For reasons that aren't immediately clear, Hugo House program director Alix Wilber abruptly resigned last Friday. When reached via e-mail, Wilber declined to comment. Hugo House executive director Sue Joerger said by e-mail today that "We appreciate [Wilber's] years of service to the writing community and wish her the best."

Wilber took on the role of the Hugo House's public face after former executive director Lyall Bush left the House under cloudy circumstances in September of 2008. It wasn't an easy job to dispel the controversy and get the House's literary series back on track, but Wilber managed to do it* with enthusiasm and grace.

Further, the Hugo House eliminated the position of facilities manager Joe Slaby and reduced other staff hours last week. "Richard Hugo House has not been immune from the prolonged economic downturn," Joerger writes. The House's end-of-year fundraiser only made $66,000 of their $92,000 goal, but Joerger points out that they are "projecting to end 2010 in the black for the first time in many years." Despite the budget cuts, Joerger says Hugo House is committed to keeping all their writing programs, mentorships, literary series, and classes intact.

* And I just today realized that I misspelled her name repeatedly in her first mention in my column. Sometimes regrets skip a year or two before we catch them.