Concord, Massachusetts

Two weeks of talks, readings, and discussions celebrating the written and the spoken word.

Events - 2011

Opening Night - Randall Kennedy

In his new book, The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency, Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy offers shrewd and keen essays on the complex relationship between the first black president and his African American constituency.

WHO: Randall Kennedy

WHEN: Thursday, October 20 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Trinity Episcopal Church

Food ‘n’ Fiction: A Food Tasting and Book Signing

Verrill Farm presents a book signing and food tasting of recipes drawn from the works of some of today's bestselling novelists. Katherine Hall Page, author of the Faith Fairchild Mystery series will sign books and offer samples from Have Faith in Your Kitchen. Also participating will be Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, editors of Table of Contents, as well as three contributors to their bibliophile's cookbook—Anita Diamant, Julia Glass, and Margot Livesey.

WHO: Julia Glass, Katherine Hall Page, Anita Diamant, Margot Livesey, Judy Gelman & Vicki Krupp

WHEN: Saturday, October 22 at 12-2:00pm

WHERE: Verrill Farm

Books By Hand

Experience the rewards of creating and reading handmade books. Learn the history of books, basic binding techniques, and some simple structures you can make on your own.

WHO: Lynn Feldman

WHEN: Saturday, October 22 at 1:00pm

WHERE: Dabblers hobbies + cafe

The 2011 Ruth Ratner Miller Award (Tickets: Adults $15, Students Free)

The annual Ruth Ratner Miller Award for Excellence in American History will be presented by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library to Pauline Maier, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of American History at M.I.T. Tickets are available at the Concord Library, 129 Main Street, and the Concord Bookshop, 65 Main Street.

WHO: Pauline Maier

WHEN: Saturday, October 22 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Concord Free Public Library

The Nature That Is Left

A talk by the author of two new books, My Green Manifesto and The Tarball Chronicles. Together they describe and embody a new way of writing about nature and place, full of humor and strangeness, stripped of the old pastoral cliches, and focused on a more "limited" nature, the only nature left to most of us.

WHO: David Gessner

WHEN: Sunday, October 23 at 2:00pm

WHERE: Thoreau Farm

Lola’s Fandango

Celebrate the launch of a new Barefoot Books title with illustrator Micha Archer. Children (ages 2-10) will hear this wonderful new story that touches on two important points: the good part of sibling rivalry—pushing a child to find her own talents; and the way arts can create new worlds. Pre-register before Sunday, 10/16, call 978-369-1770.

WHO: Micha Archer

WHEN: Sunday, October 23 at 2:30pm

WHERE: Barefoot Books

New Literary Voices 2011

Three emerging fiction writers discuss and read from their work.

WHO: William Giraldi, Alma Katsu, Anne Sanow - Nancye Tuttle, Moderator

WHEN: Sunday, October 23 at 3:00pm

WHERE: Fowler Library

Life After Brain Injury: Havoc, Hope, and Healing

What is it like to live with a brain injury? How do survivors and families dive into this "new normal" and build satisfying lives with progress, purpose, and passion, even in the face of disability? Join a panel of memoir authors for a look behind the scenes at the impact of brain injury on their families and the special challenges they faced in helping their loved ones recover.

WHO: Larry C. Kerpelman, Ph.D., Dixie Coskie, Janet Cromer, R.N, M.A. - Henry Vaillant, M.D., Moderator

WHEN: Monday, October 24 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Emerson Hospital, Cheney Conference Room

A Tale of the Renaissance

Nearly six hundred years ago, a book hunter discovered the ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things by Lucretius, and ordered that it be copied. Stephen Greenblatt tells the story of that discovery and of how the copying and translation of the ancient book fueled the Renaissance.

WHO: Stephen Greenblatt

WHEN: Tuesday, October 25 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Concord Museum

The Loyalist Experience

On November 25, 1783, the last British troops pulled out of New York City, bringing the American Revolution to an end. For tens of thousands of American loyalists, the British evacuation spelled worry, not jubilation. Focusing on the journeys of ordinary individuals, Maya Jasanoff tells the story of their remarkable diaspora.

WHO: Maya Jasanoff

WHEN: Wednesday, October 26 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Concord Museum

Friendship with God

William A. Barry, a Jesuit priest and the author or co-author of fifteen books will talk about how friendship with God is important for adult faith formation of Christians, both for their prayer and for their mission to help God move the world towards the divine dream.


WHEN: Thursday, October 27 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Holy Family Parish, Monument Hall

The Cranberry from Bog to Table

The Thoreau Society and the Friends of Walden Pond present a talk by Stephen A. Cole, co-author of The Cranberry: Hard Work and Holiday Sauce.

WHO: Stephen A. Cole

WHEN: Saturday, October 29 at 1:30pm

WHERE: The Shop at Walden Pond

Lobster, Champagne and a Dash of History (Tickets $10.00) SOLD OUT

Lobster and Champagne, two of the world's most delectable delicacies. The authors of two new books on this elegant food and stylish sparkling wine will host a conversation and answer questions from the audience. Elisabeth Townsend (Lobster) and Becky Sue Epstein (Champagne) are national food and wine writers who live in the area and love to share tastes of their passions. Noted food historian Barbara K. Wheaton will provide morsels of fascinating historical context. Tickets $10. For reservations call 978-369-3807. Admission includes hors d'oeuvres and a glass of Champagne. Cash Bar.

WHO: Elisabeth Townsend, Becky Sue Epstein, Barbara Ketcham Wheaton

WHEN: Saturday, October 29 at 4:00pm

WHERE: Concord’s Colonial Inn

The 2011 Leslie Riedel Memorial Lecture for Young Readers

Chris Van Allsburg, author/illustrator of beloved children's classics Jumanji and The Polar Express will present his work. This memorial lecture honors Leslie Riedel, librarian, bookseller, educator, and mother who imparted the love of reading to many. Reservations are required and can be made at after October 1st. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

WHO: Chris Van Allsburg

WHEN: Saturday, October 29 at 7:00pm

WHERE: Concord Free Public Library

Monster Stories, Halloween Adventures

Children welcome—perhaps dressed in their spooky best!—to an afternoon of great Halloween fun and to celebrate the launch of a new Independent Reader Series, Monster Stories. At 3pm, Master Storyteller Jackson Gillman joins us with his light-hearted "Halloween Silly Willies Show"—songs that tickle your funny-bone without scaring your pants off. Stay on for more stories, some spooky Halloween crafts and pottery painting. Reservations required, call 978-369-1770.


WHEN: Sunday, October 30 at 3:00pm

WHERE: Barefoot Books

Poetry Reading/Open Mike at Concord Poetry Center

The Concord Poetry Center ( hosts a poetry reading, featuring Teresa Cader and Charles Pratt.

WHO: Teresa Cader, Charles W. Pratt

WHEN: Sunday, October 30 at 3:00pm

WHERE: Upstairs at The Umbrella

Collecting Transcendentalism

Joel Myerson will talk about his book and manuscript collections of some 12,000 items—especially those of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller—and how they were assembled and what use they are to scholars. He will also discuss collecting in general and make some specific suggestions for future collectors.

WHO: Joel Myerson

WHEN: Sunday, October 30 at 5:00pm

WHERE: Concord Free Public Library

Writing a Nonfiction Book: Tips and PItfalls from Authors Who Have Done It

Planning to write a nonfiction book? Struggling right now with the process? Join five veteran authors who have been where you are now and can tell you how to reach the finish line!

WHO: Mary Adams, CMC, Susan Foley, Dan Cassidy, Tim Riley - Ken Lizotte, Moderator

WHEN: Monday, October 31 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Trinitarian Congregational Church

An Evening with Anita Hill

Anita Hill, the lawyer who spoke out against Clarence Thomas in the historic confirmation hearings twenty years ago, shares the stories of her own family's quest for home, from her great grandmother who was born into slavery to her own flight from the nest of small-town Oklahoma. This evening's program is co-hosted by First Literacy (

WHO: Anita Hill

WHEN: Tuesday, November 01 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Trinitarian Congregational Church

A Reading Aloud Workshop

The co-authors of Help Me Get Ready to Read: The Practical Guide for Reading Aloud to Young Children During Their First Five Years offer an interactive workshop that focuses on ways to foster young children's healthy emotional, social, and cognitive development so they become lifelong lovers of books and learning.

WHO: Barbara Kasok, Susan Marx

WHEN: Wednesday, November 02 at 7:00pm

WHERE: Concord Free Public Library

Too Many Medical Tests?

Going against conventional wisdom that more screening is the best preventive medicine, the author of Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health makes a compelling counterargument that what we need is fewer, not more, scans and tests.

WHO: H. Gilbert Welch

WHEN: Wednesday, November 02 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Emerson Hospital, Cheney Conference Room

Experiencing John Muir’s Sierra

In a program hosted by the Walden Woods Project, photographer/videographer Scot Miller talks about his experiences creating and selecting the photographs for My First Summer in the Sierra: 100th Anniversary Illustrated Edition, a new edition of John Muir's classic. He will also screen a short documentary "Experiencing John Muir's Sierra: A Photographer's Story" and present additional video clips and slides, including a video about the proposed Maine Woods National Park.

WHO: Scot Miller

WHEN: Thursday, November 03 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute

Mystery Night 2011

Three mystery writers discuss and read from their latest novels.

WHO: Archer Mayor, SJ Rozan, Spencer Quinn - Mark De Binder, Moderator

WHEN: Friday, November 04 at 7:30pm

WHERE: Concord Free Public Library

Breakfast with the Authors 2011 (Tickets $20)

Three authors discuss and read from their latest work. Tickets $20, available at Concord Bookshop and Barrow Bookstore.

WHO: Leah Hager Cohen, Julia Glass, Ha Jin - Suzanne Koven, Moderator

WHEN: Saturday, November 05 at 8:00am

WHERE: Concord’s Colonial Inn

Foods that keep you feeling sexy, happy, and healthy

Watch Debra Stark of Debra's Natural Gourmet prepare fast and easy dishes that are also delish (and healthy). Yes, you get to eat at the end of the talk and cooking demo! And Debra will be happy to sign copies of her two cookbooks. Sign up in advance by calling Dabblers (978) 254-5798. With the holidays just around the corner, this is a must attend.

WHO: Debra Stark

WHEN: Sunday, November 06 at 2:00pm

WHERE: Dabblers hobbies + cafe

Living and Painting in a Changing New England

Distinguished painter and teacher, Loring W. Coleman, shares his lifetime of art and signs copies of his latest book.

WHO: Loring W. Coleman

WHEN: Sunday, November 06 at 3:00pm

WHERE: Concord Bookshop