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Old 09-15-2014, 04:11 PM
Anna M Evans Anna M Evans is offline
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Default Kim Bridgford & West Chester

I'm horrified to share with you that as of today Kim has been relieved of her duties as Director of the West Chester Poetry Center & Conference, and the 2015 Conference has been canceled.

A legal battle is getting underway to support Kim, who has brought nothing but good to the conference during her tenure as Director in my opinion.

Allison Joseph has posted on Facebook urging as many people as possible to write to the Dean at the address below expressing their support of Kim and displeasure at the cancelation:

Dr. Lori A. Vermeulen
Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences
and Professor of Chemistry
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Anderson Hall, Suite 119
West Chester, PA 19383

I hope the Eratosphere community will rally round Kim.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:29 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Whoa.

Further details would be appreciated, when available, so that my letter can be more specific than "This is bad."
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:41 PM
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marly youmans marly youmans is offline
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Julie,

I suggest that you contact Allison and ask for any helpful details. That's what I did.

Best,
Marly
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:48 PM
Anna M Evans Anna M Evans is offline
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Like Allison I'm uncomfortable sharing too many specific details in a public forum, but if anyone wants to email me I'll explain the situation as best I can.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:51 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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I am horrified, too. The West Chester conference is by far the best conference, of any kind, that I have ever attended, and its cancellation would leave an irreplaceable gap in the world of formalist poetry. I think that Kim Bridgford's direction of it has been excellent. We are in a period of declining attendance at the conference, but I don't think her direction has been the main causes of the decline. Travel has become more expensive. The cost of attendance has increased, while many attendees are feeling the pinch of budgetary constraints. I think some people who liked the way the conference was run formerly may have stopped coming, but she has made lots of efforts to be more inclusive and reach out to groups that have not traditionally been welcomed to the world of formalism. I will certainly write in her support, but I too would like to know more about the reasons for this decision.

Susan
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:15 PM
Charlotte Innes Charlotte Innes is offline
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Yes, I'm stunned too. And even if, as Susan wisely speculates, there are financial issues behind it all, it seems so sudden! I'm really saddened by this. I agree she has made huge efforts to be more inclusive. I have written to Anna and Allison for more details, but both women are probably snowed under with inquiries... Actually, now Anna just sent me (and others) an e-mail. So, yes, please check with her.

Charlotte
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:18 PM
Bill Carpenter Bill Carpenter is offline
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Dean Vermeulen's email address is lvermeulen@wcupa.edu.
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:27 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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Enrollment in the workshops has been down, with a couple not making this year. I don't know any other details, but to administrative ways of thinking the numbers matter.
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:29 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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I do think that, under the circumstances, cancelling the conference for 2015 is probably a good idea since it would be almost impossible for someone to come aboard at this time, given the controversy and possible legal action, and put together any kind of event. Sad, though.
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:06 PM
Charlotte Innes Charlotte Innes is offline
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Thanks for the e-mail, Bill. I have sent my letter that way.

Sam, I live in the real world in terms of money, having suffered from corporate attitudes myself... but it does seem a little extreme to cancel the conference.

Charlotte
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