Suckow & CFAF

The Cedar Falls Authors Festival, 2017-2018

Ruth Suckow was one of five nationally known, best selling authors recently celebrated in the year long Cedar Falls Authors Festival (CFAF).

The other four include Bess Streeter Aldrich, James Hearst, Nancy Price and Robert James Waller. As we dug into these five authors, we found lots of things in common and that several of them were friends.

Visit the CFAF website,

Gary Kelley created our Festival poster, featuring quotes from all five authors.

Several RSMA members were part of the planning committee (Barbara Lounsberry, Rosemary Beach, Mary Brammer, and Cherie Dargan). We found several opportunities to pack a lot of action into our 2017 Annual Meeting. It turned into a full day of events.

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.

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

Business meeting

Discussing "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 & Lenore

Secretary Sara proudly displays her t-shirt from the 1992 tour

A 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

Just Suppose Sunday, September 24th at 2 pm

Liane Nichols, Artistic Coordinator of the Cedar Falls Community Theater did a Reader's Theatre performance of Just Suppose on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 2 pm at the Hearst Center for the Arts in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Liane used costumes and props as she became Ruth Suckow for this performance. We had a great turnout and enjoyed seeing the play come to life!

Just Suppose: The Life of Iowa Novelist Ruth Suckow was written by Rebecca Christian in 1992, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ruth Suckow's birth. Dubuque actress Lenore Howard took on the role of Suckow and performed the one woman play in seven cities around Iowa (and our Secretary, Sara, attended ALL of them and had the t-shirt to prove it!) We also had a program with the woman who wrote the play and the actress who performed it in June, as part of our Ruth Suckow Celebration

Liane Nichols

In character as Ruth Suckow

Later in the play

The Cedar Falls Authors Festival Wraps up

Did you get a chance to attend any of the 60 programs for the Cedar Falls Authors Festival? Ruth Suckow is one of the five local authors honored during 2017-2018. (The other four include Bess Streeter Aldrich, James Hearst, Nancy Price and Robert James Waller). Please visit our website! This Festival gave many more people the opportunity to learn about Ruth Suckow's life and work. Our webmaster, Cherie Dargan, did half a dozen presentations with Rosemary Beach and one with RSMA President Barbara Lounsberry about the five authors and the Festival.

cherie and rosemary present

Last updated March 5, 2021

Cherie Dargan, Webmaster