Welcome to

The

Rivendell Group
of
The Mythopoeic Society.


The Green and Burning Tree
(design & embroidery by Cathy Parlin)

 

For more than thirty years, the Rivendell Group has been meeting regularly on or near the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus to study, discuss and enjoy myth, fantasy and imaginative literature in the traditions of J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, Christina Rossetti, T.H. White, Ursula K. LeGuin, Evangeline Walton, C.S. Lewis, Peter Beagle, Patricia McKillip, Jorge Luis Borges, Marion Zimmer Bradley, John Gardner and Angela Carter (among others). Formerly, we were also the University of Minnesota Mythopoeic Society, a recognized U of MN student organization. Our constitution is on another page.


Joan Marie Verba, Scraps, David Maxine, Ruth Berman
at a discussion of The Patchwork Girl of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

 


We're now a group on FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=62057750357

NEXT MEETING: Join us for the discussion!

Friday & Saturday, Dec. 10 & 11, 2010

TURNING PAGES IN THE MAGICIAN'S BOOK:
http://web.me.com/david_lenander/NarniaCon
Revisiting
C.S. Lewis's The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
in books and film
a free conference at the University of Minnesota
CHILDREN'S LITERATURE RESEARCH COLLECTIONS

December 10, 2010 1-6 PM
120 Andersen Library
[west bank campus, next to the law school]

Join us as we celebrate new and old visions and readings of these books in panel discussions, presentations, fiction & poetry readings, “filk-singing,” and scholarly papers.

Some expected presentations or speakers:
Rhysling Award poet Ruth Berman, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Librarian Jan Bogstad (on some technical aspects of the films), author Caroline Stevermer, David Emerson on Lucy, discussions of the film treatments and Miller's book, panel discussions, etc. We're interested in providing an opportunity for the reading of academic or scholarly papers about the Narnia Chronicles, C.S. Lewis and the other Inklings (members of Lewis's writers' group of the '30s & '40s, including J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, and others) and on related topics. More information will be available on our website at http://www.tc.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html and on Facebook under The Rivendell Group of the Mythopoeic Society. Or contact d-lena@umn.edu.

Nearly fifty years after C.S. Lewis's death, his Narnia stories continue to inspire new readers and new readings, not always positively. One recent book to explore a personal journey through the Wardrobe is Laura Miller's The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia. In the Twin Cities, the Rivendell Discussion Group of the Mythopoeic Society has been talking about Lewis's books for more than thirty years, and looks forward to seeing the new motion picture of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when it opens in December. Some of us have never felt alienated from Narnia, but others truly understand Miller's journey, which is described on the books' official web-page: http://lauramiller.typepad.com/

 

 


Photo from our September '06 discussion with Katherine Kohman, author of Lembas for the Soul, a joint meeting with The Minnesota Tolkien Society:

and see more photos from this meeting,

and from the July 2005 discussion with the MTS of Tolkien 2005 papers by local members David Emerson and Sharin' Schroeder,

see this web-page:

http://homepage.mac.com/david_lenander/Fantasy_and_SF/PhotoAlbum33.html

David Emerson's paper was: "Tolkien and Moorcock: Achieveing Literary Depth through Vertical and Horizontal Explorations of Time."

Current Meeting Schedule

Meetings are normally on Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. After many years of meeting at the U of MN's Coffman Union we're no longer meeting on-campus at the U of M.

Future topics/discussions:

Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 1:30 pm

we'll be watching/listening to/discussing Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe, or The Peer & the Peri
at the Dinkytown Southeast Community Library,1222 4th St. SE, Minneapolis.
This is in Dinkytown near the U of MN Mpls campus.

Iolanthe, or The Peer and the Peri, is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The story concerns a band of immortal fairies who find themselves at odds with the House of Peers. The opera satirises many aspects of Victorian British government and law. Like such other Gilbert & Sullivan productions as HMS Pinafore or The Pirates of Penzance it is full of spritely and sometimes lovely melodies, along with silliness and pattersongs and physical comedy.

Friday & Saturday, Dec. 10 & 11, 2010

TURNING PAGES IN THE MAGICIAN'S BOOK:
Rereading, Reimagining, Reviewing
C.S. Lewis's The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
in books and film
a conference at the University of Minnesota
CHILDREN'S LITERATURE RESEARCH COLLECTIONS

December 10, 2010 1-6 PM
120 Andersen Library
[west bank campus, next to the law school]

Join us as we celebrate new and old visions and readings of these books in panel discussions, presentations, fiction & poetry readings, “filk-singing,” and scholarly papers.

Some expected presentations or speakers:
Rhysling Award poet Ruth Berman, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Librarian Jan Bogstad (on some technical aspects of the films), author Caroline Stevermer, David Emerson on Lucy, discussions of the film treatments and Miller's book, panel discussions, etc. We're interested in providing an opportunity for the reading of academic or scholarly papers about the Narnia Chronicles, C.S. Lewis and the other Inklings (members of Lewis's writers' group of the '30s & '40s, including J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, and others) and on related topics. More information will be available on our website at http://www.tc.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html and on Facebook under The Rivendell Group of the Mythopoeic Society. Or contact d-lena@umn.edu.

Nearly fifty years after C.S. Lewis's death, his Narnia stories continue to inspire new readers and new readings, not always positively. One recent book to explore a personal journey through the Wardrobe is Laura Miller's The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia. In the Twin Cities, the Rivendell Discussion Group of the Mythopoeic Society has been talking about Lewis's books for more than thirty years, and looks forward to seeing the new motion picture of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when it opens in December. Some of us have never felt alienated from Narnia, but others truly understand Miller's journey, which is described on the books' official web-page: http://lauramiller.typepad.com/

Upcoming topics .  

We're planning meetings this winter to discuss the most recent Harry Potter film (and its book) as it's available on DVD, and hopefully, more Inklings (we really haven't discussed Charles Williams in quite a while),and we'll have to take up some of the new books by some of our members, like Caroline Stevermer and Eleanor Arnason, not to mention other local writers, like Neil Gaiman's recent _Graveyard Book_.

Recent Rivendell Topics 1997-2010 (this is a link to another page listing our topics back to 1997)

 

UPCOMING & Recent Twin City LOCAL EVENTS & DATES OF INTEREST
Misc. news:

UPCOMING LOCAL CONVENTIONS OF NOTE---
Jun 25-27 Fourth Street Fantasy Convention, Minneapolis, MN. http://www.4thstreetfantasy.com/

July 1-4 CONvergence, Bloomington, MN. GoHs: L. A. Banks, Jeremy Bulloch, Paul Cornell, Bridget Landry, Chuck McCann, Wally Wingert. (Pre-reg deadline: May 15) http://convergence-con.org/

I told Eric that we'd do a CONvergence discussion of _Voyage of the Dawn Treader_ in preparation for the film coming out next December, and also in preparation for a future discussion of ours of Laura Miller's wonderful book, _The Magician's Book_, which is about reading C.S. Lewis's Chronicles. Hopefully that'll be on July 3, I suppose (If that's the Saturday)? Perhaps this will be our July meeting.

A Rivendeller note of interest is that Caroline Stevermer's Magic Below Stairs appeared in June. This is the "Young Frederick" story (for younger readers, set in the world of _Sorcery & Cecilia_) that we've heard some excerpts from in the past couple of years, notably at one of our "Readings from Rivendell" events. I quite enjoyed it.


Ongoing Information

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

For more information, including directions, contact David, at 292-8887; or d-lena@tc.umn.edu

***************

Second Foundation

*Our complementary sister- or daughter- group, Second Foundation, meets regularly to discuss Science Fiction.

Next meeting is on November 15, 2010. Topic: the works of Fritz Leiber.

there will also be a co=sponsored discussion on the following weekend at MARS CON of the same topic, the works of Jack Vance.

FFI: Eric Heideman, eheideman@quest.net

**************



RIP

From the Star-Tribune Obituaries page.

Margaret J. Howes

Howes, Margaret J. Age 80, of Mpls, passed away April 15, 2008. Survived by son, Bruce (Joyce); daughter, Denise; 7 grandchildren; sister, Dorothy (James) and brother, Douglas (LaVern). Funeral Mass Friday, April 18, 2 PM, with visitation 1-2 PM at Annunciation Catholic Church, 509 W. 54th St., Mpls. Cremation Society of MN Mpls 612-825-2435

Published in the Star Tribune on 4/17/2008.

Margaret was one of the original group that gathered together at the invitation of Todd Zuhlsdorf to form the Rivendell discussion group of the Mythopoeic Society.  She and Ruth Berman and I were the only ones from that original gathering, in 1973 or 74 who were still regularly attending.  Margaret had been a member of the Society over the years, off and on, and had attended a Mythcon or three.  She's actually pictured above in the Rivendell photo from the 80s--she is Scraps, the Patchwork Girl of Oz. You can see other pictures of her on her web-page, or further down on this page. She was our guest of honor at Bree Moot 5, after the publication of her novel, The Wrong World, and I have a web-page up for her fan activities at http://www.tc.umn.edu/~d-lena/MargHowes.html


Old news--

Rivendeller Caroline Stevermer's book, When the King Returns, is now in bookstores as a mass market paperback, along with Peg Kerr's The Wild Swans. Also, P.C. Hodgell's first two novels are reprinted as Dark of the Gods, along with sequel, Seeker's Mask, to be followed by a fourth volume in the series, next summer. Not to mention Margaret Howes' novel, The Wrong World. Check out information on Margaret's page. I'll add more about the novel, Autumn World, which is also in bookstores, by five former or present Rivendellers, soon.

3/28/00. Here's a Rivendell Discussion Report from Joan Marie Verba, which recently appeared in Mythprint.

A U of MN student has put up a pretty successful New Tolkien Movie news page.

check it out at: http://ringbearer.org/

 

For further local events news, call the Minn-stiff hotline: 824-5559.



Although this page has received many little "tweaks" since it came up in March of '96, most of its growth has been incremental. In August of 96, however, I added a Mythcon 24 page which contains a record of the chief achievement of Rivendell's years: The 24th annual Conference of the Mythopoeic Society. I've also recently added quite a bit to the Last Homely Hearth page, put up pages for Joan Marie Verba, Caroline Stevermer, Jack Zipes & Peg Kerr, added to the Ruth Berman page, added a picture to the Tolkien Thoughts page, and added more pictures of Rivendellers on another, attached page. Still coming, pages and/or links for Eric M. Heideman, Michael Levy, P.C. Hodgell, Margaret Howes, Rodney Shewan, Laramie Sasseville, Stephen Prickett, C. Michael Hancher, Sandra Lindow, and maybe such other writers as Phyllis Ann Karr, Sherwood Smith and some of the Scribblies (including novelists Patricia C. Wrede, Steve Brust, Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Kara Dalkey, Pam Dean). A past member and former officer, Jim Rogers, celebrates his birthday on November 4.
Click for a list of Rivendell discussion topics in the early 1980s years of our activities. There's a bit more about our history in a discussion of On Starting a Mythopoeic Society Discussion Group on the Hermits' Pool page.

Here's a few Discussion Reports.

 

[A photo from a Readings from Rivendell meeting from many years back. Terry Garey, on the right, read some poetry. She has a recent collection on cassette. To her right is Paula Rice Biever (check out her 'zine, Remnants), and to Paula's right is Erik Biever, proprietors, Foont Cellars Brewing & Publishing (publisher of our newsletter), and Sally Morem.]



[More Rivendellers, left to right: (Terry Garey's arm), Eleanor Arnason, Joan Marie Verba, Sandra Unerman, Ruth Berman and Margaret Howes. Probably the "Readings From Rivendell meeting in 1990 or 1991.]

[Still more Rivendellers at the same meeting: Eric M. Heideman, Polly Peterson, Marianne Hageman, Mike Dorn, Peg Kerr Ihinger and Brian Neurauter.]

For more pix, of more Rivendellers, at the discussion of Steve Brust's The Sun, The Moon and The Stars in an artist's studio, click here.


Click for some reflections on reading Tolkien by David Lenander that were intended for the Mythlore Tolkien memorial issue, but which were never used, and which included an account of Rivendell activities from years ago. As of 7/27/97, I've added some more scanned photographs.

Rivendell is affiliated with The Mythopoeic Society, headquartered in California--but membership in the national society is not required, and most local members are not members. There are another dozen or more similar groups located in scattered geographic locations about the U.S.A. For more information, see the Activity Calendar, where upcoming Rivendell activities are also listed.

Our local activity calendars are free through campus mail, via e-mail or available for the cost of postage through U.S. mail. Besides our monthly discussions, we have occasionally sponsored other programs, such as readings of new, original tales by such local writers (and members) as P.C. Hodgell and Eleanor Arnason, or lectures by professors like Stephen Prickett (U of Sussex, England, author of Victorian Fantasy), or U of MN students like Mike Levy, or SF & Fantasy novelists like C.J. Cherryh, Ben Bova, Gordon Dickson and Phyllis Ann Karr. We have also participated in the Mpls. S.F. Convention ("Minicon"), held annually during Easter weekend, the Fourth Street Fantasy Convention, SF Minnesota's Diversicon, Arcana, and acted as organizing committee for the 24th annual Conference of the Mythopoeic Society in 1993, and other activities. With some of these other organizations, and especially with our "offspring," the local C.S. Lewis Society and Second Foundation, a group that regularly meets to discuss SF, we have often held joint meetings, worked together on publicity or cross-listed our events in newsletters, etc. We are generally listed in the local MN-Stf organization (Minnesota Science Fiction Society) calendar, Einblatt. To read the recent Einblatts, go to http://www.mnstf.org/mnstf/einblatt/ and in the related pages you can also read about other Twin Cities area fan activities, including Minicon and Minn-StF meetings http://www.ddb.com/Minn-StF/

A recent local event of particular interest was the 30th anniversary commemorative Tolkien Conference, put on by some students at Mankato State University. Ruth Berman, Steve Deyo, David Lenander and Louisa Smith attended from Rivendell.

We also hosted a followup to this and to the recent "BREE MOOT" conferences in the midwest (previously, Iowa and Missouri) in May of '97, coinciding with the revival of the Children's Theater Company's production of The Hobbit. A Bree Moot con report should be added to this page, soon.

We're particularly proud of the creative and scholarly productions of some of our members, and especially of our annual December "Readings from Rivendell" program, where our members have read many stories and poems that were much enjoyed by all listeners--and in many cases, by later readers when these were published.

Our occasional newsletter over the years is Last Homely Hearth. I plan to add a number of past articles here. See here for the early history of the Rivendell Group. See also the Eleanor Arnason page for some reproduced material from LHH.

Here's a list of some mythopoeic writers about whom I'll be adding some more discussion, information, etc. Here's a similar list, of Minnesota and SF & F-related writers, from David Dyer-Bennet, http://www.ddb.com/sf/Minnesota-authors.shtml


May '95 Rivendell discussion of the "Enchanted Forest" books with the author,

Patricia

C.

Wrede.

 

 



from left:

Riawa Smith, Alexandra Howes, Steve Glennon, Margaret Howes, Patricia C. Wrede
photo by David Lenander

For a number of years I was unable to complete the caption on the above photograph--I wasn't sure of the identity of the young woman between Riawa and Steve. This past August I received the following note: Dear Mr. Lenander,

I was browsing the internet with regards to information on my grandmother, Margaret Howes, and came across The Rivendell Group`s webpage. As I scrolled down to look at your pictures I found one of the group that met with Patricia C. Wrede. You have everyone`s names listed [but] mine. I am the young girl second from the left with the long hair and glasses. My name is Alexandra Howes, and my grandmother, Margaret, used to take me to meetings when I was growing up.

It was a pleasure to chance upon your site and to see myself when I was still a young teenager! I am currently 24 and still writing; as my grandmother always encouraged and inspired me to do. Perhaps you could update with my name and surprise a few people who might know me.

Best regards to you and The Rivendell Group!

~Alexandra Howes


For latest update to this page, see updates page.



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