Bree Moot 3

Here’s info from Bree Moot 3, which occurred in May of ’97, at the University of Minnesota. Bree Moot 3 was co-sponsored by Beyond Bree, the University Libraries/Children’s Literature Research Collections and the Rivendell Group/University Mythopoeic Society.

Illustrating Tolkien


a small, reader-oriented conference
devoted to the works of
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit

University of Minnesota–Twin Cities (Minnesota)
Radisson Metrodome Hotel, Minneapolis Campus
which occurred
May 9-11, 1997

sponsored by
The Rivendell Group
John Rateliff
author of the forthcoming definitive work on the writing of The Hobbit
working title: “Mr. Baggins”

Ruth Berman
author, poet, critic
editor of The Middle-earth Song Book and author of several articles on Tolkien

Prof. Michael Foster
“Tolkien & Chesterton”

Thomas W. Olson
playwright, The Hobbit for the Children’s Theatre Company

Richard Henry
author, Pretending & Meaning

Laura Krentz
Hennepin County Librarian, Editor, Once Upon a Time , an apa

Laramie Sasseville
illustrator, singer

David Lenander
Mythcon 24 Chair, Mythprint columnist
Moderator, The Rivendell Group of the Mythopoeic Society

“In the Shadow of the Lonely Mountain: Writing After Tolkien”
a display of manuscripts and artwork from the Kerlan Collection of the CLRC

for more information contact

The Rivendell Group
monthly discussions of myth, fantasy and imaginative literature
(612)292-8887 (David)
or write to 293 Selby Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102-1811
or visit our web-page:

Illlustration by Sylvia Hunnewell, and used here by her kind permission.

Some related pages of interest, reflecting previous ‘cons in MN:
The 1996 Second Mankato Tolkien Conference

The 1993 24th Mythopoeic Conference

The Children’s Book Illustrators’ Guild of Minnesota

In May,1997 we held Bree Moot 3,
a small, fan-oriented Tolkien Conference,
in conjunction with the Children’s Theater
Company production of The Hobbit. This was
a much smaller event than the Mythcon
we hosted a few years’ back, and probably
smaller than the Mankato Tolkien Conference
of spring, 1996–and with a less academic
focus, more of a fan/reader orientation.

Filk-singing at Bree Moot 3.

Beyond Bree filksinging session

Beyond Bree filksinging session

Top photo:  David Salo, Laramie Sasseville and Laura Krentz
Middle photo:  L-R:  Ben Gribbon, Jan Long, Lars-Terje Lysemose
Bottom photo:  ?Jeff & Jan Long, Riawa Smith, Lars-Terje, Mike Foster, David Emerson, Jo Ann Johnson
photographs by Lisa Star, used by permission













John Rateliff, who is finishing up THE book on Tolkien’s writing of The Hobbit (working title: Mr. Baggins: The History of The Hobbit) for Tokien’s publisher, HarperCollins, was our guest of honor. [John is pictured at left, along with Janice Coulter.]

Janice Coulter and John Rateliff

Janice Coulter and John Rateliff

Bree Moot was also loosely sponsored by the fanzine Beyond Bree

And by the Children’s Literature Research Collections of the University Libraries, including the Kerlan Collection.

The Program.

We joined together for a Tolkien-filled weekend, beginning Friday afternoon, May 9, 1997. Events include John Rateliff’s keynote address following the banquet on Saturday evening; a slide presentation of Tolkien illustrations, by author/critic Ruth Berman; an author panel on the inspiration of Tolkien in writing fantasy; a panel discussion on various ways of illustrating Tolkien or bringing his creation to life; presentations on Tolkien’s invented languages, “Tolkien and Chesterton,” and on Tolkien fandom; and a performance of The Hobbit, playing at The Children’s Theatre, and of Tolkien’s works. Programming concluded on Sunday afternoon (May 11).

The schedule:

Revised Bree Moot schedule, as of May 7, 1997

Friday afternoon, programming in 109 Walter Library, the CLRC reading room: 1 p.m. Registration and Intro to Kerlan & CLR collections, and to display, “In the Shadow of the Lonely Mountain: Writing After Tolkien,” featuring special contributed testimonials by Jane Yolen, Sherwood Smith, Patricia McKillip and perhaps others, along with manuscript materials by Yolen, Ruth Nichols, Ellen Kindt McKenzie, Patricia Wrightson, Jane Louise Curry.

2 p.m. Presentation by Thomas W. Olson, playwright of the CTC Hobbit adaptation.

3:30 p.m.Panel, “Writing After Tolkien,” with Eleanor Arnason, Margaret Howes, Laura Krentz and Patricia C. Wrede,

5 p.m. break for dinner. A group went to the Peking Garden restaurant, a few blocks away, east on Washington Ave.

6 p.m. rooms 325, 326 and 327 open in Coffman Union. We had some limited refreshments available in one of these rooms, an “Unexpected Party” hospitality room, for tea or soda.

6:30 or 7 p.m., the planned Golfimbul on the green never panned out, though many people played around with the materials in 325. :

8 p.m. “Visions of Tolkien’s Middle-earth” (or some such title), slides & commentary by Ruth Berman.

9 p.m. “Teaching Tolkien” a panel with Michael Foster and one other.

10 p.m. or so…. Filksinging–and video program.

Saturday a.m. In Coffman Union 325-7, again

8:30 a.m. David Lenander, a paper on an episode in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Ruth Berman also read a short paper.

9:15 a.m. paper by John Rateliffe.

10:15. transporting to the CTC. Meanwhile, back in the hospitality room, Eric H held court.

11-1, the CTC Hobbit.

1:30. Picnic LUNCH, catered by Jo Ann M. Johnson, on the Coffman terrace.

2:30 presentation by Rick Henry (author of “Pretending and Meaning”) “On Disbelief” with special attention to Tolkien.

3:30 presentation by Michael Foster, on “Tolkien & Chesterton,”

4:30. Panel on Tolkien & music, with David Lenander. Probably some recorded music will be sampled.

5:30 Panel on Tolkien & fandom (incl. Lisa Star, Lars-Terje Lysemose, Nathan Smith, Joan Marie Verba), (Nathan Smith was unable to attend).

6:15 break. Programming concluded in Coffman, unless hospitality room remains open for a while.

7 p.m.Banquet at Radisson Hotel.

8 p.m. After dinner program: Lisa Star announces poetry contest winners. John Rateliff speaks. John spoke about “Mr. Baggins: the History of The Hobbit”

9 p.m. or later, Evening entertainments, including a bardic circle and mostly filksinging.

Sunday a.m.

8:30 a.m. Pre-Tolkien fantasy presentation, to be announced.

9:30 a.m. a panel on Tolkien linguistics, with Lisa Star & David Salo

10:30 a.m. “Reading After Tolkien,” a panel which featured Eric M. Heideman,

11:30 a.m. break for lunch and people checking out of hotel

12:30 p.m. “Illustrating Tolkien” a panel exploring different ways of illustrating with Michael Sullivan, Deb Jones, Ruth Berman, Laramie Sasseville (Michael Sullivan was unable to attend).

Possibly, we’ll sneak another short presentation in here, depending how long the panel goes….

2:00 p.m. Rivendell group discussion of The Hobbit, Tolkien, Bree Moot, etc.

Goblin Market opportunity.

4:00 p.m. “Tolkien & the Internet” some demos with David Lenander

5:00 p.m. goodbyes.


Bree Moot 3 was held on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. The campus, which spans both banks of the scenic Mississippi River, is near downtown Minneapolis and is close to many of the Twin Cities’ bookstores, museums and other cultural attractions. Most Bree Moot programming will be in Coffman Union or the Radisson Metrodome Hotel. The U of M campus observes an indoor no smoking policy, except for a few designated spaces.

Our conference site afforded easy access to the Children’s Literature Research Collections of the University of Minnesota Libraries (including the Kerlan and Hess Collections). The Collections comprise one of the three principal North American collections in the area of children’s literature. They are particularly strong in holdings of original manuscripts and illustrations. Prof. Karen Nelson Hoyle, curator of the CLRC, may be contacted at 109 Walter Library, 117 Pleasant St. SE, U of MN, MPLS, MN 55455.

Children’s Theatre Company production of The Hobbit.

The Children’s Theatre Company is the leading company of its kind in North America. Its previous Hobbit production received many positive reviews, including one in Mythprint.


Bree Moot 3

293 Selby Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102-1811

Questions? Call : (612) 292-8887


Bree Moot was started by readers of Beyond Bree, a monthly newsletter for Tolkien fans. Bree Moot 3 is sponsored by The Rivendell Group, a Twin Cities monthly book discussion group of The Mythopoeic Society, and a student organization at the University of Minnesota. The Children’s Literature Research Collections of the University Libraries is a co-sponsor.