Local History/Local Novelists

Local History/Local Novelists 2014/15 Reading and Lecture Series

For five years, Forbes Library has been presenting Local History/Local Novelists, a reading and lecture series exploring links between local history and contemporary novelists, held the first Wednesday of the month at 7 pm in the Coolidge Room, October through May. The 2014/15 season, curated by Forbes Writer in Residence Susan Stinson working closely with Forbes Assistant Director Lisa Downing, varies the theme to include strange stories of science, an evening of poetry about Northampton, and some evenings appropriate for teens as well as adults.

Stinson said, "This is a particularly varied series. It's exciting to see poets taking on themes in local history, as well is YA and Middle Grade novelists engaging young people with history through story. As always in this series, we'll be bringing together the work of writers and thinkers who look at the world in very different ways, to help vary and deepen the experience of reading, thinking and living here now."

Forbes Writer in Residence Susan Stinson is the author of three novels and a collection of poetry and lyric essays. Awarded the 2011 Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize from the Lambda Foundation, she is also a writing coach, freelance editor, and gives cemetery tours. SPIDER IN A TREE, her novel about Northampton in the time of 18th century Calvinist preacher Jonathan Edwards, was published in October 2013. Her website is http://susanstinson.net/.

2014-2015  |  2013-2014  |  2012-2013  |  2011-2012  |  2010-2011


logo by Julieta Vasquez Mansilla

2014 - 2015

October 1 Strange Stories of Science! Bugs! Scandal! Fiction!
Faith Deering, entomologist, Historic Deerfield
Peter Kobel, author, The Strange Case of the Mad Professor
Brian Adams, novelist, Love in the Time of Climate Change
 
November 5Paradise Found: A Walking and Biking Tour of Northampton, Massachusetts through poetry and art.
Tom Clark, Lori Desrosiers and Oonagh Doherty, editors. Various readers.
 
December 3Celebration of Local Novelists
M.P. Barker, novelist, Mending Horses
Suzanne Strempek Shea, novelist, Make a Wish But Not for Money
D. Dina Friedman, novelist, Escaping into the Night
Karen Shepard, novelist, The Celestials
 
January 7Engaging Young People with History: An Evening with YA and Middle Grade Novelists
Jeannine Atkins, novelist, Becoming Little Women: Louisa May at Fruitlands
Burleigh Muten, novelist, Miss Emily
Ellen Wittlinger, novelist, This Means War!
Jane Yolen, novelist, Centaur Rising
curated by Naila Moreira
 
February 4Remembering Those Gone
Lesléa Newman, poet, I Carry My Mother
Mark Hart, poet, Boy Singing to Cattle
Elise Bernier-Feeley, Forbes Special Collections and Genealogy Librarian, on Bridge Street Cemetery
 
March 4Crime Fiction*
Dean Flower, professor of English, Smith College
Michael Ponsor, novelist, The Hanging Judge
Susan Kelly, novelist, Out of the Darkness
*in conjunction with All Hamptons Read The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
 
April 8
(2ND Wed.)
Shay's Rebellion
Dan Bullen, poet and author, The Dangers of Passion: The Transcendental Friendship of Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson
Constance Congdon, author and playwright, No Little Rebellion
Richard Colton, historian, Springfield Armory
 
May 6Celebration of Local Novelists
Ellen Meeropol, novelist, On Hurricane Island
John Clayton, novelist, Many Seconds Into The Future
MB Caschetta , novelist, Miracle Girls
Alex Myers, novelist, Revolutionary
 

2013 - 2014

October 2 Spider in a Tree book launch
Susan Stinson
First Churches, 129 Main Street, Northampton
co-sponsored by Small Beer Press, Broadside Books and First Churches
 
November 6 Celebration of Local Novelists, Part 1
Marisa Labozzetta, novelist, Sometimes It Snows in America
Karen Osborn, novelist, Centerville
 
December 4Hampshire County Memories: Historic Local Photographs
Faith Kaufmann and Dylan Gaffney, Forbes Library Special Collections
 
January 8Journalists as Fiction Writers
Andrew Adamek
Fred Contrada
Bob Flaherty
James Heflin
Diane Lederman
Mark Roessler
 
March 5Quabbin
J.R. Greene, author, The creation of Quabbin Reservoir: The death of the Swift River Valley
Maryanne O'Hara, novelist, Cascade
Gail Thomas, poet, No Simple Wilderness: An Elegy for Swift River Valley
 
April 9
(2nd Wed.)
Emily Dickinson/Quiet
Charles Coe, author, All Sins Forgiven: Poems for My Parents
Kevin Quashie, author, The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture
Jane Wald, director, Emily Dickinson Museum
 
May 7Celebration of Local Novelists, Part 2
Deborah Noyes, novelist, Plague in the Mirror
Jacqueline Sheehan, novelist, Picture This
Hilary Sloin, novelist, Art on Fire
 

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