Baba Summer: Part I by Judy Hogan
"We must choose carefully every day, balance within ourselves and within the day our needs, the needs of others, our most urgent tasks, and what we will let flow past us, never to return. Her example and this advice could also inspire others to express their own voices, their unique gifts, while they still can for the river of time stops for no one."
—Susan Broili, The Durham Herald-Sun
Baba Summer, Part I, is a memoir by Judy Hogan of her first visit in August,1990, to Soviet Russia as part of a Durham Sister Cities Writing Exchange with the Writers Organization of Kostroma, a city which had been closed to Americans during the Cold War. In diary and letters with her new Russian friends, she shares her experience, not only of falling in love with her partner in the exchange, Mikhail Bazankov, but also of many other new bonds she made with Russians: a nationally known painter, a school teacher, a translator and proof-reader at the VAAP copyright agency, and a student of philosophy. Hogan learned to speak, read, and write Russian so as to enhance communication with her new friends. The exchanges and their mutual projects continued through 2001, and Hogan anticipates publishing another three volumes of diary, narrative, letters, and poetry. She names the twelve years of her intensive experience with Russians as the most important event of her eighty-one years. This book begins in August, 1990, and ends in June, 1992.
Judy Hogan was born in a small wheat-farming community in Kansas to a new Presbyterian minister and his wife. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in Letters, Magna cum Laude, received a Woodrow Wilson fellowship, and had one year in Comparative Literature at Indiana University. Later she had four years of graduate work in Classics at the University of California in Berkeley, then elected to follow her passion as a writer.
In 1970 she became co-editor of a poetry journal (Hyperion, 1970-81). From 1976 to 1991, she was founder and editor of Carolina Wren Press of Durham.
Her newest publication is The Death of a Hell-Razor, the ninth installment of the Penny Weaver mystery series. A new book of poems, Those Eternally Linked Lives, came out in January 2018 from Big Table Publishing. Grace: A China Diary, 1910-16, which she edited and annotated, was published by Wipf and Stock of Oregon in April 2017. She has published seven other mystery novels Killer Frost (2012), Farm Fresh and Fatal (2013), The Sands of Gower (2015), Haw, Nuclear Apples? Formaldehyde, Rooster, Political Peaches (2016), and Tormentil Hall (2018). Number ten, Bakehouse Doom, comes out in May. She has published seven volumes of poetry with small presses, including, Beaver Soul (2013) and This River: An Epic Love Poem (2014). Her other published prose is Watering the Roots in a Democracy (1989) and the PMZ Poor Woman's Cookbook (2000). Her papers and twenty-five years of extensive diaries are in the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture, Duke University.
She has taught creative writing since 1974 and Freshman English 2004-2007 at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh.