attended my fourth QUIP meeting this spring. My first time attending QUIP was four years ago, the last time QUIP was in Britain. That year, 2007, we met at Glenthorne, the Quaker center and guest house in the Lake District.

I really appreciate that QUIP is an international conference. We had Friends from Britain, France, Ireland and the United States of America attend. It is wonderful being with other writers and sharing our experiences with each other. Two members of the Spirit Rising Editorial board, Sarah Hoggatt and Harriet Hart were with us. Some of the British Friends who shared their work and writing experience with us were Gerard Benson, Ben Pink Dandelion, Cathy Benson, Peter Daniels, Alex Wildwood, Gil Skidmore and Harvey Gillman.  It was nice to have them with us. Last year the volcano prevented British Friends from attending the conference. This year I also had an opportunity to try writing some peotry and later during the conference wrote a short story.

I learned about a program that Jeanne Henriette Louis and Be Pink Dandelion have put together for the french town of Saumur. William Penn was a student there from 1662 to 1664. As a result the town is naming a square after him. The municipal authorities and the association "Saumur et son histoire" are planning two days of events May, 20-22 on the theme of William Penn and Saumur. Stephen W. Angell, William Frost, and Thomas Swain will be three Friends from the USA who will join them for the celebration.

Irish Friends, Ian Kirk-Smith, editor of The Friend, shared his life with us through participating in a conversation with Trish Carn on Saturday night.

The conference this year was different because British Friends flowed in and out of the conference, unlike last time when because of the location they remained for the full conference. It reminded me of when Philadelphia Yearly Meeting meets at 4th & Arch. Philadelphia Friends flow in and out of the sessions fitting parts of it in their daily schedule when they can. However, it was nice to catch up with some British Friends I had not seen in four years even if it was only for a few hours.

It was nice hearing Hal Weaver share his experience with being one of the three editors of Black Fire. Even though our books are so different Hal and I shared many challenges and similarities that come with working with different cultures and collaborations. I also realized that Harriet, Hal and I all are using the books we have written as tools to futher our ministries.
Harriet Hart and Sarah Hoggatt organized a book launch of Spirit Rising for Friends in Birmingham. They performed a special slide show for us and along with several older Friends read pieces from the book. They sold several books that night. Harriet has planed to give two more presenations here in Britain., one in June at Friends House in London and the second at Britain Yearly Meeting this summer. Each night we end our day with Epilogue. Saturday night I was asked to give the Epilogue. Since the focus that evening had been Spirit Rising, I decided to read a piece written by a Young Friends from Britain. I noticed that none of the pieces read earlier in the evening included Friends from Britain. I wanted to make sure their voices were included in that evening.

Next year QUIP will be meeting back in the United States of America at another Quaker Conference Center, Pendle Hill. This is the closest that QUIP has been to Philadelphia since I have been attending. It will be nice to attend the conference while being able to go home every night and sleep in my own bed. I know Barry will appreciate that as well! I am looking forward to connecting with the writer in me again next year.

1 comment:

KentuckyQuaker said...

THANKS for this report on QUIP, Vanessa. I am so grateful for your work on "Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship." I come to Quakerism as a Canadian who had been for many years blind to the privilege I experienced. The work of people such as yourself and Donna is crucial. That you connect with other Quakers who are led to ministry in publishing helps me more than I can say. In gratitude --