In the tradition of our Society, all Ladies are invited to wear hats and Gentlemen to wear ties.Tea and refreshments are served after each program and all are welcomed to stay and enjoy convivial conversation and the pleasant repast. All programs are free and open to the public!
See location below!
SPRING 2013 EVENTS
All programs are from 2-4 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
A celebration of the works of Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1809-1892
Members and guests are invited to recite their favorite Tennyson poems (up to three minutes). Please notify Dennis Parks, SF Browning Society President, of your choice: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rosalind Elsie Franklin, 1920-1958
April 12, 2-4 p.m.
"Softly, softly catchee monkey -- Rosalind Franklin & DNA"
Presented by Pamela Barnes.
An expert in x-ray cyrstallography, Rosalind Franklin made critical contributions to the study of DNA as well as to the early studies of polio. A British biophysicist from an influential Jewish family, Franklin's work influenced Watson and Crick, though she was never fully acknowledged for her work.
March 8, 2013
Annual SF Browning Society Poetry Contest
Co-Sponsored by San Francisco State University
On Friday, May 8, at 2 p.m. in the Redwood Room at the Sequoias, 1400 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, this year's contest winners received their awards and had their poems performed by members of the Browning Society and local actors.
For the names of this year's awards recipients, visit our Poetry Contest page.
February 8, 2013
"On Good Writing -
Ivan Turgenev’s Unpublished Letters to a Young Princess"
Anthony Hoskins, presenter
When Madame Olga Dmitrievna Nelidow (née Princess Khilkov) died at Paris in 1918 -- widow of the Tsar’s Ambassador to France – she left to her son Alexander sixteen letters that had been written to her half a century earlier by the great Russian novelist, Ivan Turgenev. In these letters, Turgenev (a Khilkov family friend) advised a young aspiring author, Princess Olga Dmitrievna, on methods and principles of good writing.
These letters have remained unknown to scholars and unpublished. They are still in family hands.
Excerpts from the letters were read and discussed, as well as illustrative passages from Turgenev’s works.
Friday, January 11
Journalist Aleta George Presents "Ina's Secrets"
Ina D. Coolbrith, California's first poet laureate, referred to San Francisco as her "city of mists and of dreams," and shrouded her own life story with a fog as thick as the one that covered the city's seven hills. Coolbrith contributed hundreds of poems to the leading journals of her time and published several poetry collections. She counted Bret Harte, Mark Twain, and John Muir as friends, and mentored youngsters Jack London and Isadora Duncan when she worked as Oakland's first public librarian. Magazines and reporters adulated her, and fans sang her praises, but few knew the secrets she kept.
Journalist Aleta George is writing a biography of Ina Coolbrith, and will share some of Ina's secrets with you. George's work has been published in the Smithsonian, Los Angeles Times, Bay Nature, San Francisco Chronicle, and California magazine. Learn more about George at http://aletageorge.blogspot.com.
Keep your eye out here for future Poetry Salons hosted by the San Francisco Poetry Society.
For further details on upcoming meetings of the SF Browning Society, contact Dennis Parks, President, email@example.com.
Meetings and Talks Presented by the San Francisco Browning Society are usually held at 2 p.m. on a Friday afternoon.
Penthouse Meeting Room
1400 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94164
(Neighborhood: Lower Pacific Heights)
We had an exciting season this past year with new speakers and provocative programs that changed our views about the Victorians and some of the literary lions who followed them. Thanks to our terrific speakers and presenters.
Roberta M. Palumbo and Dennis Parks shared the story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning from the point of view of her beloved spaniel, "Flush." This drama of love and adventure, originally created for radio, was delightfully performed by members of the San Francisco Browning Society.
"Paradise and Damnation: Writers' Lives in Early 20th Century Carmel"
Life seemed easy in the Carmel arrtists' colony, where writers sought a supportive community but often experienced creative disappointment and personal tragedy. Prof. Robert Palmer re-introduced us to four prominent Carmelites: George Sterling, Jack London, Mary Hunter Austin, and Robinson Jeffers. Many other lively, colorful but sometimes doomed real-life characters were represented in Palmer's overview of the romance of self-destruction that ran wild in this time.
Mr. Palmer is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and of the law school of George Washington University. He is former Legal Counsel of the National Restaurant Association and is Professor Emeritus at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He was also the preseenter for the SF Browning Society's program on "The Lives and Literature of Gilbert and Sullivan."
"The Literary Mill Girls of American Industry: 1840-1845"
Jannie Dresser, MFA, has spent many years researching the extraordinary literary output of young Yankee farm girls who were part of America's first industrial work-force when they migrated from New England's farm and hill region to the Blackstone River region, and, in particular, to one of the world's first planned industrial towns: Lowell, Massachusetts.
Under the guidance of Protestant ministers, the women wrote and produced one of this country's first literary journals, "The Lowell Offering," which published poems, letters and prose pieces by the textile mill girls. Their reputation was enough to impress the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Charles Dickens who was more familiar with the degradations of factory life in England and pleasantly surprised at this cadre of women workers.
Dresser, now a member of the SF Browning Society's board, previously presented a program on Robert Browning's impact on the genre of "persona poems" in the American literary tradition. She has taught poetry and writing through the Bay Area in private workshops, at adult schools and in colleges. She founded the Bay Area Poets Seasonal Review and is host of the Bay Area Poetry Salons.
The SF Browning Society welcomed back the popular Dr. Leslie Friedman who presented us with an enchanting program on the legendary dancer Isadora Duncan. Dr. Friedman previously has previously presented programs on "The Other Victorians," "True Victorian Love Stories," and "Victorian Vampires."
Isadora Duncan (1877-1927), born in San Francisco, is credited with founding modern dance along with Martha Graham. She continues to fascinate audiences around the world for her colorful life story as well as her important role in the international dance world.
Dancer-choreograher, Friedman, has been praised by critics and audiences on four continents. Her honors include the Dean Goodman Choice Award for Best Solo Performance and the Selma Jeanne Cohen Award for International Dance Scholarship. Her career hosts a long list of "firsts": first American dancer to perform, choreograph and teach in China with the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department; first to perform in public in Moscow and Leningrad with a joint U.S./U.S.S.R. sponsorship after a 14-year suspension of cultural exchanges; first American to perform and teach with official U.S. and host government sponsorships in Spain, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Egypt, Sri Lanka and others. She perfromed throughout India as a Fulbright Lecturer and in 1997 was the only American to perform in the International Baltic Ballet Festival.
Dr. Friedman has taught dance in numerous colleges and also holds a Ph.D. in British history from Stanfard University.
Noted Bay Area actor and director, Julian Lopez-Morillas reprised his "Sleep to Wake: Robert Browning Remembers Elizabeth."
The show was creatively supported early on by the SF Browning Society and Mr. Lopez-Morillas' recently took the piece to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
"The Freedom of the Mask: Persona Poetry From Browning to Now" presented by poet and poetry teacher Jannie M. Dresser, MFA (host of Bay Area Poetry Salons, founder of the Bay Area Poets Seasonal Review, columnist at examiner.com).
Sarita Cannon, Assistant Professor of English, San Francisco State University, will explore "Split Communities, Split Selves" in Toni Morrison's Jazz and Honey and Rue. Ms. Cannon's program will include music!
March 9, 2 p.m.
"The Annual Poetry/Monologues Awards Presentation," featuring poets from San Francisco State University. For more information about our annual contest, see the appropriate website page.
February 10, 2 p.m.
Celebration of the bicentenary of CHARLES DICKENS (1812-2012), presented by current SF Browning Society President, Dennis Parks and Nuni Bethencourt.
January 22, 1-4 p.m.
"A Celebration of the Life of Kay Stewart," presented by Kay's son Philip Stewart at the Forest Hill Association Clubhouse, 381 Magellan ave., San Francisco.
Friday, January 13, 2 p.m.
"Silly Novels by Lady Novelists," a critical review of George Eliot's writing, presented by Pamela Barnes.
2011 AND 2010
Friday, December 9, 2011, 2 p.m.
"Noel, Noel: A Seasonal Celebration of the Works of Noel Coward"
Friday, November 11, 2011, 2 p.m.
"Oscar Wilde in America"
Presented by Robert Palmer, Professor Emeritus, California State Polytechnic University.
September 9, 2011
"A Self-Proclaimed Minor [or Minority] Victorian Poet: Amy Levy (1861-1889)" presented by Cynthia Scheinberg, Professor of English, Chair of the English Department and Dean of Graduate Literary Studies at Mills College. Author of Women's Poetry and Religion in Victorian England.
May 13, 2011
"Real Victorian Love Stories," presented by Dr. Leslie Friedman.
April 8, 2011
A special presentation devoted to the life and poetry of Emma Lazarus presented by members of the society.
March 11, 2011
The Annual Awards Presentation for he Best Poetry/Monlogues, submitted by students of San Francisco State University.
February 11, 2011
"Animal Rights and Literature in the Late Victorian Era," presented by Professor Loretta Stec.
January 14, 2011
"The Amazing Brontes: Aspects of Their Abiding Appeal," presented by Pamela Barnes.
December 10, 2010
"The Lives and Literature of Gilbert and Sullivan," by Dr. Robert Palmer with Leslie De Palo (singer).
November 12, 2010
"Real Victorian Love Stories," presented by Dr. Leslie Friedman.