Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (WCDH) Board President, Peggy Kjelgaard, had a vision to commemorate 20 years of hosting writers in 2020 by refreshing and refurbishing the colony's writers' suites. Her vision is being realized through a Sponsor-a-Suite campaign that began in July 2019 with the renovation of the Spring Garden writers’ suite into the Maya Angelou suite. In December, the Peach Blossom suite was completed and renamed the Langston Hughes suite.
In the new year, two additional suites were completed, both located in the mid-century Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Usonian-style house at 505 Spring Street, Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The Muse 4 writers’ suite became the Diana Rivers suite in February, and Muse 3 became the Marianne Moore suite in March. The effort was coordinated by WCDH Board Member, Teresa Pelliccio DeVito, who said, “As an artist, I understand how important creative workspace is. This is a constant consideration during a suite refresh.” Teresa worked with each suite’s sponsors and explained, “Before beginning a refresh, I research the sponsor’s author of choice. It’s important that I convey a sense of their personality, culture, and what inspired them. I fall head over heels in love with every author!”
The Muse 4/Diana Rivers suite refresh was sponsored by author and Shiloh Museum of Ozark History Director, Allyn Lord. She explained, “As both a WCDH board member and a writer who has stayed numerous times at the Colony, I strongly support the WCDH mission. Each of those roles fed into the Sponsor-a-Suite campaign by financially supporting the Colony and helping to make each suite more comfortable, up-to-date, and personal for the writers who stay there.”
Allyn has completed residencies in five of the Writers’ Colony’s eight writers’ suites. The Muse 4 suite was her favorite and was a natural choice for her sponsorship. Allyn had three reasons for choosing Diana Rivers as the suite’s namesake. She explained, “First and foremost, I wanted to name my suite for an Arkansas – and specifically an Arkansas Ozarks – writer, given my professional work in Arkansas Ozark history. Second, I wanted to choose someone who isn't necessarily mainstream, whom many folks may not know, and who writes in an alternative style (speculative fiction). And third, I respect and admire Diana Rivers, not only for her writing, but for her activism, her promotion of women's communities, her art, and her status as matriarch. She is friend, role model, artist, advocate, mother, inspiration, and – yes – author.”
Allyn chose to design the suite in Craftsman or Mission-style. It is her favorite fur