The Gathering of the Fellowship Tolkien Fan Community


Heads of Programming:

Anthony S. Burdge
Jessica Burke

Guests and Presenters:

Alison Baird
Leah Damgaard-Hansen

Bruce Hopkins
Ted Nasmith
Matt Blessing
Jon Daniels
Alana Vincent Howard
Craig Parker
Barb Boedges
Michael Drout
Kristine Larsen
Kate Robinson
John Bowen
Colin Duriez
Michelle LeBlanc
Arden Smith
Cliff Broadway
Giuseppe Festa
Anna Smol
Marcel Bülles
Mike Foster
Marie Miesel
Amy H. Sturgis
Michael Coren
Daniel Gauthier
Judy Mitchell
Kate Dallin
M. Colin Havard
Jef Murray

In Memoriam: Daniel Timmons

Guest appearances sponsored in part by the fundraising efforts of:
Operation Gathering

Alison BairdAlison Baird

Alison Baird
is a resident of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, and a graduate of Trinity College, University of Toronto, where she earned her Honours B.A. in English and her M.A. degree.

As an author she had an early start, publishing her first poems when she was 12. In 1994 her first book, The Dragon’s Egg, was published by Scholastic Canada: it was a national bestseller and a Regional Winner of the Silver Birch Award (a children’s choice award). It is now featured on school curricula across the country. The Hidden World and White as the Waves: A Novel of Moby Dick, both published in 1999, were Canadian Children’s Book Centre “Our Choice” selections, and White as the Waves was shortlisted for the IODE Violet Downey Book Award.

The Wolves of Woden, the prequel to The Hidden World, followed in 2001 and was featured on Resource Links Magazine’s “Best of 2001” list. Baird’s adult fantasy novel, The Stone of the Stars, and its two sequels were recently sold to Warner Aspect through the Sternig & Byrne literary agency.

Baird’s short fiction has appeared in On Spec magazine, a Canadian periodical of original science fiction and fantasy for adults. Her story “Dragon Pearl” received an Honourable Mention in the 1996 edition of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror published by St. Martin’s Press. Another short story, “Moon Maiden,” appeared in the acclaimed young adult anthology What If. . .?  Amazing Stories Selected by Monica Hughes (Tundra Books, 1998), which was an ABA Kids’ Pick of the Lists for 1998 and was featured on the New York Public Library’s Recommended List. “Moon Maiden” has since been reprinted in two Canadian school readers, and is available in an audio version from Prentice Hall.

Matt BlessingMatt Blessing

Matt Blessing
is head of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Marquette University, responsibilities that include managing the J.R.R. Tolkien Papers. Baptized by fire, he was assigned responsibility for the Tolkien Papers in 2001, a few months prior to the release of New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Blessing directed the 2004 conference, “The Lord of the Rings, 1954-2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder” at Marquette University. Concurrently, he collaborated with curators from the Haggerty Museum of Art on The Invented Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: Drawings and Original Manuscripts from the Marquette University Collection. A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Blessing earned a M.A. in History from the University of Montana and a M.L.I.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, specializing in archives administration.

J.R.R. Tolkien Collection

Barb Boedges

Biography to be posted.

John BowenJohn Bowen

John Bowen
sounds English, but actually he was born in Wales, which is quite different. He studied English and then Education at Oxford, which he loved. After teaching high school for a bit, he went to seminary (Trinity College, Bristol, in England) to get to understand his faith better.

Then in 1973, he joined the staff of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, an organization dedicated to helping students figure out who Jesus is and how he is involved in contemporary life.

Since then he has discussed spirituality and the relevance of Jesus with students on over 40 university campuses in Canada, the USA and Britain.

John is a professor at Wycliffe College in the University of Toronto, teaching such things as communication skills, contemporary culture, leadership, and how to make churches user-friendly.

John has written a number of booklets for Dare Talks, including Jesus is Alive, Elvis is Alive: What’s the Difference? and The Spirituality of Jesus and the Dangers of Religion, Does God Care? A Christian Response to Suffering and Evil, Jesus the Only Way? Why Christians Seem Arrogant. A new booklet entitled, What Jesus Says to Robin Williams is due to be published soon.

He is married to Deborah, who became a follower of Jesus at Oxford University, and they have two student-age children, Ben and Anna. Deborah is now an English professor at Redeemer College, a Christian university in Ancaster, Ontario.

John Bowen loves Baskin and Robbins, the music of Bruce Cockburn, mountains (not only Welsh ones), and flying (in planes, that is). He hates sauerkraut.

Dare Connexions

Cliff BroadwayCliff Broadway

Cliff Broadway
is a multi-hyphenate with numerous performance credits including acting, voiceover, and writing for both stage and screen. His first critically acclaimed play, Elevator, was produced in 1998 by L.A.’s Copperview Theatre Company. His voiceover work ranges the spectrum of TV, film, radio, and video games (including the voice of hobbit Sam Gamgee in The Fellowship of the Ring from Universal Interactive). Cliff’s appearance on the WB’s Jamie Kennedy Experiment has become legendary—built on an elaborate voiceover prank that went horribly wrong.

Cliff has worked with as a senior editor/writer since 1999. Using the pseudonym “Quickbeam,” his wildly entertaining articles have been a mainstay of the Green Books online magazine. He served as Master of Ceremonies and Producer for three consecutive years at the’s famous Oscar Parties, attended by thousands. Also a knowledgeable Tolkien academic, Cliff is co-author of the bestseller The People’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien, and the follow-up volume, More People’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien, published by Cold Spring Press. Entertainment companies have demanded his “Rings” expertise for a variety of Tolkien-related products and media; including Universal Interactive, Warner Reprise Records, Decipher Games, Pellerin Multimedia (DVD production), and Company Wide Shut.

Together, Cliff and his writing partner Carlene Cordova conceived and wrote the award-winning documentary RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS, narrated by Dominic Monaghan (star of the Rings Film Trilogy & Lost) and released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Cliff is the Interviewer at the heart
of RINGERS, where he engages literate and insightful conversations with famed actors, rock legends, and everyday fans alike.

He is now a principal member behind Stormcrow Entertainment, a new production company currently developing feature films and television series. Cliff currently resides in Hollywood, California—and yes, it really is his last name.
(Biography from

IMDb Page

Marcel Bülles

Marcel Bülles was the Founding Chairman of Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft, the German Tolkien Society, and received his first academic degree at the University of Cologne. He has studied at the University of Aberdeen and Wheaton College, Norton, MA, and is a member of the Board of Editors of the scholarly yearbook on modern fantasy literature Hither Shore. He is finishing his doctoral thesis, “The Emergence of a Cult: The Lord of the Rings in the United States of the 60s.”

  • Der Herr der Ringe‹ oder ›Der Chef mit den fetten Klunkern’. Magira 2001: 187-201.
  • Tolkien criticism – reloaded. Hither Shore 1 (2004): 15-23.
Lectures (selection):
  • A battlefield poet. J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien 2005, Birmingham
  • On Fairy-stories. Introduction to J.R.R. Tolkien's genre concept. Several occasions.
  • Intoxicating substances and their abuse in The Lord of the Rings. Several occasions.
  • No future without a past. The Lord of the Rings as a critique of modernity. Life Science Lab New Zealand, DKFZ Heidelberg.
Guest speaker:
  • Tolkien-Fest I-V 2001-2006, DE
  • Schicksalsfest II-IV 2004-2006, DE
  • Mittelerde-Fest III 2003, CH
  • Hobbiton IX-X 2003-2004, IT
  • Elbenwald-Spektakel 2006, DE
  • Birmingham Tolkien Conference 2005, UK
  • Oxford Tolkien Conference 2006, UK
Contributor: JRR Tolkien Encyclopedia (Routledge 2006)
Contributor: Tolkien Studies III (2006)
Contributor: Amon Hen, Der Flammifer von Westernis, Minas Tirith, Nautilus
Translator and writer: Lord of the Rings Trivia Quiz (Kosmos), Battle
Games in Middle-earth (DeAgostini), CD Booklet Lord of the Rings/
Silmarillion (Hörverlag)

Anthony S. BurdgeAnthony Scott Burdge

Anthony Scott Burdge
was born in 1972 in Los Angeles, California. His studies range; including Norse Mythology, Medieval Literature, and Judeo-Christain ideology, Native American tradition and mysticism, Japanese Swordsmanship, and Medieval Re-enactment Combat. Currently he is an English Literature major at Hunter College. His interest in Tolkien grew from the age of eight, when he received his first copy of The Hobbit. Over the last decade Mr. Burdge has delved into the mythological world while studying the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. After joining the UK Tolkien Society, he inquired to bring the aims and goals of the Tolkien Society to New York City. Heren Istarion, New York’s Tolkien Society (now the North East Tolkien Society) was created in September 2000.

For detailed information about pubications, lectures, & awards please visit

Jessica BurkeJessica Burke

Jessica Burke
was born in 1974 in Brooklyn, New York. Ms. Burke has her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Brooklyn College, and is attending C.U.N.Y. for her Master’s in English. Ms. Burke has studied anthropology, folklore, Medieval Literature, Mysticism, 19th Century literature and Judeo-Christain theology. She also has written an undergraduate thesis on the nature of light and darkness in the universe, which delved into the history and literary evolution of the vampire, along with exploration of modern fantasy epics The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Ms. Burke is an aspiring author of medieval fantasy, much influenced by the works of J.R.R Tolkien. Her first experience with his writing came after an excursion to the N.Y. Public Library at the age of five, where she borrowed a recording of Professor Tolkien reading the chapter “Riddles in the Dark” from The Hobbit. Ms. Burke is now Co-Chair of Heren Istarion.

For detailed information about pubications, lectures, & awards please visit

Michael CorenMichael Coren

Broadcaster and columnist Michael Coren was born in Essex, in Britain, in 1959 and came to Canada in 1987. He can be seen on television every weeknight at 6.00pm hosting The Michael Coren Show on CTS (Channel 36). Sixty minutes of discussion and debate, this show features some of the most exciting and important national and international voices discussing politics, entertainment, sports, and social and moral issues. Described by BBC Radio as “One of the best talk-shows in North America”, it is a television programme that refuses to be limited by boundaries and barriers previously considered sacrosanct.

Coren is also the host of The Michael Coren Show, Monday to Friday, 7 - 8pm, on CFRB 1010, Canada’s largest and most successful News Talk Radio station.

Coren can be read each week in the Toronto Sun, syndicated in the Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton and Winnipeg Suns. His column tackles the issues of the day, and it is safe to say that his attitudes and arguments guarantee that this highly articulate commentator is never ignored. He is also a monthly columnist for The Presbyterian Record and a bi-weekly writer for The Western Standard

He is also the author of ten books, including biographies of G.K. Chesterton, H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien, and has also contributed to the Dictionary of National Biography and several other anthologies. He is published in many countries and in several languages.

Kate DallinKate Dallin

Kate Dallin
was born in in 1980 and has been making costumes since about 1983, progressing over the years from construction paper and masking tape to actual fabric and thread.  Her love of Tolkien also began at an early age, when she decided to read The Lord of the Rings for a school book report. The two passions have recently become thoroughly entwined.

Kate has worked as a volunteer in the costume department for productions by local community and university theatre, and on a few no-budget independent films directed by her friends.  Despite this, she still loves to sew.  Most of her free time is dedicated to the design and creation of new costumes. She is quickly running out of closet space.

Leah Damgaard-Hansen

Biography to be posted.

Jon DanielsJon Daniels

Jon Daniels
has been making chainmail for 17 years. After obtaining a
 degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Saskatchewan, he spent 5 years traveling the world working with global Ozone monitoring. After the company downsized in 2002 he turned a thriving part time chainmail supply business into a the full time job for himself and his wife (previously an HVAC Engineer). Now the company - The Ring Lord - employs 9 people and manufactures about 1 million rings a day, 7 days a week.

The Ring Lord
The Ring Lord

Michael DroutMichael Drout

Michael D. C. Drout
is Associate Professor of English at Wheaton College (Norton, MA) and is the editor of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Beowulf and the Critics (Winner of the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inkling Studies, 2003). His college course on CD, Bard of the Middle Ages: The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer was just released by Recorded Books, and his latest book How Tradition Works: A Descriptive Cultural Poetics of the Anglo-Saxon Tenth Century will be published in July 2005. Drout is one of the founding editors of the journal Tolkien Studies and is the general editor of The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. Drout was featured in National Geographic’s Beyond the Movie: The Return of the King and spoke at the first Gathering of the Fellowship in 2003. He has published articles on medieval studies, children’s literature and fantasy literature in journals such as The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Anglo-Saxon England, Studies in Philology, Modern Philology, Neophilologus, and Children’s Literature.

Colin DuriezColin Duriez

Born in Derbyshire, Colin Duriez spent his early life in Long Eaton, Nottingham, in a couple of new council estates near Portsmouth and six years in a mining village in South Wales, before moving to the West Midlands. After school he studied for two years at the University of Istanbul, Turkey, before completing his studies in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, at the University of Ulster, where he read English and Philosophy. After an career in editing and journalism in London, interspersed with some teaching, he migrated to Leicester in 1983 to work with a small publisher, IVP, as a commissioning editor. In 2002 he started his own business, InWriting, devoted to writing, editorial services, and some book acquisition for publishers.

Colin has published several books, including:
  • The C.S. Lewis Encyclopedia (2002), an exploration of the mental and imaginative world of C.S. Lewis, both scholar and storyteller.
  • The Poetic Bible (2001), a collection of poetry inspired by the Biblical text, and following the Biblical order, from Genesis and the Pentateuch, moving through the histories, the wisdom books, the prophets, the gospels, the letters, to the Book of Revelation.
  • The Inklings Handbook: The Lives, Thought and Writings of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield and Their Friends (2001, co-written with David Porter)
  • Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings (2004), a comprehensive guide to Tolkien’s masterwork, appended with a brief biography.
  • Tolkien and C.S. Lewis (2005); this book explores their lives, unfolding the extraordinary story of their complex friendship that lasted, with its ups and downs, until Lewis’s death in 1963.
  • A Field Guide to Narnia (2005), a handy companion to the landscape and inhabitants of Narnia, including an A-to-Z guide to characters, places, objects and events
  • The C.S. Lewis Chronicles (2005), a greatly accessible and authoritative biography of Lewis, reconstructing his life and times in minute chronological detail-day by day, month by month, year by year, from the cradle to the grave-as well as an utterly intriguing and entertaining collection of little-known Lewis and Narnia miscellany and trivia.
(Biography text from the Leicester Writers’ Club)
Giuseppe FestaGiuseppe Festa & Lingalad

Giuseppe Festa:

“Middle-earth is the place where my dreams live. Its wild beauty seems to pertain to a remote time.

“However, sometimes, it’s so near that you can still feel the witchery. In fact, it’s in the mind, in the heart and in the eyes of who’s able to see.

“Entering Middle-earth means to begin a personal journey discovering our hidden desires and deep fears, unexpected joys and wounds.

“The music I have composed is simply an invitation to start this wonderful journey along a difficult path.”

«L’idea di creare queste musiche nasce dal desiderio di comunicare delle emozioni che possano accompagnare nel proprio Viaggio chiunque intenda camminare su questa Terra nel modo più attento e leggero possibile.»

Mike FosterMike Foster

Professor Mike Foster, a Peoria native and Marquette University graduate (B.A., 1968; M.A., 1971), began his study of Marquette’s J.R.R. Tolkien manuscript collection in 1977, focusing on the author’s revisions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He has also studied Tolkien material in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and at Wheaton (Ill.) College. From 1978 until his retirement in 2005, he taught a literature course on Tolkien at IllinoisCentral College in East Peoria. This fall, the course will be offered Monday evenings at Bradley University. His paper “Teaching Tolkien” was published in April in The Lord of the Rings: 1954- 2004 by Marquette University Press. His essays and reviews on Tolkien-related topics  have been published by Mythlore, The Tolkien Journal, Mallorn, Christian History, Faith & Reason, VII, Amon Hen, Beyond Bree, Mythprint, Gilbert, and The Journal Star. He has presented papers at conferences in the US, Canada, and England and often lectures on the author and fellow Oxford writer C.S. Lewis.

He has been featured in interviews on Tolkien on ABC-TV World News Tonight and in magazine and newspaper articles published in the Chicago Tribune, Manchester Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Der Stern, Toronto Star, and others syndicated and published throughout the United States and abroad.

He was a television panelist with Lord of the Rings film actors Craig Parker (“Haldir”) and Bruce Hopkins (“Gamling”) on Michael Coren Live, a CTS-TV live phone-in talk show broadcasting nationwide Canada from Burlington, Ontario, in December, 2003.

His paper “An Unexpected Party: Tolkien in the 1960’s” will be published in The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia in late 2006. He is a member of the Inklings Studies and Fantasy Scholarship Award committees of the Mythopoeic Society. He has been the North American representative of the Tolkien Society since 1995.

Daniel Gauthier
Daniel Gauthier
Daniel Gauthier has been interested in costuming and science fiction for over 20 years, but has only recently been converted to a Tolkien addict. He was dragged kicking and screaming (almost!) to see The Fellowship of the the Ring movie in January of 2002. Following that was an immediate discovery of The Hobbit followed by The Lord of the Rings. He immediately began researching the costumes of his favorite character Frodo. Daniel is also a member of the Atlanta group Arms of Middle Earth as well as a contributor to Alleycatscratch.

The Eagle & Child pubM. Colin Havard

This name may not be immediately familiar, but if you’re familiar with Tolkien and Lewis’ group The Inklings, then you may recognize it. Mark Colin Havard is the son of  Dr. Robert (Humphrey) Havard, the personal doctor of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and also an Inkling. Colin is one of the very few surviving links to that close knit group. He was there along with his father in Inkling gatherings at “The Eagle and Child” pub, and he listened to the authors read excerpts from The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, before their publication.

Bruce HopkinsBruce Hopkins

Bruce Hopkins spent his early years immersed in sport. He was a New Zealand High School representative Waterpolo player, won a silver medal at the national surf lifesaving championships and played representative rugby as well.

 However at the ripe old age of 22yrs Bruce discovered the world of contemporary dance and was hooked.  An eight year spell as a full time professional dancer (no, not the exotic or erotic kind!!!) in both New Zealand and Australia, followed.  Then came the opportunity to play the role of Diesel, a member of the Jets in a sell out season of Westside Story, combining dance, and a newly found singing and acting voice.

For the last 19 years Bruce has been treading the boards of live theatre, hitting the mark in film and television, voicing commercials, hosting radio shows and Mcing conferences, establishing himself as one of New Zealands most highly regarded actors

Aside from that Bruce has 3 wonderful and challenging teenage children, and has just formed his own film production company called indiPact Films Ltd. indiPact are releasing a digital feature called 1nite, shot in late 2003. Bruce is one of the actors in 1nite.

Of course Bruces bio would not be complete without mention of his role as “Gamling” in Peter Jackson’s lauded The Lord Of The Rings movie trilogy.

So many aspects of this experience were pure joy, working with the likes of Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen, Bernard Hill, Orlando Bloom, having to learn to ride a horse, a big bugger called Charlie at that, flying over the southern alps mountain range with Bernard Hill and Miranda Otto in a helicopter at sunset to relocate to another filming location, the list goes on and on.

Over the years Bruce has also acted in many episodes of Hercules and Xena, as well as Young Hercules and Cleopatra 2525 and Jack of All Trades, the Lawless series with Kevin Smith and played the coveted role of MacBeth.

“Outside of thespian based activities, I attempt to surf (and saying 'attempt', is not me trying to be humble), I do a bit of sailing, visit elderly people, and support various causes such as Amnesty International, the GE free lobby in NZ, The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC) and the Auckland City Mission. My goal, apart from continuing to act in international films, is to maintain an open mind and an open heart.”
(Biography text from
IMDb Page

Alana Vincent Howard

Alana Vincent Howard
is a MA student at Prescott College, where she writes on Tolkien and Catholic religious culture. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, three cats, and ever-growing collection of books.
Alana Vincent Howard recently received her MA from Prescott College, where she wrote her thesis on Tolkien and Catholic religious culture. She lives in [a location yet to be determined], where she is about to enroll as a doctoral student at [a school yet to be determined]. Her current research is [yet to be determined].

Kristine LarsenKristine Larsen

Kristine Larsen
, Ph.D. is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Central Connecticut State University (New Britain, Connecticut), and Director of the University Honors Program. During her first readings of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion in the late 1970s, she was fascinated by the multitude of astronomical references in Tolkien’s universe, a field of study she now uses to enrich her teaching and research.  In addition to a wide range of publications in the history of astronomy and astronomy education, including Stephen Hawking: A Biography (2005), she has an ever-increasing number of Tolkien-related works, including:

  • Tolkien’s “Burning Briar” - an Astronomical Explanation. Mallorn, 2005
  • A Definitive Identification of Tolkien’s “Borgil”: An Astronomical and Literary Approach. Tolkien Studies 2, 2005
  • The Historical Discovery of a New Element, Orodruinium, American Physical Society News Zero Gravity Humor column, April 2004
  • The Astronomy of Middle-Earth: Teaching Astronomy through Tolkien, in Andrew Fraknoi and William Waller, eds. Cosmos in the Classroom 2004. Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2004.
  • A Little Earth of His Own: Tolkien’s Lunar Creation Myths. Tolkien 2005, Birmingham, UK. August 2005.
  • A Elbereth Gilthoniel: The Cosmological Goddesses of Middle-earth. June Baker Higgins Gender Studies Conference, CCSU. April 2005.
  • Scientific Motifs in Middle-earth: Lost in Translation? Popular Culture/ American Culture Association Annual Meeting, San Diego. March, 2005.
  • Moon Runes, The Light of Earendil, and Durin’s Crown: The Astronomy of Middle-earth. Jefferson National Laboratory, October 2004.
  • Teaching Through Tolkien: The Astronomy of Middle-earth, American Physical Society National Meeting, Montreal, CA. March 2004. (Featured in meeting press release)
  • The Astronomy of Middle-earth. RingCon, Bonn, Germany. November 2002.

Michelle LeBlanc

Biography to be posted.

Marie Miesel

Marie Miesel is a registered nurse with masters’ degrees in nursing and exercise physiology. She is a second-generation J.R.R. Tolkien fan, whose parents read The Lord of the Rings to her while she was in her crib. After reading The Hobbit, she wandered, like the unnamed Istari, to other lands. In 2001, prior to the release of New Line Cinema’s The Fellowship of the Ring, she returned to Middle-earth. She has had a passion for all things Tolkien ever since. She has a special fondness for The Silmarillion and enjoys making it accessible to others.

Judy Mitchell

Judy Mitchell
studied such useful things in college as English Lit and Medieval History, so costuming seems an appropriate outgrowth of that! She grew up depressed and bored to death, so now any time she's left alone she tends to develop other hobbies. Judy has been a costumed interpreter for the Smithsonian viking exhibit and Newfoundland's Norstead emcampment in 2000, and has been winning awards in the International Costume Guild for her historic costumes over the last nine years. She is also one of the co-owners of AlleyCatScratch - the single largest resource on Lord of the Rings costuming on the internet. Since the LotR movies became so popular, she now enjoys the lovely excuse to nose-dive back into her first passion from High School: Tolkien! And look—she gets to combine both costuming AND Tolkien. how fun!

Jef MurrayJef Murray

Jef Murray
has been sketching and painting natural and mythological wildlife and landscapes since his childhood years, and is best known for his work with the British Tolkien Society and the American Mythopoeic Society. An avid proponent of the writings and thought of G.K.Chesterton, Jef is a regular speaker on the topic of fairy tales and their connection with Christian theology and art. He is the founder of the Andúnië smial (Atlanta, GA) of the Tolkien Society.

Jef’s illustrations of whimsical tales and poems have appeared in numerous publications worldwide, including Amon Hen, Mallorn, Mythic Circle, the Georgia Bulletin, and the St. Austin Review (StAR). His most recent book illustrations appear in How Shall We Celebrate? by his wife, Lorraine V. Murray (Resurrection Press, 2005). His paintings are shown regularly in Atlanta area galleries and at Tolkien-related events; prints of his work can be seen online at Jef is also responsible for the beautiful painting in the Gathering 2006 logo.

In addition to his work as an artist/illustrator, Jef is employed by the Pitts Theology Library of Emory University in Atlanta. He and Lorraine live in Decatur, Georgia with one cat, one hamster-in-residence (named Ignatius), and about 60,000 honeybees.

Ted NasmithTed Nasmith

A native of Goderich, Ontario, Ted Nasmith spent much of his young life on the move and lived for three years in France. An artist prodigy, his talents were nurtured throughout his early years ; he now lives and works in Markham, Canada. As an illustrator he divides his time between architectural rendering and a variety of other forms of illustration, particularly the Tolkien paintings he is becoming renowned for. Among several other interests are a love of songwriting, singing and recording, and of books: “There are an overwhelming number of good ones.”

His love of Tolkien inspired him to create illustrations from the first reading of The Lord of the Rings , given by his sister at age of fifteen. He was soon embarking on ambitious, detailed interpretations of scene after scene from the book, while accumulating a body of sketches. The first major piece was entitled The Unexpected Party (1972), rendered in tempera. It featured Gandalf, Bilbo and the dwarves examining the ancient map or Erebor. Photographs of this and one or two other early works were shown to J.R.R. Tolkien himself and earned a favourable response. With encouragement, he continued to turn out Tolkien illustrations in his own time for over a decade, some of which were to take many  months to finish, particularly Rivendell , a minutely detailed grand landscape that, according to the artist, is his amplification of Tolkien’s own watercolour of the same name. In time his work was brought to the attention of George
Allen & Unwin Ltd. and was soon being published in the Tolkien Calendars (1987, 1988, 1990,1992, 1996, 2000).

Among many other publications, a lot of original pieces of work were created especially for Danbury Mint; The Lord of the Rings Collector Plates, for Iron Crown Enterprise; Middle-Earth Collectible card games and puzzles, and more recently for Fantasy Flight Games The Hobbit Boardgame . His paintings appear on many Tolkien book covers, and the commission to illustrate The Silmarillion represents for him a dream fulfilled. The next three HarperCollins Tolkien calendars will feature new wonderful visions of Tolkien’s world, with The Fellowship of the Ring 2002 calendar, The Two Towers 2003 calendar and The Return of the King 2004 calendar.

Craig ParkerCraig Parker

Craig Parker
is beloved by millions of Lord of the Rings fans for his portrayal of the elf “Haldir”. Beyond The Lord of the Rings, Craig has a long roster of acting credits in television, film, radio, and theater. On television, he is best known for his roles in Shortland Street and Mercy Peak, and also appeared in Xena  and Young Hercules.  For TVNZ he spent two weeks in Kathmandu filming Intrepid Journeys.
He appeared in John Laing’s thriller No One Can Hear You and in the as yet unreleased Return of the Jackalope, where he and other Rings stars Bruce Hopkins and Sala Baker play themselves.

Craig appeared most recently in the theatrical production of Serial Killers last fall at the Derby Playhouse in the UK. Prior stage work includes Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Seagull, and MacBeth. Craig was involved in Auckland’s “Theatresports” for ten years, proving his talent for improvisation and stand-up comedy performance. It was his work on radio plays in 1996 and 1997 that brought him to Peter Jackson’s attention.

He is also a popular MC at all types of events and is in demand for his ability to make any audience feel at home.
Craig is very active in his support of charities and community work, even reading “The Prayer of A Cat” at an Auckland blessing of the animals ceremony. He currently lives in London.

IMDb Page

Kate RobinsonKate Robinson

In 2003 Kate founded Actors at Work Productions as a banner for various creative projects linked mostly to Stage and Film work. Actors at Work Productions is based in Cambridge, UK but has worked with people from all over the world. Early work involved filming Theatre shows, editing them and creating high quality DVDs of the productions, often along with behind the scenes extras.
The idea of doing a LOTRs fan film came about at the end of 2003 and although work was started the project failed due to a lack of filmmaking knowledge and the support of a strong creative team.
At the start of 2005 Kate made a resolution to make the most of the new year and to fully pursue her acting and filmmaking ambitions and that is exactly what she has been doing ever since. Kate made her directorial debut in July 2005 with an ambitious project called Into the Darkness and has also been involved in a number of other projects with the Cambridge Filmmakers Network, filling a variety of roles, from set dressing to production managing. She is a "jack of all trades" really and it can sometimes be hard to stop her from trying to do everything. As Kate is also an actor, when not behind the camera she can often be found in front of it.
Born of Hope is only Kate’s second attempt at directing but she is already proving the ability to create, with her talented crew, highly professional looking work on a very low budget.
Kate likes to believe that “anything is possible” and Actors at Work Productions aims to make films that are high quality, ambitious and appealing to larger audiences.
“I want to make the kind of films that I enjoy watching.”

Arden Smith

Arden R. Smith
lives in Albany, California, and holds a Ph.D. in Germanic Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published numerous articles in the field of Tolkien studies, especially concerning Tolkien’s invented writing systems and the translation of Tolkien’s works. He is a member of a project to order, transcribe, and edit Tolkien’s unpublished linguistic papers, in which his particular focus has been those dealing with the Elvish alphabets. As part of this project, he has edited Tolkien’s writings on The Alphabet of Rúmil (2001), The Valmaric Script (2003), and Early Runic Documents (2004), published in the journal Parma Eldalamberon.

Anna Smol

Dr. Anna Smol
is Associate Professor of English at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where she teaches medieval literature and where, this past year, she had the opportunity to teach a course on Tolkien. She published an article in Modern Fiction Studies in 2004 entitled “‘Oh...oh...Frodo!’: Readings of Male Intimacy in The Lord of the Rings” and has written several entries for the forthcoming J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. She has given papers at recent Tolkien conferences in Kalamazoo, Birmingham, and the University of Vermont. She has also published articles on Old English poetry, medieval studies, and children’s literature.

Amy H. SturgisAmy H. Sturgis

Amy H. Sturgis
earned her Ph.D. in intellectual history from Vanderbilt University. In the field of political history she has written two books and co-authored a third, and in the field of science fiction/fantasy studies she has presented research with such organizations as the Media Studies Working Group, the International Conference on Medievalism, and the Mythopoeic Society.

Her works have appeared in journals and magazines such as Seventeenth Century, Reason, Winedark Sea, and The LockeSmith Review, and she has contributed multiple articles to the popular Revolution Science Fiction. Dr. Sturgis teaches science fiction/fantasy studies, media studies, and Native American studies at Belmont University, including the course “J.R.R. Tolkien in History, Political Thought, and Literature,” and regularly teaches summer seminars at various colleges across the United States for the Institute for Humane Studies. She holds a seat on the Academic Advisory Board for The Market Center - Studies in Political and Economical Freedom in Denmark.

Dr. Sturgis also serves as the co-founder and coordinator of the Lómelindi Smial of the Tolkien Society based in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Under pseudonym, Dr. Sturgis has published several short stories and novellas in the fantasy and science fiction genres, and she currently is completing her first novel. She lives with her husband, Dr. Larry M. Hall, and their Boston terrier, The Shire’s Virginia Lórien (a.k.a. simply “Virginia” or “The Hobbit”), on a small farm outside of Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Amy H. Sturgis Homepage


Subject of an Academy Award winning film and one of the world's most talented and unique creative artists, Thoth uses a more than a four octave vocal range, dance, theater, comedy, philosophy, mime, stillness, electronica loops, all accompanied by violin and foot percussion to mesmerize the audience with his prodigious energy.

Theaters: Afro Solo ‘99, Berkeley Repertory Theater,Soon-3, Hult Center (Eugene, OR), Statsteater (Boras, Sweden), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF)
Churches, Museums & Libraries: Angel Orensanz Synagogue (NYC), Asian Art Museum (SF), California Academy of Sciences (SF), Roda Sten (Gothenburg, Sweden), S.F. Museum of Modern Art, Noe Valley Ministry (SF), Orinda Library
Clubs & Cafes: Anon Salon (SF), Ashkenaz (Berkeley), Berkeley Square, Cafe International (SF), Cafe Spontane (Harbin Hot Springs), DNA (SF), Elbo Room (SF), Family Dog/Maritime Hall (SF), Fillmore (SF), Freight & Salvage (Berkeley), Hotel Utah (SF), Knitting Factory (NYC), La Pena Cultural Center (Oakland), New Amsterdam Cafe (NYC), New George’s (Marin), ODC Performance Gallery (SF), Paradise Lounge (SF), Paris Theater (Portland), 640 Howard (SF), Sacred Grounds Café (SF), Simple Pleasures Café (SF), Sound Factory (SF), Starry Plough (SF), Sweetwater (SF), 1015 Folsom (SF), 177 Townsend (SF), Transmission Theater (SF), WOW Hall (Eugene, OR)
Events: Academy Awards, Baha’i New Year’s Celebration, BAMMIES, BayCon ‘96, Bedrock Ball ‘96 & ‘99, CLIO Awards ‘94 & ‘95, ConFurence ‘97 & ‘98, Evolving Times Expo ‘98, First Night Santa Cruz ‘98, Gay & Lesbian Film Festival ‘96, Lark In The Morning Traditional Music Festival ‘97, ‘98 & ‘99, Lollapalooza ‘92, PantheaCon ‘98 & ‘99, Whole Life Expo ‘97 & ‘99
Self-Produced Prayformances: Bethany Methodist Church
Fairs & Festivals: Carnaval (SF), SF Gay Freedom Day (Main Stage), San Anselmo Arts & Wine, Street Performer’s Festival (Oporto), and many more
Schools: Berkeley High School, California College of Arts & Crafts, Depauuw University,Hunter College, San Francisco State University, University of California at Berkeley

Community Services
Benefits: Coalition On Homelessness, Precita Eyes Mural Awareness, Inauguration of the AID’s Memorial Grove, Street Survival Project, Theater Forte, The Continuum, On Lok
Memorial Services: Milton Levin (1916-1997), David Nadel (1946-1996), Michael Sims (1966-1996)
Non-playing: Names Project Archiving

Television: WABC “The View,” WNBC, WCBS, Fox, Cinemax, CNN, KGO, New York One, KCRA,, Public Access Ch. 53
Newspaper & Magazine Articles: Boras Tidning (9/03), FHM (11/02), Newsday (10/02, 12/01), Hoy (7/02), Manichi Times (6/02), Fiddler Magazine (v9,no4), Metro Santa Cruz (4/02), Time Out New York (8/02), Los Angeles Times (8/02), Queens Chronicle (4/02), San Francisco Chronicle (4/02, 3/01), Entertainment Weekly, New York Times (2/02) Village Voice (10/01), New York Post (10/01), New York Magazine (8/01), Daily News (5/01), Queens Courier, Tea Party Magazine (v7,no1), Sun Reporter (1/00 & 9/99), Bay Guardian (7/99)

1996 S.F. Weekly Best Street Musician
1996 S.F. Weekly WAMMIE
1999 Bay Guardian Best Of The Bay - “Best Street Opera Performer with Classical Music Training”

Recorded Media
The Herma: The Life and Land of Nular-in Act 3 c. 2002
The Herma: The Life and Land of Nular-in Act 2 c. 2000
The Herma: The Life and Land of Nular-in Act 1 c. 1999
Tone Poems of the Festad c. 1998
Maiden Flight c.1997
aghora c. 1995
THOTH c.1994
THOTH c. 2001 (directed by Sarah Kernochan)

Daniel Timmons

Daniel Timmons died on Sunday, December 18, 2005, after battling a long illness. We use this space to honour his memory. May he Rest In Peace.

Daniel Timmons received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and currently teaches at Ryerson University (Toronto). His dissertation explored the critical history and authorial scholarship of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. He has published several articles and given many conference papers on Tolkien. Timmons is the co-editor of the collection of essays, J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-earth (Greenwood Publishing, 2000).

Timmons  is also the writer, director, and producer of the video documentary, The Legacy of The Lord of the Rings. The film presents the literary impulses, artistic features, critical and creative response, and cultural legacy of Tolkien’s masterpiece. The program has been broadcasted on Bravo! and SPACE: The Imagination Station in Canada.

Updated: June 21, 2006

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