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Melinda Ponder publishes biography of Katharine Lee Bates_2017-12-11_327

On a visit to campus in November, Linda Wyatt Gruber presented President Paula Johnson with a copy of Katharine Lee Bates: From Sea to Shining Sea, about our Wellesley poet of “American the Beautiful.”

Classmates who attended Melinda's talk at reunion as part of the panel discussion "Wellesley’s Early History" will be happy to read more about this distinguished alumna and faculty member who was not only a poet but also a social reformer, world traveller, literary scholar, friend of such important poets as Amy Lowell, and mentor to the then unknown Robert Frost.

Since launching the book in August, Melinda has been giving book talks around the country, including ones for Wellesley Clubs. For a preview, check out this video of an interview she did on Falmouth Community Television prior to the book launch.

Book Talks
Watch the Upcoming Events column on the home page of this website for notices of Melinda's speaking engagements at Wellesley clubs. And watch your email for invitations to mini-reunions for '66 at which she'll speak. If you would like her to visit your club for a book talk, contact her through her book’s website, And to see all her scheduled talks, check out the calendar on her website. She may be coming to a book store near you!

With a Little Help from Her Classmates...
Several of Melinda's book talks are for Wellesley classmates and alumnae. On September 17 she spoke to the Indianapolis Wellesley Club. On October 9, Phyllis Gottesfield Knight hosted her visit to the Denver area. Barbara Bywater Creed helped her plan several events in the San Francisco area, and Barbara Elden Scavullo hosted a mini-reunion on October 30 (where Melinda gave Linda Gruber the book for Paula Johnson). On November 7 in Wellesley, Melinda participated in the fund-raiser for the College Library, Authors on Stage; the photo at right shows her autographing books for attendees. On November 29, she spoke at another mini-reunion in the Boston area

at Anne Hanford's house. And she is scheduled to speak to the Wellesley Club of Naples, Florida, on January 27a post-hurricane Irma celebration! Plans are in the works with the Wellesley club of Phoenix. And Melinda hopes to give talks in New York City and Washington, D.C., this winter before going to Chicago next spring.

Four classmates attended her talk at Pine Manor College on September 6left to right: Melissa Fox, Melinda, Jeanne Lindholm Palleiko, Gigi Brady Barnhill and Anne Hanford.

Praise from Doris Kearns Goodwin

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin read an advance copy of the book and had this to say:

How I loved this splendid biography!  Melinda Ponder brings Katharine Lee Bates to life as never before. And what a fascinating, remarkable woman she was – so much more important in the history and literature of our country than I had realized.