Re-Appraisal Reading Circle: Gilbert Parker
Sep 18 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sir Horatio Gilbert George Parker, 1st Baronet PC, known as Gilbert Parker, began his career as a teacher at the Ontario Institute for the Deaf and Dumb and went on to lecture at Trinity College. In 1886, he went to Australia and became associate editor of the Sydney Morning Herald. He traveled extensively in the Pacific, Europe, Asia, Egypt, and northern Canada. In the early 1890s, he developed a growing reputation as a fiction writer. Of his many works a few were Top 10 Sellers of the Year according to Publishers Weekly archives: The Seats of the Mighty (1896, outselling Crane’s Red Badge of Courage that year), The Battle of the Strong (1898), and The Right of Way (1901-02, outselling Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles). His best novels involve the history and life of the French Canadians.
Salem Lit Fest
Sep 20 – Sep 22 all-day

Celebrate reading and writing with us at the 10th Salem Lit Fest!

2019 Salem Literary Festival runs September 20, 21 & 22

Keynote Speaker on 9/20: Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light.

Keynote Speaker on 9/21: Hank Phillippi Ryan award-winning author of The Murder List.

General admission to author readings and family programming and activities is free and open to the public. Reserved seating is available to Individual Patrons and Corporate Sponsors.

More information at our website:


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

La Tertulia is a group of members interested in keeping their Spanish speaking skills in practice.

Meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday
from 6:00 to 8:00 PM

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

The Incessant Pipe Poetry Salon will meet 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. Meets 4th Tuesdays.

Jason Anick and the Rhythm Future Quartet
Oct 4 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Concert is SOLD OUT! Please join the WAIT LIST here for last minute openings.

The Salem Athenaeum is pleased to feature virtuoso violinist and composer Jason Anick and his acoustic jazz ensemble, Rhythm Future Quartet. Jasons Rhythm Future Quartet has a straightforward objective: keeping the spirit of Gypsy jazz alive and expanding in today’s musical universe. The quartet offers up a newly minted sound, influenced by Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grappelli of the Hot Club of France. The quartet performs dynamic and lyrical arrangements of both Gypsy jazz standards and original compositions that draw upon diverse international rhythms and musical idioms. Rhythm Future is dedicated to expanding the boundaries of a vital musical genre. Simply put, the Rhythm Future Quartet brings the Hot Club of France forward into the 21st century.

Jason Anick is one of the youngest violin professors at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and is “a rising star in the world of jazz violin and mandolin” (Downbeat Magazine). Anick has shared the stage with a wide array of artists including Tommy Emmanuel, Hamilton de Holanda, John Sebastian, Stevie Wonder, Delta Rae, and Girls, Guns and Glory. His performances have brought him to China, Europe, and Japan. He has been featured at renowned venues including the Montreal Jazz Festival, Blue Note, Smalls Jazz Club, Scullers Jazz Club, Yoshi’s, Iridium, TD Garden, Regattabar, NPR, and The Late Night Show. Jason is a proven leader in the ever-growing contemporary string world.

Last year marked the release of their latest album, “Rhythm Future Quartet and Friends”. While maintaining the effervescent lilt, virtuosic musicianship and adventurous musical leanings of previous recordings, “Rhythm Future Quartet and Travels” (picked as one of the best jazz albums of 2016 by All About Jazz and the Huffington Post), RFQ and Friends brings vibrant new colors to the mix. JazzTimes Magazine stated, “RFQ and Friends is packed to the gills with feeling and remains consistently dynamic, full of virtuosity and swing.” With its arresting blend of Hot Club of France styled string jazz, Brazilian and East European idioms, original compositions and hints of classical music, the album marks a significant moment in the growth of a continually evolving ensemble. The Rhythm Future Quartet’s increasing popularity is laudable: The quartet’s version of Django’s “Minor Swing” has over 5.6 million views on YouTube, and their video clip of “Bushwick Stomp” from Travels has over 3.2 million Facebook views.  


La Tertulia
Oct 8 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

La Tertulia is a group of members interested in keeping their Spanish speaking skills in practice.

Meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday
from 6:00 to 8:00 PM

Incessant Pipe: Contentions
Oct 9 @ 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.

Jean Trounstine: Sentenced to Literature
Oct 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Not all people who commit crimes need to have the book thrown at them—some are reading to get out of criminal activity, and finding that literature helps them change their lives. This presentation will include how Changing Lives through Literature (CLTL) came to be, how it has grown and developed for people on probation (and also, behind bars). We’ll explore the rationale for a democratic reading/discussion group where professors, judges, probation and correction officers talk to each other about literature. CLTL has become a model in Massachusetts and has been duplicated elsewhere across the country. Finally we’ll cover funding, stats, and best of all, stories from the participants.


Jean Trounstine is an activist, author and professor emerita at Middlesex Community College in Lowell, Massachusetts, whose most recent book is Boy With A Knife: A Story of Murder, Remorse, and a Prisoner’s Fight for Justice (IG Publishing April, 2016). It explores the true story of Karter Kane Reed and the injustice of sentencing juveniles to adult prisons. Trounstine worked at Framingham Women’s Prison for ten years where she directed eight plays with prisoners. Her highly-praised book about that work, Shakespeare Behind Bars: The Power of Drama in a Women’s Prison has been featured on NPR, The Connection, Here and Now, and in numerous print publications here and abroad. In addition, she has spoken around the world on women in prison, co-founded the women’s branch of Changing Lives Through Literature, an award-winning alternative sentencing program featured in The New York Times and on The Today Show, and co-authored two books about the program.

Book Group
Oct 12 @ 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
Oct 14 @ 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!