Mass Poetry Fest: A Celebration of the Salem Poetry Seminar
May 4 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Each June, the Salem Poetry Seminar brings together selected Massachusetts college students with others who share their obsession with words for five days of intense workshopping, drafting, and evening readings at the historic Salem Athenaeum. Students submit a selection of their work and are chosen to dig deep into their practice and to meet literary co-conspirators. The Seminar began in 2000, and has taken place six times since. For many SPS participants, their identity as Poet took form during this residency. Come hear what the seminar poets are up to today in a fun marathon reading in the place where it all began!

Re-Appraisal Reading Circle
May 8 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Monthly open meeting to discuss the works of a prolific, popular author of the past whose works are held in quantity by the Athenaeum.

2017 authors:

Jan. 9: Rudyard Kipling
Feb. 13: Edna Ferber
Mar. 13: Sinclair Lewis
Apr. 10: E.M. Delafield
May 8: James Fenimore Cooper

Drop-in Mah Jongg
May 9 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The Athenaeum will host drop-in Mah Jongg sessions on Tuesdays in May.

Boston Classical Trio Concert
May 12 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

We welcome the return of three brilliant musicians from Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society: cellist Guy Fishman, violinist and assistant concertmaster Susanna Ogata, and resident conductor and keyboard virtuoso, Ian Watson. They will present an all-Beethoven program on period instruments.

Sonata for piano and cello in F major, op.5, no.1.
Sonata no. 8 for piano and violin in G major, op. 30, no. 3
Trio for violin, cello, and piano in C minor, op. 1, no. 3

Book Group
May 13 @ 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.

Our Future Climate Depends on What We Do Now
May 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

John Spengler will tell us how to combat the effects of greenhouse gases before it’s too late.
(Yes, there is still time!)

Spengler, the Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation and Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has conducted research in the areas of personal monitoring, air pollution health effects, indoor air pollution, and a variety of environmental sustainability issues. Several of his investigations have focused on housing design and its effects on ventilation rates, building materials’ selection, energy consumption, and total environmental quality in homes.

Drop-in Mah Jongg
May 23 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The Athenaeum will host drop-in Mah Jongg sessions on Tuesdays in May.

Closed for Memorial Day Weekend
May 27 – May 29 all-day

The Salem Athenaeum is closed for Memorial Day Weekend.
We will be open as usual on Tuesday, May 30.

Drop-in Mah Jongg
May 30 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The Athenaeum will host drop-in Mah Jongg sessions on Tuesdays in May.

Evolutionary Enigmas: Windows into How the World Works
May 31 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Many aspects of the natural world do not seem to make sense at first glance. Why are organisms so different from one another, yet have many points in common? How is it that there are innumerable examples of struggle and competition, but also cooperation and self-sacrifice? Why do organisms have remarkable adaptations, such as the human eye, as well as anomalies, including the fact that our windpipe and esophagus cross so that food sometimes “goes down the wrong pipe”? In this fun and participatory talk, Professor Morris will highlight these and other enigmas, and suggest ways that evolution makes sense of these seemingly contradictory aspects of the natural world.


James Morris is Professor of Biology at Brandeis University. He teaches a wide variety of courses, including introductory biology, evolution, genetics and genomics, epigenetics, comparative vertebrate anatomy, and a first-year seminar on Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards from Brandeis and Harvard University. His research focuses on the rapidly growing field of epigenetics, making use of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. Dr. Morris is a lead author of a college-level introductory biology textbook titled Biology: How Life Works. This textbook moves away from the traditional emphasis on terms and facts, and instead conveys concepts and ways of thinking that scientists use to understand the world around them and solve contemporary problems. He also writes short essays on science, medicine, and education at his Science Whys blog. Dr. Morris received a Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University and a National Academies Education Fellow and Mentor in the Life Sciences.