Welcome to the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association (RSMA) Website 

1931 Publicity Photo of Ruth Suckow

An informal photo of Ruth, enjoying the outdoors in Minnesota, 1932.

Ruth and Ferner with a writer friend, and a cat. (undated)

This website is dedicated to the work of noted Iowa author Ruth Suckow and her husband Ferner Nuhn. She 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. 

To read more about their remarkable relationship, go to the page Ruth and Ferner.

Our talented Vice President, Jim Schaap, travelled to the Hawarden Public Library recently to see the first stop in 2024 of the Ruth Suckow Travelling Exhibit.

How appropriate that the Exhibit is starting where Ruth herself started--in Hawarden!

Hawarden Public Library Director Maddy Vlotho has gone all out with the display--which you will see below in the attached 8 images in the lovely slide share Jim created.  As you will see, the Hawarden Historical Society also contributed items for the display.

The Traveling Exhibit is booked through January 2025.  It will be hosted during 2024 and 2025 by eight of the 12 towns Ruth lived in during her life: Hawarden, LeMars, Manchester, Grinnell, Earlville, Quad Cities (actually Bettendorf, not Davenport), Cedar Falls, and Des Moines.  I have received applications to host in 2025 from the public libraries in Shenandoah and Atlantic as well, but they haven't been scheduled yet.

RSMA President Barbara Lounsberry

The Ruth Suckow Exhibit .pdf

Ruth Suckow Traveling Exhibit


The Ruth Suckow Memorial Association, with the support of Humanities Iowa, is pleased to announce the creation of a Traveling Exhibit celebrating the life and work of Iowa novelist and short story writer Ruth Suckow who lived from 1892 to 1960. 

We are launching the Traveling Exhibit on January 1, 2024, as part of the Centennial Celebration of Suckow’s first novel, Country People.  Host sites have been scheduled for 2024 and we are now scheduling for 2025.

Applicant Requirements:

1. Non-profit status – such as Iowa public libraries, historical societies, German American groups, and other Iowa cultural organizations.

2. Host contribution: The Exhibit is offered free-of-charge; however, we are asking each hosting institution to take responsibility for mailing or driving the Exhibit shipping box to the next Exhibit site.  (It will contain six 24 x 36 inch panels and a retractable banner).  To reduce mailing (or driving) costs for each hosting organization, we will make every effort to schedule the Traveling Exhibit so that hosting sites will be as close to each other as possible.  We hope this will keep host costs to less than $50.

Download and fill out the form below. Return to lounsberry@gmail.com.

Suckow Traveling Exhibit Application Form.docx

The deadline has passed for the Scholarship.

Tell your favorite Student or Teacher!

    $1,000 College Scholarship

 for the best essay on Ruth Suckow’s first novel, Country People (set in Iowa), or on one or more of the following Suckow short stories: 

“A Start in Life,” 

“A Great Mollie,” 

“A Rural Community,”

 “Midwestern Primitive,” 


 (all works are free and available here on the Short Stories page) 

Deadline:  January 1, 2024


Winner Announced: June 2024


Eligibility:  Iowa High School AP Students

                Iowa Community College Students

                Iowa College and University Undergraduate 

& Graduate Students


Length:  2,500 to 5,000 words


         $500 Teacher’s Award

 for the winning essayist’s teacher (if there is one)

 for use with the purchase of classroom materials, education,  or other approved use 

 (For more information, email lounsberry@gmail.com

A Start In Life 7.11.mp3

Listen to "A Start in Life," narrated by Jim Schaap of Dordt College. 

Or read it here, Ruth Suckow Memorial Association - A Start in Life 

This Year's Annual Meeting of the RSMA, Saturday, September 14, 2024

Hearst Center for the Arts

Social Hour at 9:00

Business meeting at 9:30 am

Noon, Harvest Picnic on the Hearst Center's Patio

Three Hymns and a meal catered by HyVee.

1:00-2:00, Program. Mary Swander, former Iowa Poet Laureate, has accepted our invitation to give the Keynote Address at our Centennial Celebration of the 1924 publication of Ruth's first novel, Country People.  

Following that, we will host a panel, Country People on Country People

Officers for 2022-2023

President:  Barbara Lounsberry

Vice President:  Jim Schaap              

Secretary:         Sue Hummel

Treasurer:  Carol Watson 

Webmaster: Cherie Dargan

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 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 and to print out.

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. 

Want to contact us? Want to become a member?  Click here for information!

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.

You can LIKE us on Facebook!  Search for the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association.


RSMA President Barbara Lounsberry doing research at the Special Collections. 

Almost every summer before Covid-19, Barbara, Mike and I traveled to the University of Iowa to visit the Special Collections area, do research, and frequently take materials that had been donated. They have a sizeable Ruth Suckow collection there, thanks to the work of Ferner Nuhn and Georgia.

Ruth Suckow loved cats, and there are numerous photographs with her holding a cat. This one was sent to The Iowan magazine.


Cherie Dargan, Webmaster

Original website created and maintained by Michael Dargan