Review for my book in: Spring 2016 The Pen Woman


  • Just Another Day

    Author: Bobbie Dumas Panek, Central New York Branch

    Review by: Ruthy Wexler, Denver Branch, CO

    Bobbi Panek, a farmer’s wife, describes a tradition she and her family have established: they vie to see who can spot the first robin of the year. Whoever calls out “I see a robin!”—be they parent or child—wins the contest. Strangely enough, Bobbi says, the winner often “resembles a robin… [their]chest inflated, head cocked a little to one side … walk a bit more like a strut.”

    Panek goes on, to tell us about the year that she, mother of four, really wanted to win the contest—and then her two-year-old son pointed out a red-breasted bird in the driveway. “Scott’s the winner,” her husband declared. “But that doesn’t count,” Bobbi complained, “because he doesn’t even KNOW it’s a robin.”

    We laugh at and with Panek, and recognize the truth: no matter how old we grow, we still like to win contests. We recognize as well, her truth at the end of this piece, that she was so busy looking out one particular window that she had developed “narrow vision”—which can keep a person from seeing new sights, and ideas. And this is what all the pieces are like in Panek’s book, Just Another Day. They’re all short—some just two pages—and deceptively simple, but decidedly observant of both outdoor and human nature. All 48 of the stories are, in different ways, smile-inducing, interesting, and wise; their impact, like that of a good poem, lingers. In 8th grade, Panek’s teacher told her she was a good writer, but she didn’t start writing for publication until after her fourth child was born. At that point, inspired, she asked the editor of her local newspaper, the Auburn Citizen, if she could write a column. Another Day is a collection of those columns. Panek’s light-hearted writing style belies seriously observed messages underneath everyday events. Panek has such a fresh way with language: her metaphors and similes are the opposite of hackneyed. She uses all five senses to make us see what she sees—what something sounds like, feels like, looks like.

    Panek’s language causes us to open our eyes. She applies those same skills when it comes to the subjects of animals and nature, about which so many writers wax sentimental. Panek tells about cuddly, fluffy baby chicks which seem, overnight, to turn into less appealing creatures with sharp beaks—and we get it. She describes the cicada’s life cycle with wonder and then, attending a neighbor’s funeral, understands that our leaving our bodies behind is much the same.

    Panek doesn’t just speak about nature. It’s everything she sees and experiences as she and her husband farm their land and raise their children. There’s great variety and life in each piece and each is really a treasure, to be picked up, read, pondered and perhaps read aloud. They’re that enjoyable.

    2015, Downtown Books Publishing, $15.00

    ISBN: 978-0-692-49408-0

April 24, 2016 count down to the National League of American Pen Women Biennial in Washington D.C.

We are all excited to head south to Washington D.C. for a 4-day Biennial Celebration of Women in the Arts~

  • Cokie Roberts will speak at one of our dinners. 
  • I'll have a one-on-one meeting with Jacquelin Mitchard
  • Our Central NY Branch will make the official announcement of our nomination for Vinnie Reams to be inducted into the "Women's Hall of Fame" in Seneca Falls. Vinnie Ream was a teenager when she was hired to sculpt the presiding President, Abraham Lincoln.
  • We authors, artists, composers, will bring some of our books, and artwork to be sold in the "Pen Women Treasures" Room at the Double Tree Inn by Hilton Hotel.

What Is Love?... Card for Wedding, Engagement, Encouragement...


What Is Love? 

by Bobbie Dumas Panek


When asked to write a poem about love 

for the wedding of my niece 

I began to scribble... 

...Marriage is a decision to love, to commit to forgive, and to trust. 

Loves needs tune-ups.
It needs squirts of WD-40 and often requires new batteries. 

It needs to be laundered and starched, stretched and ironed, stitched and mended, repaired and inspected. Love needs massaging,trimming, weeding and watering. 

It’s a job. It’s a duty. It’s a discipline. 

It’s a vow you make to a person
with your eyes wide open
and your mind engaged.

It isn’t for sissies or the faint of heart. 

It’s not for people who are lazy or selfish. 

There are songs written, movies scripted, cards created, flowers grown, hearts cupids, candy and candles,
so much to symbolize love but what is love? 

Love is respectful, honest, and open.
It is joyful, loyal, and transparent.
It considers two points of view,
two different backgrounds,
two kinds of holidays, two ways of doing things, two sets of traditions, two separate people who agree to compromise. 

It’s a continuance. It doesn’t stop.
It doesn’t end when the way gets rocky. It’s a work in progress
and doesn’t necessarily get easier. 

You don’t retire from love.
You don’t quit your job or take a permanent vacation. 

Love is a vocation.
It has a purpose and an outcome.
The outcome is the reward.

You are with someone you trust and who trusts you.
You are with someone you care about and who cares about you. You are with someone you respect and who respects you. 


Excerpt from Prose poem published in National League of American Pen Women Anthology,

The Light Between Us


Please contact me at if you would like to order these cards.

1 for $5, or 3 for $10, shipping already included.

Thank you~

What is the Greatest Gift?

What is the Greatest Gift?

by Bobbie Dumas Panek


Christmas memories swirl both joyful and sad

Wanting, sharing, feeling

happy, desperate, jealous

Look what Susie got

Why is Daddy drunk?

There’s no money for presents.

Festive, lavish, displays of

wealth, success, opulence

Tiny candle 


in sparsely furnished room

empty refrigerator

Others wrapped in white

fur: muffs, coats, scarves

caroling, drinking hot chocolate


classmates shiver on

threadbare couches, hungry

Christmas cards 


scenes, a baby honored

kings traveling afar

star bright in the sky

children frolicking in snow

Hallmark, Rockwell

Ah yes, happy homes

for some 


not for all

Crowded cramped apartments

skinny, malnourished children

They don’t make it to the 

front of American Greeting.

What to buy for those who

have everything? Who 

will buy for those who have

nothing? Christmas needs

a reality check...


Okay folks I made up a riddle for you~ Take a guess, if you are thinking what I am thinking...I'll send you my book, Just Another Day, for FREE. Yup. All you gotta do is answer my riddle. There will be many good answers because I tested it on four friends....but no one guessed my answer. So here goes: What did the lunar eclipse and Pope Francis have in common? I will run this riddle for 1 week next Saturday I will see if we have a winner. And drum roll...Here's a special deal...if you share my post and someone whom you shared it with guesses the answer--then both of you win a free book. Woo hoo. We're talking possibilities here people!!

Poems of the Super Moon

My poem Cycles and Images will appear in the anthology, Poems of the Super Moon written by National League of American Pen Women: 

Pre-order Poems of the Super Moon, the latest in the Pen Women Press’s collection of poetry by Pen Women. Our literary Press relies on sales to cover costs, so get your order in soon to help us get it to the printer. 


My poem published in The Citizen January 25, 2015

Separately United

by Bobbie Panek


We meet on a frigid January morning

more for the placement of a comma 

than for a cup of coffee

more concerned about line

breaks than cookies on a plate

not for manifestos but for meaning

friends who enjoy words and the sound of words

who enjoy each others’ voice not political cry.


Yes it is cold outside with wind chills below zero

yet we’ll be warm with our greetings,

our desire to listen

our attention 

to intention.


Over the world people of like-minds

gather for the good. In today’s climate of 

terrorist attacks, we hunker down for 

our freedom of speech, our need to speak 

from our cores, each of us separately united.


Three more of my poems were published in

Mah jongg, Millenium in the Sea of Cortez, and Anahit's Kitchen

Here is what the publisher, Bill Barry had to say about my poetry:

In the forthcoming fall-winter 2014 issue, Bobbie will share poems that will fill you with eloquent reminisces, dollops of love and caring, and sublime enchantment.

Ms. Panek, who resides in Auburn, NY, has done numerous poetry readings around central and western New York and currently writes blogs for the Cayuga [County] Tourism Office.

In the upcoming aaduna issue, a treat will be her photo that compliments one of her poems: “Millennium in the Sea of Cortez.”

We graciously welcome back Bobbie Panek!

Polish Festival Fun

Okay folks your favorite Polish Festival is coming up! The St. Hyacinths’ Polish Picnic is Sunday, July 13th from 11 am till 6 pm, right here in the Finger Lakes.

So get your Polka shoes dusted off. Get ready for some amazing Polish food: pierogis--dough with potato/cheese filling, kielbasa, kapusta--a traditional Polish food made with tasty sauerkraut, chopped cabbage, peas, mushrooms and pork, pigs in the blanket--cabbage leaves filled with rice/beef/pork, covered with tomatoes, and rye bread.

Plan to enjoy a wonderful Polka Band, amazing Polish and American food, lots of fun things to do, all right here in the Finger Lakes region. The festival will be held behind the church at 59 Pulaski Street, Auburn, NY. Roll out the barrel and we’ll have a barrel of fun~

First Fridays in the Finger Lakes April 2014

I’ll let you in on a little secret—first Fridays of each month in Auburn, NY are fun and free! You can attend events at cool places, eat free snacks, get in for free, and have major fun right here in the heart of the Finger Lakes.

Listen to this line-up: A.T. Walley’s, Auburn Ale House, Auburn YMCA-WEIU, Beautiful Things, Cayuga Museum & Theater Mack, Finger Lakes Artist Cooperative, Holiday Inn, Matchbox, McMurphy’s Irish Pub, Schweinfurth Art Center, Seward House Museum, Seymour Public Library, Swaby’s Tavern.  read more...

Perfect Pairings March 7, 2014

Are you looking to pair contemporary art and some live jazz together?  The Schweinfurth Art Center is at it again with a Perfect Pairings of spirits, hard cider, and coffee and other beverages with delicious tastings from some of the Finger Lakes favorite restaurants.  This event is also a special preview of the upcoming Made in New York exhibit.  MINY is an annual exhibit featuring artists 18 and older who reside in New York. This year's exhibit will be juried by Michael Sickler, Retired Professor of Art of Syracuse University, and Kim Waale, Professor of Art & Director of the Studio Art Program at Cazenovia College.

The Seward Connection (Cokie Roberts and Doris Kearns Goodwin)

What do Cokie Roberts and Doris Kearns Goodwin have in common? They both came to the Finger Lakes—compliments of the Seward House Museum Distinguished Speaker Series. Of course, the Finger Lakes region has always had a lot to offer locals and tourists, but these renowned women have global appeal.  Roberts is a contributing senior news analyst for NPR and a regular roundtable analyst for "This Week With George Stephanopoulos." She also works as a political commentator for ABC News and writes a weekly column.  Doris Kearns Goodwin spoke last fall as part of the 2012 Elsa Soderberg Distinguished Speaker Series. Goodwin spoke about William H. Seward, his importance with helping to shape a nation, and about her award winning book, "Team of Rivals."

Jump into the Finger Lakes 7/19/2013

If you live in the Finger Lakes region of New York State then you already know how lucky we are. But if you want to visit the Finger Lakes and are wondering how quickly you can jump into the Finger Lakes, once you arrive to this area, it will likely take you less than a ten minute drive. Owasco, Cayuga, Skaneateles; there are so many to chose from here in Cayuga County!  Why not jump into all of them?