The annual business meeting of the membership of The Norman Mailer Society (“NMS”) was convened at the beginning of the Society’s fourteenth annual conference at Monmouth University, Long Branch, New Jersey, on Thursday, September 29, 2016, with President J. Michael Lennon presiding. The meeting began with a discussion of the logistics and locations of events at the conference, presented by Mike Lennon and Treasurer David Light. Mike acknowledged the photographs on the front and back covers of the program. The front cover is a photo of Norman Mailer and his sister Barbara Wasserman as young children, and the back cover photo is of the children with their father Barney, whose appearance Norman had likened to Donald Rumsfeld. Highlights noted for the conference ahead included the luncheon on Saturday with an expected attendance of 100 and keynote speaker Barbara Wasserman. Other program highlights include a presentation, hosted by Susan Goulding, on the history of Long Branch, a reading by Alex Gilvarry from his forthcoming novel Eastman Was Here, and a presentation of the one-woman play A Ticket To The Circus, written by Bonnie Culver and performed by actress K.C. Leiber. President Mike Lennon thanked the staff of Monmouth University, including particularly Susan Goulding, for their help and support in the organization and planning of the conference.
John Buffalo Mailer moved for approval of the minutes of the 2015 business meeting that had been provided to attendees, and Donna Lennon seconded the motion, which was then approved.
Maggie McKinley presented her nominations for Executive Board positions. She nominated Jason Mosser to fill the Board position previously held by Barbara Lounsberry, who has resigned. Maggie expressed thanks for Barbara’s years of service on the Board. The nomination was seconded by Susan Mailer, and the membership elected Jason Mosser to the Board. Mike Lennon thanked Jason for accepting the position and noted that Jason, a faculty member at Georgia Gwinnett College, has been active in the Norman Mailer Society for several years. Jason has published a book on Mailer’s non-fiction work.
Maggie McKinley nominated Michael Lennon to serve as President of the Board for another year. The nomination was seconded by Neil Abercrombie, who thanked President Lennon for his service, particularly his regular contact with the membership. Mike thanked the membership and recognized those members who traveled the longest distance to this conference, including Neil Abercrombie from Hawaii and Susan Mailer from Peru. Michael Lennon was then election President for a term to expire at the next conference in 2017.
Maggie McKinley was nominated to serve as Vice President, filling the vacancy created by the passing of Barry Leeds. Barbara Wasserman seconded the nomination and the membership elected Maggie McKinley as Vice President. Maggie nominated Marc Triplett to continue to serve as Secretary. Barbara Wasserman seconded the nomination and the membership approved. David Light was nominated to continue as Treasurer, and this nomination was seconded by John Buffalo Mailer and approved by the membership. Also reelected to the Board were Justin Bozung, Mark Olshaker and Lawrence Schiller.
Mike Lennon acknowledged that long-standing member Alan Ahearn was in attendance and welcomed Alan.
David Light presented the Treasurer’s report. For the period September 1, 2015, to August 31, 2017, receipts were $37,560.81 and disbursements were $21,936.84. The fund-raising appeal resulted in receipt of $10,500.00. The total worth of the Society is now $81,603.87. Mike Lennon thanked David for his outstanding service to the Society in his capacity as Treasurer and organizer of conferences.
Phil Sipiora updated the members on The Mailer Review, whose current edition is now in the proofing stages. This volume is expected to be approximately the same size as last year’s edition. The Review has three dimensions, namely, the academic, biographical and cultural. The new edition will include a story written by Mailer when he was 10 years old. This will be the 10th anniversary issue.
Mike Lennon acknowledged two forthcoming books by Society members. Jerome Loving’s book on Norman Mailer and Jack Abbott will be published soon. Maggie McKinley’s book will be published in the fall of 2017.
Jerry Lucas updated members on Digital Mailer projects. The compilation Works and Days is now digitized. Jerry is working on getting all issues of The Mailer Review posted online. Justin Bozung’s podcast, which now consists of 40 episodes, is highly recommended and includes numerous interviews with Norman Mailer over the years.
Nicole DePolo presented two Robert F. Lucid awards. The award for 2015 goes to Kevin Shultz for his book Buckley and Mailer. The 2014 award, presented belatedly, goes to J. Michael Lennon for The Selected Letters of Norman Mailer, and the Lucid Award plaque was presented to him.
There followed a discussion of potential sites for the Society’s conference for 2017 and future years. Locations discussed included Sarasota, Macon, Atlanta, Athens, Georgia, Provincetown, Chicago, and Wilkes. The Board will consider these and other possibilities before making its decision about the 2017 conference at the Board meeting.
There being no other business to be brought before the membership of The Norman Mailer Society, the meeting was adjourned.
Marc S. Triplett, Secretary