Tom DeMarchi, Director
Sanibel Island Writers Conference
Reed Hall 242
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565
When Jim Brock, poet extraordinaire and conference brainchild, stopped me in the hall in fall 2005 and said, "Let's form a committee to start an annual writers conference on Sanibel Island," I joined on the spot because, well, it involved Jim, and it meant we had a chance of bringing some of our favorite writers to the area. Jim drafted the initial proposal and budget, and enlisted Kimberly Campanello, Jesse Millner, Adrian Greene, Ingrid Martinez-Rico, Karen Tolchin, Jim Robison, Mary Ferarro, Jane Meek, and Lori Cornelius to lend their wisdom and talent to the cause. We made a list of the writers we'd like to invite, and somehow managed to be productive, focused and agreeable. You wouldn't be reading these words were it not for the committee members' individual commitment and collective effort. Thanks to them all for pitching in and making a molehill out of a mountain chain.
Thanks to former Chairs Dr. Brad Busbee and Dr. Myra Mendible, former Dean Donna Henry, Vice President Steve Magiera, and former President William C. Merwin for flashing the green light and cutting the red tape. It is an understatement to say that your vision and enthusiasm, your monetary and moral support, and your acknowledgment of how important creative writing is at Florida Gulf Coast University made all this possible.
A special thanks to the eternally optimistic and encouraging former chair of the Department of Language & Literature, Dr. Joe Wisdom. He lives up to his name and exudes a serenity that lowers my pulse. Joe also owns a truck that can haul lots of refreshments.
Molly Creeger, Lynne Garcia, Dewie Robinson, Raymond Rodrigues, Niki Costantino & Patricia Rice: thanks for keeping track of everything I forget.
Especially huge shout outs & bottomless gratitude to:
It’s an understatement to say that your vision and enthusiasm, your monetary and moral support, and your acknowledgment of how important creative writing is at Florida Gulf Coast University makes all this possible. Bless you for making the conference not just survive; bless you for making it thrive.
FGCU's Creative Writing Club, members past & present, particularly founding officers Amy Ortolano, Andrew Schmid, Ally Wickman, and Kaleena Deland-Zepeda. High-fives to Makeda Amadi, Andrea McCrary, Michael Grissom, Courtney Spencer, and Shannon Crandall, for demonstrating initiative, intelligence, humor, and keen fashion sense;
Thanks to everyone—colleagues & friends—who offered advice, donated time & money, volunteered, and helped promote the conference, including—but certainly not limited to—Audrea Anderson, Kristen Vaughn, Glenn Miller, Sterling Watson, Kelly McCarthy, Joe Pacheco, Marta Lee, Christine Caya, Karyn Everham, Alejandro Oquendo, Joe Higgins, Julie Ann Howell, Karen Sloan, Kristin Nail, Chealsye Bowley, Edward Livesay, Dan Stanford, Becky Donlan, Karen Lynch, Rachel Wise, Rob Hiatt, Phoebe Azran, Ron Hefner, Susan Holland, Robert and Tracy Jones, Tristan Dufresne, Martha Rosenthal, Debbie Lewis, Susan Haley, Mary Walch, Bud & Lee Willis, Phil Carter, Matthew Jacobson, Angel Taylor, and Morgan Souza, John Bond, Tanya Hochschild, Kevin & Elena Aho, Linda DiGloria, Sheila Bolduc-Simpson, Valerie Donovan, Britta Schulze, Mary & Sam Walch, Hillary Kaufman, Maria Roca, Jonathan Rose & Laura McDermott (of the excellent Palm Beach Poetry Festival), Amy Towne, Andrew Foley and everyone at Sarasota News & Books, Don Selby & Diane Boller at Poetry Daily, the folks at ShawGuides.com, everyone at BIG ARTS, Hollie at the Sanibel Island Bookshop, Theresa Acker, Laura Jensen and the whole staff at Follett, Amy Tardif, Conan Griffin & Julie Hoffman, Cathy Chestnut, Linda Campbell, Phil Thompson, and all the people who told their friends, announced it in their classes, hung up flyers, and forwarded e-mails. If you helped in any way and I neglected to list your name, give me a nuggie next time we cross paths.
To authors/workshop leaders/editors/agents, past and present, for writing so many words worth reading:
Thanks thanks thanks,
Tom DeMarchi, Director