Book Group
Oct 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Discussion group meets on the second Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m.

View the reading list.

Salem Writers’ Group
Oct 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

All are welcome to bring work-in-progress to share with the group for feedback. The group is facilitated by J.D. Scrimgeour, Professor of English, Salem State University.

Scrabble Club
Oct 19 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Tennessee Williams Course
Oct 19 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

7 Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. — October 5-November 16

Last fall, we considered the plays of Arthur Miller, one of the two greatest American playwrights of the mid-twentieth century. In this fall’s 7-week course, we will examine the work of the other great playwright of this period: Tennessee Williams. While Miller’s realistic plays were rooted in the industrial North, Williams’ expressionistic dramas seemed to be thoroughly Southern.

Upon closer examination, we discover that Williams’ plays constitute a much broader critique of post-war America with its ambivalent attitudes towards class, success, sexuality, and outsiderness. As a technical innovator, Williams was the true master, as even Miller had to concede. Through an examination of his life, his recorded conversations and published essays, we will also learn how Williams transformed his life experiences into bold dramas; how he felt about the American theater in his time, the price of fame, the critical reviews he received, and the filmed adaptations of his works. On several occasions, we will view filmed versions of the plays in class.

Plays to be considered are:

The Glass Menagerie (1944)
A Streetcar Named Desire (1949)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955)
Orpheus Descending (1957)
Suddenly Last Summer (1958)
Sweet Bird of Youth (1959)
Night of the Iguana (1961).

Phantoms, Fraud, and Photography
Oct 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Join us for a spirited book talk in the iconic gothic chapel at Harmony Grove with Peter Manseau, award-winning author and Curator of Religion for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

More than just a ghost story, this is a portrait of a young nation struggling to separate fact from fiction. Manseau details the trial of William H. Mumler, the “spirit photographer” who claimed he could take pictures of the souls of the dead, along with the battlefield exploits of Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, the fathers of photojournalism who created frauds of their own. These stories offer a view of our nation’s obsession with the afterlife and our reluctance to choose science over fantasy.

Following the talk, books will be available for sale and signing.

Reservations are strongly recommended. Admission is $5 and free for members of the hosting organizations.

The event is hosted by Harmony Grove Cemetery, the Salem Athenaeum, and the Salem Historical Society.

Finding Your Medium
Oct 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

What’s your medium? Every writer searches for the right format to tell their own stories in. During this interactive discussion, talk with a working poet, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and more about the challenges and benefits of their chosen medium, how they got there, and how to find your own voice as a writer.

Finding Your Medium will begin with an interactive panel discussion, providing each writer a chance to talk about how they arrived at their chosen medium, if they’ve worked in any other formats, and how their journey affected their current work and perspective on their medium. Then the audience will be invited to bring their own questions to the table–be as general or specific as you like. Trying to find your own medium? Considering testing out another? Wondering how trying out one format might make you a better writer in another? Take advantage of having writers of different paths ready to discuss the ins and outs of their medium–and yours!
Matthew Phillion is the author of the young adult adventure series, The Indestructibles. He writes in a variety of genres. As an active freelance writer, Phillion continues to write about both local issues and the medical industry as both a journalist and newspaper editor.
Cambridge Society for Early Music concert
Oct 21 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

The Art of Counterpoint: from Bach to Zelenka

CSEM’s 2017 season begins with two of the great High Baroque masters–J. S. Bach and Jan Dismas Zelenka. These two musicians knew and admired each other, and worked in close proximity: Bach in Leipzig, Zelenka in Dresden, just 100 miles away.

Formed in 2013, Kleine Kammermusik is dedicated to bringing to life the wealth of music from 17th- and 18th-century Europe. With paired treble woodwind instruments (oboe and recorder) and supportive continuo group of mixed woodwind, string, and keyboard, the group comprises a versatile blend of instruments suited to music from a wide range of contexts: from vivid outdoor celebrations and military fanfares to intimate chamber works. Each member of the group is a leading exponent and holds prominent posts in early music ensembles across the North East of the U.S.A. Together they bring superb artistry and a high level of virtuosity to music full of dazzling surprises and beguiling charm. In addition to being fine virtuoso players in their own right, the members of Kleine Kammermusik have developed an intuitive approach, and their musical rapport produces performances of superb artistic control and unmistakable elegance.

John Carroll: State of the Media
Oct 23 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Donald in Wonderland

How Trump Took the News Media Through the Looking Glass

NPR analyst and Boston University mass communication professor John Carroll talks about the role of journalism in a post-fact political universe.

John R. Carroll is a mass communication professor at Boston University, media analyst for NPR’s Here & Now, and senior news analyst at WBUR.

For six years prior to joining the BU faculty, Carroll was the executive producer of Greater Boston, WGBH-TV’s nightly news and public affairs program. He was also a radio commentator for WGBH-FM, and a correspondent for WGBH-TV’s Beat the Press, a weekly media review program.

During his television career, Carroll has won nine New England Emmy awards, mostly for news writing and commentary. He is also the recipient of the RTNDA’s National Edward R. Murrow award for writing, and a three-time winner of the National Press Club’s Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism.

Previously Carroll was a commentator for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and On the Media, as well as American Public Media’s Marketplace. He has also been a columnist for the Boston Globe and Adweek.

His blogs include: https://campaignoutsider.com/, https://itsgoodtoliveinatwodailytown.com/, http://sneakadtack.com/

La Tertulia
Oct 24 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

La Tertulia is a group of members interested in keeping their Spanish speaking skills in practice. They meet on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month.

Incessant Pipe Poetry Salon
Oct 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Incessant Pipe Poetry Salon will meet on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm upstairs in the Salem Athenaeum. “The Pipe” is a space to read poetry, yours or others, and discuss everything from the price of tea in China to quantum particles (as long as it relates back to poetry). All styles of poetry are welcome.