International Women's Day celebrated in local event



CLEARLAKE Lake County's inaugural International Women's Day, organized by county poet laureate Sandra Wade, gathered writers and artists at Redbud Library March 8.

Wade opened the event with a brief reading of poetry, then welcomed several local writers: Janet Riehl, Fran Ransley, Torrie Quintero, Joyce Anderson, JoAnn Sacccato, Carol Batho, Laurelee Roark and Linda Drew.

They read from both their own works and writings by admired poets, and presented historic background on women's wisdom.

Wade ended the evening with a poem in Spanish and English by Claribel Alegria, a moving childhood experience by Mary Tall Mountain and notes for a poem on women's experiences in the military based on a radio interview she did that morning with Sgt. Ellie Painted Crow.

Artist Mary Schossler showed recent paintings and drawings, and a collection of back issues of Ms. magazine and the British feminist journal Spare Rib were offered free.

An exhibit of newspaper articles and posters featured Native American women, Muslim women in Afghanistan, Iran and Somalia; herbalist Juliette de Bairacli-Levy, and local twin sisters Madge Johnson and Foddy Rowland, who celebrated their 97 th birthday last year.

Writers Mary McMillan and Chris Kirkwood attended. Hiram Johnson videotaped the event for airing on PEG channel 8 at a later date.

"Next year, we hope high school and college students will want to join in this joyful day to mark the creativity, courage and perseverance of women through the ages," Wade said.