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Welcome to the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association (RSMA) Website
 

  

 

 

 

 1931 Publicity Photo of Ruth SuckowAn informal photo of Ruth, enjoying the outdoors.Ruth and Ferner on their wedding trip to California, 1929. Photo of Ruth with a cat.

Overview

Ruth Suckow was a famous writer with Iowa roots; this website was created by the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association (RSMA) to celebrate her literary legacy, and to help readers find information about her life and work--as well as provide access to some of her short stories. 

She was born in Hawarden, Iowa: her father was a Congregational minister and the family lived in eight cities around the state. She married Ferner Nuhn in 1929: he was a young writer, critic, and artist from Cedar Falls and eleven years younger. After their marriage they traveled around the country, spending time at several writers' colonies, including Yaddo in New York. They lived in New Mexico and Washington, D. C. and spent a summer with Robert Frost in his Vermont home. However, they always returned to Iowa, where they twice lived in Cedar Falls, until health problems led them to move to Arizona and then California, where she died in 1960. Several years after her death, Ferner remarried, and he and Georgia helped to establish the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association in 1966 to make sure that new generations of readers would be able to read her short stories and books.

The Cedar Falls Authors Festival

 
Have you heard about the Cedar Falls Authors Festival? Ruth Suckow is one of the five local authors being honored during 2017-2018. (The other four include Bess Streeter Aldrich, James Hearst, Nancy Price and Robert James Waller). Please visit our website!


The Annual Meeting -- 2017 Update!

The Ruth Suckow Memorial Association celebrated our 50th Anniversary, 1966-2016. What a milestone! We had a wonderful day on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the Cedar Falls Public Library. 

Our recent Annual meeting, Saturday, June 10, 2017, was one for the record books.

 
 
 
 Business meetingDiscussing "A Part of the Institution" Installing the new sculpture at the Hearst
 
 
 
The UNI student, Hannah, who created the sculpture dedicated to Ruth Suckow & Ferner Nuhn.Our evening program on the 1992 play "Just Suppose."Sara with our special guests: Lenore and Rebecca


Our Annual Meeting began at 10:00 am in the large Meeting Room on the 2nd floor of the CFPL. We had a brief program as well as our business meeting for members and guests. We had several special guests--the speakers for the evening program, Playwright Rebecca Christian and Actress Lenore Brown. We enjoyed our box lunches and visited.

The Public Program began at 1:00: we discussed Ruth Suckow's novella "A Part of The Institution," and thanked Roy Kenagy, who scanned in the novella as well as more stories for the Iowa Digital Heritage site! Then we were off to the Installation of the Sculpture honoring Ferner Nuhn and Ruth Suckow Nuhn in the Sculpture Garden at the Hearst Center, 3:00. The young sculptress, Hannah, was there and it was exciting to see her stand beside her creation, titled "Amongst," representing new coming out of old. The ceremony was followed by a Reception on the Hearst Center patio. Visitors browsed the exhibit of Marjorie Nuhn's paintings: she was Ferner's sister.

Finally, after a break, we enjoyed the evening Program on the play Just Suppose: The Story of Iowa Novelist Ruth Suckow. "Writing and Touring Just Suppose: The Story of Iowa Novelist Ruth Suckow" at the Hearst, Rebecca Christian and Lenore Howard, who portrayed Ruth Suckow in the one woman play, shared their memories and insights in an informal, conversational manner while a brief powerpoint presentation with images of Ruth and Ferner was displayed behind them. Afterward we enjoyed more conversation and the revelation that Sara had been to all seven performances, and had the t-shirt to prove it!

 
 
 
Webmaster Cherie poses with Rebecca & LenoreSecretary Sara proudly displays her t-shirt from the 1992 tourA closeup of the "Just Supposey" t-shirt.

Thank you to our 19 Donors for the Sculpture
In the space of just a few months, Cedar Falls Authors Committee members, members of the Cedar Falls Supper Club, and Ruth Suckow Memorial Association members were able to raise the money ($1250) for their share of the sculpture, named "Amongst," honoring Ruth Suckow and Ferner Nuhn, which was installed on Saturday, June 10th at the Hearst Sculpture Garden. 

Nineteen donations were made: thank you to all of those who made this sculpture possible!

Jim and Santha Kerns, Mary Huber, Cherie and Mike Dargan

Barbara and John Lounsberry, Nancy Price, Sara McAlpin

Mary and Dick Brammer, Judy Harrington, Scott Cawelti and Angelita Floyd

Karin Leonard, Taylor and Kathleen Flynn, Dr. Julie Husband and Dr. Jim O’Loughlin

Rebecca Christian, Michael Gibson, Molly Brammer, Jeremy Schraffenberger and

Adrianne Finlay, Clint and Ann Wrede, Sue Hummel

A Special Thank-You to:

Tom Stancliffe and Dan Perry, UNI Sculpture Department

Read Suckow's Stories On Iowa Digital Heritage
RSMA President Barbara Lounsberry worked hard to get Ruth Suckow's stories on the Iowa Digital Heritage website. The first set of stories is about Iowa women's lives. There are now nineteen short stories plus her novelette, "A Part of the Institution" in all, thanks to the hard work of one of our newest members, Roy Kenagy. Thanks, Roy!   
Read Barbara's essay introducing the stories, putting them into context, with a brief summary.

Follow the link below to go to the website.

Then click on "People and Biographies."  

The Ruth Suckow Short Story Collection is on page 7--if you want to take a look or to direct others to these stories.  Once you see the story, scroll down and you can read the description and other information.  If you then click on the red box, by the page at the top, the story will come up and there is a "pop up" button in the right-hand corner.  If you click on that, it makes the story even bigger and easier to read or to print out.

Updates from the University of Iowa's Special Collections, 2016

Go to our RSMA News link to see some new Suckow materials posted by the Special Collections, including an excerpt from Ruth's unfinished novel (and an introduction by Ferner).


RSMA Founder Ferner Nuhn is on Wikipedia.  

We have posted pictures of some of his artwork: Figures of the 30s.
 
Please check out the page on Ferner (Resources on Ferner Nuhn) as well as Mentions to discover what other websites are saying about Suckow & RSMA (Links to Posts on Blogs), Writing about Suckow (for another chance to read Marsha's poem on Suckow), and RSMA News (for updates about projects and events).  

We have replicated the Wikipedia entry on our site--on the page about Ferner. Written by webmaster Cherie Dargan, it draws from the hard work of several writers and historians in our group from the past, including Dorothy Grant.

In addition, the Ruth Suckow website may look the same, but we were approved for Google Apps for Non-Profits in 2013, which gives us a larger web space.

Ferner's Art is now here! Check out his sketches of fellow participants at some of the Writer's Workshops he and Ruth attended at Yaddo and MacDowell Colony, retreats established to give writers and artists a place to spend time creating their work. He called this collection of paintings "Figures of the 30s."

Find a reference to Suckow, a new photo, or have information about one of Ruth or Ferner's relatives? Please contact Cherie, webmaster, at cheriedargan@gmail.com. 


Some people find us through the Wikipedia article on Ruth Suckow; however, if you haven't seen it yet, here it is. The article was written by Michael Dargan, the original webmaster for the first Suckow website.

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Last updated July 11, 2017
Cherie Dargan, Webmaster
Original website created and maintained by Michael Dargan