Local History/Local Authors Reading Series

Local History/Local Novelists Reading and Lecture Series

The Connecticut River Valley is rich in both novelists and history. Forbes Library is a place where novelists come to research and write alongside others interested in local history and literature. The Local History/Local Novelists series invites the community to enjoy and join in the conversation between history and fiction that both engages and creates our changing cultures. The series is curated by Forbes Writer in Residence, Susan Stinson.

“The premise is that the depth, complexity, courage and joy with which we engage with history is, in large part, determined by the depth, complexity, courage and joy with which we engage with story. Fiction of all kinds sharpens those skills like nothing else.” — Susan Stinson

2012-2013 | 2011-2012 | 2010-2011

2012 – 2013

October 7 Sunday, 1pm: Jonathan Edwards Walking Tour of Bridge Street Cemetery.
Also:
Sally Maminash & Sylvester Graham. Forbes Writer in Residence Susan Stinson.

November 7 Henry James
Michael Gorra, author, Portrait of A Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece
Carole DeSanti, novelist, The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R.
Elise Bernier-Feeley, Hampshire Room for Local History and Special Collections, Forbes

December 5 The Common : Writers and Modern Sense of Place. Panel Discussion
Jennifer Acker, editor, The Common
Amity Gaige, novelist, The Folded World
Victoria Redel, novelist and poet, The Border of Truth, Woman Without Umbrella
Claire Messud, novelist, The Emperor’s Children

January 2 James Baldwin
Ekwueme Michael Thelwell, Professor Emeritus, Afro-American Studies, Literature and Writing,
University of Massachusetts. Author, The Harder They Come
Lenelle Moïse; playwright, poet, and performance artist; Expatriate, Ache What Make
Mistinguette Smith, executive director, The Black/Land Project

February 6 Celebration of Local Novelists
Zane Kotker, White Rising
Joann Kobin, Woman Made of Sand
Corinne Demas, The Writing Circle

March 6 Three Houses
Lu Stone, local historian/author, A House. A Street. A City. The Story of 17 Summer.
Tzivia Gover, author, Learning in Mrs. Towne’s House: A Teacher, Her Students, And the Woman who Inspired Them
lê thi diem thúy, novelist and performance artist, The Gangster We Are All Looking For

April 10 Jewish Writers, History and New England
Richard Michelson, Northampton Poet Laureate, Battles & Lullabies
Michael Hoberman, historian, New Israel New England
Jane Yolen, novelist and poet, Ekaterinoslav

May 1 Celebration of Local Novelists
Marianne Banks, Growing up Delicious
Michele Barker, A Difficult Boy
Suzanne Strempek Shea, Hoopi Shoopi Donna
Karen V. Williams, My Enemy’s Tears: The Witch of Northampton

2011 – 2012

October 5 The Vietnam War*
Doug Anderson, poet and memoirist, THE MOON REFLECTED FIRE; KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN
Tom Weiner, CALLED TO SERVE: Stories of Men & Women Confronted by the Vietnam War Draft
lê thi diem thúy, novelist and performance artist, THE GANGSTER WE ARE ALL LOOKING FOR
*In conjunction with On the Same Page, Northampton reads The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

October 9 Sunday, 1pm: Jonathan Edwards Walking Tour of Bridge Street Cemetery.
Also featuring Sally Maminash and Sylvester Graham. With Forbes Writer in Residence Susan Stinson.

November 21 Sally Maminash
Marge Bruchac, scholar, performer, and historical consultant, author, MALIAN’S SONG
Neal Salisbury, professor emeritus, history, Smith College; co-author, THE PEOPLE: A HISTORY OF NATIVE AMERICA
Cheryl Savageau, poet; MOTHER/LAND and DIRT ROAD HOME

December 7 Ralph Waldo Emerson
F. Jay Deacon, minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester, NH
Tracy Kidder, author, STRENGTH IN WHAT REMAINS, MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS

January 4 Grace Coolidge
Julie Bartlett, Archivist, Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library Museum, Hampshire Room for Local History, Forbes Library
Valija Evalds, Art History, Quinnipiac University, Grace Coolidge’s Clothing
Rita Bleiman, author, DIRTY TRICKS

February 1 Celebration of Local Novelists
Jedediah Berry, author, THE MANUAL OF DETECTION
John Crowley, author, ÆGYPT and FOUR FREEDOMS
Ellen Meeropol, author, HOUSE ARREST
Sabina Murray, author, TALES OF THE NEW WORLD

March 7 Dominic Daley and James Halligan
James Cahillane, author, ON HISTORY’S FRONT STEPS
Eric Sawyer, composer, THE GARDEN OF MARTYRS (opera)
Michael White, author, THE GARDEN OF MARTYRS

May 2 Sylvester Graham
Stephen Nissenbaum, author, SEX, DIET & DEBILITY IN JACKSONIAN AMERICA: Sylvester Graham & Health Reform
Lynne Gerber, author, SEEKING THE STRAIGHT & NARROW
Susan Stinson, Forbes Writer in Residence, author, VENUS OF CHALK

2010 – 2011

October 6 Jonathan Edwards
Kenneth Minkema, Jonathan Edwards Center and Online Archive, Yale
Elise Bernier-Feeley, Hampshire Room for Local History and Special Collections, Forbes
Susan Stinson, author of SPIDER IN A TREE

Plus, special event: Bridge Street Cemetery Tour
with Writer in Residence Susan Stinson: Sunday, October 3, 1 pm

November 3 Lydia Maria Child
Julie Bartlett, Archivist, Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library & Museum, Hampshire Room for Local History, Forbes
Patricia Holland, editor, The Collected Correspondence of Lydia Maria Child, 1817-1880
Pamela Thompson, author of EVERY PAST THING

December 1 David Ruggles
Steve Strimer, David Ruggles Center
Andrea Hairston, author of REDWOOD AND WILDFIRE
Jacqueline Sheehan, author of TRUTH

January 5 Celebration of Local Novelists: Part 1
Emily Arsenault, author of THE BROKEN TEAGLASS
Bob Flaherty, author of PUFF
Judith Frank, author of CRYBABY BUTCH
Dori Ostermiller, author of OUTSIDE THE ORDINARY WORLD

February 2 French Canadians in Western Massachusetts
Elise Bernier-Feeley, Hampshire Room for Local History, Forbes
Sally Bellerose, author of THE GIRLS CLUB
Ellen LaFleche, author of ESTELLA, WITH ONE LUNG

March 16 Brian Kiteley, author of THE RIVER GODS

April 13 Sylvia Plath
Cornelia Pearsall, Professor of English, Smith College
Karen Kukil, Associate Curator of Special Collections, Smith College
Nancy K. Pearson, author of TWO MINUTES OF LIGHT

May 4 Celebration of Local Novelists: Part 2
Anthony Giardina, author of RECENT HISTORY
Cathi Hanuaer, author of SWEET RUIN
Frederick Reiken, author of DAY FOR NIGHT

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