Reading Series: The Modern Real and Surreal

Naila Moreira

Naila Moreira, Writer In Residence

Where the Real and the Surreal Meet

This year’s Forbes reading series is titled The Modern Real and Surreal: Writers and Artists on Our Age. Curated and moderated by Forbes Writer in Residence Naila Moreira, the series meets in the Coolidge Museum on the first Wednesday of each month.

Following five popular seasons of the Local History/Local Novelists series run by previous Writer in Residence Susan Stinson, this year’s series shifts focus from the historical to the contemporary, on the premise that libraries offer vibrant spaces to engage with and explore our era’s most pressing questions.  The series invites the community to join us in examining how story and art lend empathy and insight in an accelerating world, a world that in its surprises and contradictions can be understood through either a realistic lens, or the symbolism of surrealism and fantasy.

The series will feature writers in many genres – fiction, nonfiction, poetry – and even a few visual artists.  In the digital age, people are increasingly turning to visual media to help tell their story.  Science, health and the environment will be important through-going themes this year, as will social justice viewed through the eyes of writers, photographers and cartoonists. And, of course, some art is meant just to entertain – and the series will have a smattering of pure fun.

2015-2016 Forbes Library Reading Series

THE MODERN REAL AND SURREAL: Writers and Artists on our Age

October 7 – Earth and Cosmos: Nature Writing

Dava Sobel, author of The Planets

Jonathan Mingle, author of Fire and Ice

Michael Dover, editor, and Elizabeth Farnsworth and Katie Koerten, contributors, Earth Matters

Naila Moreira, Writer in Residence, Forbes Library


November 4 – Writing about Health, Medicine and the Body

Norman Johnson, author of Darwinian Detectives

Nell Lake, author of The Caregivers

Suzanne Koven, Writer in Residence, Massachusetts General Hospital Internal Medicine Division


December 2 – 1000 Words: Telling Stories Through Photography

Paul Ickovic, photographer

Stephen Petegorsky, photographer

Greg Saulmon, journalist, The Hampshire Gazette


January 6 – Writing the Fantastical

Andrea Hairston, playwright, Will Do Magic for Small Change

Jedediah Barry, author, The Family Arcana

John Crowley, author, Four Freedoms


February 3 – The Massachusetts Review: Author Panel

curated by Emily Wojcik, managing editor of The Massachusetts Review literary magazine


March 2 – Comics and Graphic Novels

James Sturm, cartoonist and co-founder, Center for Cartoon Studies, Vermont

Tillie Walden, cartoonist, I Love This Part

James Lawson, cartoonist, Paleo: Tales of the Late Cretaceous


April 13 – The Common: Author Panel

curated by Jen Acker, editor of The Common literary magazine


May 4 – Writing about Disability

Claire Blatchford, author of Coming to My Senses

Katherine Duke, author of Kissability: People with Disabilities Talk About Sex, Love, and Relationships

Susan Stinson, author of Venus of Chalk