Marathon -- the movie

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Newsletter, Fall 2010


Letter from the President

Dear Friends,

Greetings once again here at Riverrun as we move from one holiday season to the next. There is a lot to be thankful for, not least of which is the friendship you have shown throughout the year. Nowhere was such support more evident than at our annual meeting this past November, a time to take stock, plan for the future, and enjoy each other's company.

Mother nature brought a number of challenges to Riverrun last winter which we hope to avoid this year. The furnace finally gave up the ghost, the well was struck by lightening and the pipes froze despite being drained by a professional plumber. Fortunately, most of the repairs were covered by insurance, but it was difficult to welcome visitors in the middle of all the work.

On November 11, our film MARATHON won Best Dramatic Feature at the Los Angeles branch of the New York International Film Festival. Last year it was selected as an official entry in a number of festivals including Palm Beach, Swansea Bay in Wales and Mexico where it took a bronze palm. We have been invited to the Delray Beach Festival April 11-17 and hope to make this the focus of a fund raising effort to identify investors for a theatrical release of the film beginning in the Ft. Lauderdale area. MARATHON is available on Netflix and will profit from viewers putting it in their queue.

This fall we were invited to exhibit art work at the Lyman Allyn Museum's exhibition, The Thrill of the Chase. The idea is to share work from private collections that the public would not normally see. A beautiful painting by Stoimen Stoilov represents the foundation and in the photo below two board members, Charlie Timberlake and his wife pat as well as Nancy Frankel were able to view the exhibit the day after the board meeting.

It is our hope this year to pursue another initiative suggested by William's good friend, John Hracy, i.e. production of a cd of William reading his poetry at different venues over the years. We'd also like to produce a documentary focusing on William's life and career, something in the line of American Masters, to augment the film MARATHON and will be pursuing grants to begin that project.

In July, we launched THE REVENANT, a series of lyric elegies for William published by Little Red Tree publishing. On December 2nd I read from this work along with Connecticut's new Poet Laureate, Dick Allen at the Hygienic Art Gallery. Profits from sale of the REVENANT will help endow the foundation, particularly an exciting new initiative we hope to launch next fall, The William Meredith Connecticut Poetry Festival. This festival will continue the tradition of poetry as a living art form that William encouraged throughout his long career at Connecticut College. In the William Meredith archive at the Shain Library there are examples Merdith's efforts on behalf of poetry. On December 9, 1962, for example, Robert Frost read his poetry at Connecticut College to a packed house. William invited friends such as Robert Penn Warren, Richard Wilbur, Muriel Rukeyser, Archibald MacLeish and many other celebrities to visit the community and read their work. The guest book at Riverrun is a virtual who's who of American poetry at the time. But William also brought lesser- known poets to the campus such as June Jordan and Derek Walcott and promoted talented students such as Gayle Jones and Michael Collier as well who later achieved national reputations. We envision a three day celebration of poetry combining poetry readings, workshops, publication awards, and panel discussions on divers topics. The festival will be a "moveable feast," and offer events at different venues in the community.

An exciting component of this festival will be the awarding of two prizes in poetry, the first of which would be the William Meredith Award for Poetry. This award would offer publication to a poet of great talent who may be in financial need or have not received the recognition that his or her work deserves by. It would provide publication of a full length manuscript and an award ceremony as part of the festival. This is an award that has no application process, but would come to the author unsolicited in the spirit of generosity that informed William's interactions with the world of poetry when he judged competitions and supported new talent. A second prize would be given in alternate years consisting of a national competition for a first book. The screened manuscripts would have a final selection by the Connecticut Poet Laureate who has agreed to serve as judge.

On November 13, The Courtyard Gallery kindly sponsored a fund-raising evening of poetry and live performance of beautiful music by John and Barbara Metz. I am happy to say we raised enough money to establish the first award publication which will be given to the poet David Fisher of California. We are currently seeking sponsorship of the poetry competition and a much more ambitious initiative, the purchase of Riverrun as a permanent home for the William Meredith Center for the arts. Congressman Courtney's office has informed us that our application for a special appropriation to build an artist residence annex to expand housing has been attached to legislation. The political climate doesn't favor such "earmarks," I'm afraid, but we continue efforts with corporate, and government funding as well as private philanthropy to make this dream a reality.

So, we are alive and well and remain optimistic despite the financial situation in the country. We plan to work hard this winter and look forward to new growth and rebirth this spring. Keep well and warm and deep thanks again, for your kind support.

Richard Harteis
President, The William Meredith Foundation



The William Meredith Foundation, Inc.
337 Kitemaug Road
Uncasville, Ct. 06382
Tel: 860-961-5138

© 2010  The William Meredith Foundation