The Bard’s Boutique Artist Spotlight presents: ‘Just Pretend…’ with island writers Stephanie Barbé Hammer and Deborah Nedelman

by Patricia Duff 15th May 2023

Let your imagination relax and lap up the poetry and prose of two artists, while they take you on a Sunday afternoon journey of possibility. 


Please join us upstairs in the Front Room Gallery at the Bayview Cash Store from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, May 28 for “Just Pretend…,” featuring the writings of Stephanie Barbé Hammer and Deborah Nedelman. Both artists are represented at Island Shakespeare Festival Bard’s Boutique, which is downstairs in the Cash Store and where attendees can browse their books and other local artists’ wares after the reading. All proceeds support Island Shakespeare Fest.


Barbé Hammer is a seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. She is the author of two novels, three poetry collections, one novelette, and a manual on how to write magical realism. Her mystery novella, “Journey to Merveilleux City” is expected later this year. Originally from Manhattan, Stephanie has lived and worked on the West Coast for most of her life. She currently lives on Whidbey Island where she continues her quest for a coffee shop and taco truck she can walk to.


Her works include “City Slicker: Encounters with Outside” (poetry), Bamboo Dart Press, 2022; “Pretend Plumber: An Adventure” (fiction), Inlandia Books, 2022; “Rescue Plan” (fiction), Bamboo Dart Press 2021; “Delicious Strangeness: A Pocket Guide to Magical Realism” (non-fiction); Spout Hill Press 2018; “The Puppet Turners of Narrow Interior” (fiction), Urban Farmhouse Press, 2015; “How Formal?” (poetry); Spout Hill Press, 2014; and “Sex with Buildings” (poetry), Dancing Girl Press, 2012.


Nedelman, PhD, MFA, a psychologist turned writer, is author of the novel, “What We Take for Truth,” Adelaide Press, 2018, which won the 2019 May Sarton Award for Women’s Fiction and was listed as one of the best books of 2019 by Kirkus Reviews. Deborah has published many works of flash fiction, poetry, short stories and has co-authored two books of nonfiction including “A Guide for Beginning Psychotherapists” and “Still Sexy After All These Years.”


After retiring from a 25-year private psychology practice, Nedelman moved to Whidbey Island from Mukilteo in 2013 and immediately got involved in the literary scene, as a board member of ISF and as a writer and editor for Whidbey Life Magazine. These days she offers writing classes and workshops at Create Space in the South Whidbey Community Center and at Seattle’s Hugo House online. Deborah believes that stories have the power to connect us and to help us grow. As a writer of both fiction and nonfiction, she strives to create stories that tell emotional truths.


Come, listen and let these artists help you to sit back and… just pretend.


Just Pretend… is a pay-what-you-will donation event to support Island Shakespeare Festival, (, which is also a pay-what-you-will season of classical outdoor theater happening July 21-Sept. 10, 2023.


The Bard’s Boutique in the Bayview Cash Store is located at 5603 Bayview Road in Langley.

Posted by WhidbeyLocal
15th May 2023 11:47 am.
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