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.


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

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. 

Now we are looking forward to our next Annual meeting, which will take place at the Cedar Falls Public Library on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

Our Annual Meeting begins at 10:00 am in the large Meeting Room on the 2nd floor of the CFPL. We will have a brief program as well as our business meeting for members and guests. We have several exciting announcements and anticipate several special guests--more details are coming soon. Then, we will have lunch at 12. You must contact Barbara Lounsberry to order lunch.

The Public Program begins at 1:00: we will discuss Ruth Suckow's novella "A Part of The Institution," thanks to the hard work of new member Roy Kenagy, who has helped us to scan in more stories for the Iowa Digital Heritage site! You will find a copy of the novella on the Short Story page; please read it for the meeting so that we can discuss it.

  •  Saturday, June 10: Installation of the Sculpture honoring Ferner Nuhn and Ruth Suckow Nuhn in the Sculpture Garden at the Hearst Center, 3:00. Followed by a Reception. Visitors are encouraged to browse the exhibit of Marjorie Nuhn's paintings: she was Ferner's sister.
  •  Saturday, June 10: Program on the play Just Suppose: The Story of Iowa Novelist Ruth Suckow, which was written by playwright Rebecca Christian for the 1992 Celebration of Ruth Suckow's 100th birthday. "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, will speak at the Hearst Center for the Arts, 7 p.m.  There is no cost for admission.
Suckow's Stories are Now 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.  

And now, 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 also 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 webmaster for the first Suckow website.

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Last updated May 19, 2017
Cherie Dargan, Webmaster
Original website created and maintained by Michael Dargan