New Members Night
Jun 20 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Please join us for an orientation and behind-the-scenes tour of the Salem Athenaeum. If you are a new, long-time, or prospective  member, this tour will orient you to the Athenaeum building, include an overview of our history, mission, and outline current services and membership benefits.
Enduring Hawthorne: A Marathon Reading of “The Scarlet Letter”
Jul 7 @ 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Starting at 9:00 AM on Saturday, July 7th, and running until about 7:00 PM that evening, Salem Maritime National Historic Site will be hosting “Enduring Hawthorne: A Marathon Reading of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.”

With the help of many, many volunteers we will read The Scarlet Letter from beginning to end.

Join us from the beginning or stop by to listen as the novel progresses. Watch for special “Hawthorne’s Custom House” tour and the opportunity to make your own scarlet letter to publicly state your personal sins.

We ask everyone interested in helping to read to please email gavin_gardner@nps.gov. He will be pulling together the volunteer list and organizing a planning meeting later in June to brief all of the readers. Let us know by June 15 if you are interested in volunteering for a five minute reading slot.

Monday Evening Conversations
Jul 9 @ 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!

Incessant Pipe: Contentions
Jul 11 @ 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.

Salon: “Nantaska” with Crocker Snow, Jr.
Jul 13 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

The Summer Salon series kicks off with Crocker Snow Jr., who will be speaking about his latest book, Nantaska: The Minnow and the Whale.

An award-winning journalist, Crocker Snow, Jr., a native New Englander and veteran international journalist, spent 50 years as a foreign correspondent and editor. After serving as Managing Editor of The Boston Globe in the 1970s, he was founding editor of The World Paper from 1979 to 2001, a monthly report of original news and analysis that appeared in seven languages in twenty-seven countries. From 2002-14, Snow, Jr. was the director of Tufts University’s Edward R. Murrow Center of Public Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where he specialized in Middle East media as well as on the global impact of climate change and the warming Arctic.

Snow has long observed Nantucket and Alaska through family, friends and as a matter of professional interest in his work. Author of the 2016 book, Muskeget: Raw, Restless, Relentless Island, in NANTASKA he unites the two—”Nan-Taska”—and compares Nantucket and Alaska in fresh ways that kindle imagination and insight. Brimming with lively stories, people and anecdotes, the book reveals startling parallels between these two seemingly diverse lands. Beginning with their shared whaling histories, NANTASKA invigorates a multitude of topics on cultural connections shaped through vital climate change issues—with deep ties to people, places, weather and environment—and highlights critical community involvement as well as the mutual relationship to the sea and its impact on human lives and legacies.

Lavishly and colorfully illustrated, NANTASKA comes alive with vivid photographs from celebrated Inupiat photographer Brian Adams from Gridwood, Alaska, author of the award-winning I Am Alaskan photo book. Adams works with the Anchorage Museum and has covered the peoples, resources and wilds of Alaska throughout his professional life. In November, 2017, he explored Nantucket with his Leica camera in pursuit of parallel photographic studies to accompany Crocker Snow’s NANTASKA.

John Kerry, former US Senator/Massachusetts, Secretary of State under the Obama Administration, and longtime Snow family friend, has enthusiastically endorsed NANTASKA.

Book Group
Jul 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.

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.