Indie, activist, hip, smart, relevant? Then you will want to know that the Feminist Press, a nonprofit literary publishing house that takes pride in being all that and more, is holding its annual Hamptons fund-raiser on Sunday, and that B. Smith’s restaurant on Long Wharf in Sag Harbor is the place for the like-minded to be.
The 4 to 6 p.m. event, emceed by B. herself, features a distinguished roster of honorees starting with Edith Windsor, the Southampton octogenarian who, after being compelled in 2009 to pay a $363,000 federal estate tax following the death of her wife, demanded a refund on the grounds that the Defense of Marriage Act — which stated that the term “spouse” applies only to marriage between a man and a woman — was unconstitutional. Her challenge to the act went all the way up to the Supreme Court, which, on June 26, ruled in her favor — a landmark Fifth Amendment victory for same-sex couples.
“The truth is, I never expected any less from my country,” Ms. Windsor said afterward.
Also speaking on Sunday will be Blanche Wiesen Cook, distinguished professor of history at John Jay College in the City University of New York, a longtime resident of East Hampton whose two-volume prizewinning biography of Eleanor Roosevelt has become the go-to reference for E.R. scholars. Ms. Cook will offer some thoughts about women in the world today and will read from Claire Reed’s “Toughing It Out,” published by the Feminist Press earlier this year.
From Amagansett and Bridgehampton, the Lutheran Church’s own Rev. Katrina Foster will be another honoree. Over a 16-year ministry at Fordham Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Bronx, she transformed a congregation in decline through music and community outreach, and she has done the same and more as pastor of the two local churches, Incarnation and St. Michael’s. In 2007 Ms. Foster was among a group of Lutheran ministers who risked defrocking to challenge the church’s policy toward same-sex couples; the policy was amended in 2009.
The day’s fourth speaker will be the scholar and poet Sandra Robinson, a chaired professor of religion at Sarah Lawrence College who teaches Asian studies there. “Ebonics,” her recent book of poems, is said to be an irreverent response to academia “and other worlds of pretension,” in which she “bundles her linguistic sophistication, honed by Latin, Sanskrit, and Bengali, and takes it for a heady walk on the urban American Street.”
Sunday’s event was organized by Rebecca Seawright, an East Hampton homeowner who heads the Feminist Press board of directors.
Among other board members and supporters with ties to the East End are Joyce Whitby, Clare Coss, Helene Goldfarb, Ken Greenstein, Chuck Hitchcock, Merle Hoffman, Judith Hope, Marilyn Lamkay, Flora Schnall, Elaine Walsh and Brenda McGowan, Rita Wasserman, and David Wilt. Tickets, at $50 and up, are available in advance from feministpress.org or at the door for $60.