Dear Wolfe Friends,
I look forward to seeing you in Indianapolis, where Wolfe arrived on the Southwestern Limited on his way to Purdue University to deliver his May 19, 1938, “Writing and Living” lecture. During this annual conference–our first in the “Crossroads of America”–we will explore Wolfe’s travels in the Midwest (and elsewhere) with presentations, along with a special theatrical performance. Appropriately, we will meet at the railroad-themed Crowne Plaza, located right next to Union Station (the first Union Station in the world), Wolfe’s train’s destination.
If you have not yet reserved your room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 123 West Louisiana Street, please do so by April 21, the cutoff date for the conference rate of $159 per night. To book a room at this rate, call 317.631.2221 and use the group code WOL. (For a webpage where you can book a room online, email Mark Canada at email@example.com.)
Those who arrive on Thursday can enjoy a beer tasting at Indianapolis’s oldest restaurant still operating, Rathskeller at the Athenaeum, 401 E. Michigan Street, 1.8 miles from the Crowne Plaza. Now designated a National Historical Landmark, the Athenaeum dates to 1893, when German immigrants built it as Das Deutsche Haus. The website describes Rathskeller as “reminiscent of a quaint inn tucked in the Bavarian Hills and a lively beer hall in Munich.” Thanks to President Mark Canada for arranging this happening.
Friday, we follow an afternoon of papers marking Wolfe’s relationship to the Midwest with a showing of Genius at the Indianapolis Public Library. Jude Law’s portrayal of Wolfe will be fresh in our minds as we discuss the film Saturday morning.
Mark has also arranged a show for Saturday afternoon. Indiana University Kokomo Players will bring us songs of the 1920s and 1930s that Wolfe mentioned in his writing, along with theatrical scenes dramatizing Wolfe’s travels in his life and fiction. What a treat!
If you have not renewed your TWS membership for 2017, please send your annual dues to David Strange, P.O. Box 1146, Bloomington, IN 47402. A renewal form arrived with your January letter from Mark Canada and also is available on the Thomas Wolfe Society website. If you aren’t sure whether your dues are paid for the year, email David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hoosier David Strange reminds us that Indianapolis and the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library have declared 2017 The Year of Vonnegut. You might enjoy visiting Vonnegut Library’s website to read about the city’s celebration of another great American writer.
If you are arriving early or staying after the meeting and would like to know about additional sites and tours for those arriving early or staying after the meeting…see below:
Optional Sunday Excursions
All of the following attractions are open on Sunday, May 21. Make your own arrangements to visit one or more of them.
White River State Park
This huge complex is home to the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens, the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Canal Walk, the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum, and more. Visit inwhiteriver.com for more information or see the separate entries for the Indiana State Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum below.
Indiana State Museum
This beautiful museum, made of Indiana limestone and sandstone, features the giant Foucault Pendulum, as well as permanent exhibits on the history of Indiana. Current exhibitions include “Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters,” “Pulp: Works on Paper,” and “Ice Age Graveyards.” Visit indianamuseum.org for more information.
Located within walking distance of the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg features Native American artifacts and art, as well as works by Charles Russell and Frederic Remington. Current exhibitions include “Dogs: Faithful and True,” “Quest for the West Art Show and Sale,” and “Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure.” Visit eiteljorg.org for more information.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The home of the Indy 500 is just a few miles west of downtown. Qualifications are scheduled to take place from noon to 6 p.m. on May 21. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 21. Visit indianapolismotorspeedway.com for more information.
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Located on 152 acres, the IMA houses several of Robert Indiana’s works, including his famous Love sculpture, as well as works by Vincent Van Gogh, Edward Hopper, and various Asian and African artists. Current exhibitions feature works by contemporary Polish sculptor Monika Sosnowska, watercolors of orchids in the Lilly collection, and “A Land Enchanted: The Golden Age of Indiana Art, 1877-1902.” Visit imamuseum.org for more information.
Vice President, The Thomas Wolfe Society