Salon: Greenlawn—There Is Always More to the Stories
Jul 20 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Talk by Polly Wilbert and Pat Donahue
Members, Friends of Greenlawn

Polly and Pat, who together have led eight tours of Greenlawn Cemetery, will share what they’ve learned during Greenlawn research about wealthy benefactor Walter Scott Dickson, who gave Dickson Memorial Chapel and its adjacent conservatory to the city in memory of his wife Georgianna; the Rev. Jacob Stroyer, a slave from South Carolina, who after the Civil War ministered to blacks in Salem as the founder and preacher of the Salem Colored Mission; and Malcolm Harrison Miller, author of 3,500 poems in 54 mostly self-published books, who recently became the subject of a documentary film about his life and work.

Salon: Tea with Alice B. (a theatrical tea party)
Jul 27 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

As a supplement to our Summer Exhibition, Food for Thought, we invite you to partake in an interactive biographical performance with Agatha Morrell as the author, muse, and minor celebrity: Alice B. Toklas.

Agatha will share stories, anecdotes and recipes from Alice’s life and times while she resided at 27 Rue de Fleurs with her lifelong companion, Gertrude Stein.

The focus of the performance will be the early heady days of the modernist movement in arts and literature in Paris commencing in 1907, continuing through the war years (1914-1918) and ending with introducing the ‘lost generation’ of writers in the 1920’s.

Alice was an accomplished cook and collector of recipes. She also did needlework, loved hats and was a keen gardener.

Light refreshments will be served.

Aug 3 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

HER STORY IS supports artistic conversations, exchanges, and creation among female US and Iraqi artists. In December 2017, several women poets, playwrights, painters, and film-makers from America and from Iraq gathered in Dubai as part of the HER STORY IS project in order to collaborate, share ideas, and form lasting friendships across cultural borders.  Peabody-based poet Jennifer Jean, will share her experiences as a 2017 HER STORY IS Fellow, and will present and discuss creative works which resulted from the amazing time she spent with her Iraqi colleagues.

Jennifer Jean is a poet, educator, activist, and consummate “literary citizen.” Her debut poetry collection is The Fool (Big Table); her poetry chapbooks include: The Archivist, and In the War. Jennifer’s newest manuscript, titled Object, was a finalist for the 2016 Green Mountains Review Book Prize. Other honors include: a 2018 Disquiet FLAD Fellowship; a 2017 Her Story Is residency, where she worked with Iraqi women artists in Dubai; a 2016 Good Bones Prize; and, a 2013 Ambassador for Peace Award for her activism in the arts. As well, her poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in: Poetry Magazine, Waxwing Journal, Rattle Magazine, Crab Creek Review, Denver Quarterly, Mud City Journal, Solstice, Pangyrus, and more. She is Managing Editor of Talking Writing Magazine, and Co-director of Morning Garden Artists Retreats. Jennifer teaches Free2Write poetry workshops to trauma survivors, and she teaches writing at Boston-area universities.

Incessant Pipe: Contentions
Aug 8 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Philosophy, Science, and Ideas. Come sit around a medium-large table and discuss the big stuff.

2nd Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Book Group
Aug 11 @ 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.

Monday Evening Conversations
Aug 13 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Monday Evening Conversations Group meets on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM. All members and other interested parties are invited.

It may be of interest to know that the The Social Library, predecessor of the Salem Athenæum, was founded by a similar discussion group, called the Monday Evening Club. Edward Augustus Holyoke, Rev. Thomas Barnard, Rev. Thomas Gilchrist, Benjamin Lynde, Nathaniel Ropes and others were among the Monday Evening Club founders, who gathered to discuss current events and topics of mutual interest.

Topics for discussion are wide open, but must be amenable to good conversation. Examples include:

  • The long ranging effects of the Civil War
  • The courage to be vulnerable
  • European architecture
  • The importance/non importance of art
  • Why have friends

Meetings will start with something to help frame the discussion for the evening, such as a:

  • brief talk
  • podcast
  • video
  • reading of prose or poetry
  • music

We look forward to talking with you!

Farmers Market
Aug 16 @ 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Stop by the Salem Athenaeum’s stall at this week’s Farmers Market for a small preview of our Annual Book Sale in September as well as information about membership and upcoming programs and events.

Salon: Perspectives on Frankenstein
Aug 17 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

*** Limited seating.***

Please arrive early to ensure that you have a seat.


Derek Belanger will discuss Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of its publication this year.

Throughout Derek’s academic career, Frankenstein has continually surfaced as both a masterpiece and a teaching tool. It was by way of this classic that he was first admitted to the graduate program in literature at Harvard Extension. Several papers and perspectives on the same have bolstered his studies in literary criticism as he currently writes his masters thesis.

In honor of this important book’s bicentennial year, he will share his experience with Frankenstein in the many forms by which he has studied the work, and offer a perspective on the realities of graduate studies.

In the end, perspectives arise through discussion—he invites us all to join him in the creation of the new on this 200th anniversary.

Readers of all backgrounds are welcome to attend.

Members’ Preview Book Sale
Sep 7 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Mark your calendars for the best book sale of the Fall! Members, plus one guest, have the opportunity to attend the Member’s Preview Book Sale on Friday night, before it opens to the public on Saturday morning.

Annual Book Sale
Sep 8 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

The public book sale is Saturday from 9-5 and Clearance ($3/bag) is on Sunday from 9-2.
During the Clearance on Sunday, teachers with ID receive free books.

Proceeds benefit the Athenaeum collections and educational programs.
Donations to the book sale may be delivered to the Athenaeum during normal open hours now through September 6.