The Philadelphia Literary Legacy Exhibition: happiness-inducing news

Monday, February 25, 2013

Earlier today I was writing to two special friends—Ruta Sepetys and A.S. King—and in both notes, for very different reasons, I was writing about how important it is to me to be seen as a Philadelphia writer. I love this city. I write about it whenever I can—in Philadelphia Inquirer stories, in novels (I'm at work on a Philadelphia/Florence-centric novel as we speak), in books like Flow. I've seen this city struggle, I've seen it emerge, I've walked it in sleet and in sun. I believe in it.

Imagine how amazed and delighted I was, therefore, to receive a note from Leah Douglas, who is the director of exhibitions at the Philadelphia International Airport. Her note read, in part, like this:
For 2013, I am organizing an exhibition that provides a visual overview of Philadelphia's rich literary past and present. Given the theme, I invited librarians from the Free Library of Philadelphia to create a list of 50 Philadelphia-area authors/poets/playwrights (either born in the Philadelphia region or who lived a portion of their lives in the Philadelphia area). And, hopefully you will be pleased to know that your name was included on the list.
Leah tells me that the exhibition will be launched on July 2 and live for a year in Terminal A. The unveiling ceremony will be attended by Mayor Nutter, Airport CEO Mark Gale, and President and Director of the Free Library Siobhan Reardon, among others.

And yes, I'm going to be there.

The photo above was taken last Thursday evening, as I left the Penn campus. I had been working with a student for part of the afternoon and then attending an event with my father, a Penn alum. I was headed to the train, on the phone with my son, who is a city lover, too. "I hope you can see this night; the light is amazing," I was saying. I held the phone and I held my camera and I took this crooked shot.

But look at the light. That's how I feel.

17 comments:

Wild About Words said...

Beth,

As a fellow Philly gal/author, I am so pleased to read of this honor for you.

I hope to see the exhibit when I fly into Philly.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

So cool!

I love those airport exhibits--I have seen some really interesting art in our nation's terminals.

Katrina said...

YAY! I want to fly in, and see you there. Maybe, finally, I will!

Colleen said...

THIS IS SO COOL!!!!!!! I love everything about it! (Such a killer idea for the other airports to think about also!)

K. M. Walton said...

Well deserved, dear Beth. Congratulations!,,

Melissa Sarno said...

I'm so happy, happy for my very famous friend Beth! What a beautiful honor. This calls for a fancy pants dance party.

Joanne Fritz said...

That's fantastic, Beth! I'm thrilled for you.

Sarah Laurence said...

Congratulations, Beth! That is an honor well deserved. I love the idea of such an exhibit being at an airport instead of a museum so that more people will see it. What a wonderful way to spend time waiting for your flight.

The lighting in your photo is gorgeous too; it caught my eye amongst the myriad of FB updates today. It's odd to see a place without snow.

What a happy day!

Beth Kephart said...

Huge thanks to you all!! I just love my city and I'm so grateful.

Wendy said...

You rock, Beth! What a great honor - and so deserved. And yes...that light. Oh my, gorgeous.

Serena said...

What a beautiful honor, especially given who selected you. Wonderful. Congrats again.

Kimberly Eisler said...

So happy for you and so not surprised! The hits just keep on comin'!!! I want to come see the exhibit.

Xo,
Kim

Florinda Pendley Vasquez said...

This is outstanding news--and makes me think I need to find an excuse to fly to Philadelphia. Congratulations, Beth!

Florinda Pendley Vasquez said...

This is outstanding news--and makes me think I need to find an excuse to fly to Philadelphia. Congratulations, Beth!

Florinda Pendley Vasquez said...

This is outstanding news--and makes me think I need to find an excuse to fly to Philadelphia. Congratulations, Beth!

Pam Sedor said...

Dear Beth,
And Radnor Library is thrilled that our favorite local author (and my own) has been so honored. Beth, this is so exciting. You gave the beautiful Schuylkill River a voice (and curves!)and I will forever love you for that alone.

Pam

KFP said...

I'm late to the party here to say: how exciting, well-deserved and wonderful.

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