Oliver Wolcott Library - Programs

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Events are updated regularly. Please check back!

Wednesday, October 4th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Victorian Fashion: Real or Not?
with Susan J. Jerome
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Queen Victoria and the Victorian Age give rise to images of women swathed in yards and yard of fabric, proper bonnets on the head, gloves on the hands and tightly-corseted waists. We also think of children dressed like little adults and men in dark frock coats and stiff white shirts But is this a true understanding of the fashions worn during the Victorian era? 

Queen Victoria, by inheriting the throne at an early age and living into her 80s, endowed much of the nineteenth century with her name. She reigned during a time of great advancements in science and social beliefs. Social, technological, and political changes are reflected in the notable evolution of women’s, children’s, and men’s clothing.

This powerpoint program explores the many changes that occurred throughout the Victorian era and how these influenced fashion. We will look at what was stylish - real or otherwise – during this most fashionable time.

Susan J. Jerome is the Collections Manager at the University of Rhode Island Historic Textile and Costume Collection. She earned her MS degree from the University of Rhode Island, Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design. Prior to continuing her education, she worked for a number of years at Mystic Seaport Museum. Ms. Jerome also works as a textile and quilt conservator and a consultant to museums and historical societies. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED


Wednesday, October 11th
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

The Cookbook Club

Pumpkins, Apples, Potatoes & More!

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Celebrate nature’s bounty at our Fall Harvest Potluck! Join librarians Audra MacLaren and Patricia Moore as we discuss and share our fall harvest dishes. At each meeting members bring dishes prepared from the selected cookbooks. If you’re running short on time, don’t worry; just bring yourself - there is always a surplus of delicious food to enjoy.

When you register for the program we will assign you an appetizer, entrée, side-dish, or dessert and the rest is up to you. If you are looking for some autumnal ideas we will have cookbooks on display in the library focusing on apples, pumpkins, and other fall favorites beginning a month before the meeting.

Come for the delectable dishes and the lovely conversation. Don’t worry - we are all just amateur cooks who love books! REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED


Sunday, October 15th
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Poetry Reading & Discussion

with Wise Old Owls
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For ten years a small group of poets has met each month at the Oliver Wolcott Library. They kidded themselves they were turning into wise old owls. Then, they began publishing books, teaching here and there, and writing and writing. Two passed away; one moved away. New members took their places.

Join us as the owls will read short selections from their poems, and try to explain what motivated them, and the value in meeting with a supportive group of peers. The criticism which members have provided each other has improved all their work. They will talk about their poems and try to answer any questions.

The owls are now planning an anthology of their poems, to be published by Christmas.

The owls are: Marie Prentice, John Perry, Wendy McGaffey, Jack Sheedy, Cynthia Rabinowitz, Rob Nessler, Connie Budelis, and Jim Kelleher. Also, in absentia, John Hart, and in memoriam Bee Simont and Bob Potter. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED


OWL Monday Scholars
Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot

Mondays, October 16 through November 6
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.   
Click Here to Register

Facilitated by Patricia Moore, Monday Scholars is a weekly series that meets in the library’s Jamie Gagarin Community Room. It’s the best of online learning and classroom discussion. Each week, a new lecture topic is watched and then discussed by all who attend. All you need to do is come ready to engage your mind and participate in the discussion. Registration Required. 

About the Course:
Each week, we will watch a 10-minute lecture that includes a writing prompt based on the creative writing topic covered. We will then write for 30-minutes and then share and discuss our writing samples with the group. 

In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn what keeps it moving, how it manipulates our feelings, expectations, and desires. We will examine the choices storytellers make to snag our imaginations, drag them into a fictional world, and keep them there. We will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle and end.  

About the Professor:
Brando Skyhorse is a Visiting Writer at Wesleyan. His debut novel, The Madonnas of Echo Park, received the 2011 PEN/Hemingway Award and the Sue Kaufman Award for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been awarded fellowships at Ucross; Can Serrat, Spain; and was the 2014-2015 Jenny McKean Moore Writer-In-Washington at George Washington University.   

Tuesday, October 17th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Spies in the Family

A Conversation with Author Eva Dillon

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Spies in the Family: An American Spymaster, His Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship that Helped End the Cold War is a riveting true-life thriller and revealing memoir from the daughter of an American intelligence officer. 

In the summer of 1975, seventeen-year-old Eva Dillon’s family was living in New Delhi when her father was exposed as a CIA spy. Eva had long believed that her father was a U.S. State Department employee. She had no idea that he was handling the CIA’s highest-ranking double agent - Dmitri Fedorovich Polyakov - a Soviet general whose code name was TOPHAT.

Spanning fifty years and three continents, Spies in the Family is a deeply researched account of two families on opposite sides of the lethal espionage campaigns of the Cold War, and two men whose devoted friendship lasted a lifetime, until the devastating final days of their lives. With impeccable insider access to both families as well as knowledgeable CIA and FBI officers, Dillon goes beyond the fog of secrecy to craft an unforgettable story of friendship and betrayal, double agents and clandestine lives.

Join Joseph Montebello as he facilitates this conversation with author Eva Dillon.

Eva Dillon spent twenty-five years in the magazine publishing business, including stints at Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, The New Yorker, and as president of Reader’s Digest. Dillon and her six siblings grew up moving around the world for her father’s CIA assignments from Berlin to Mexico City to Rome to New Delhi. A wine & cheese reception will follow. The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED  

Thursday, October 19th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Imagine That! Igniting Your Brain For Creativity & Peak Performance

with Author James Mapes

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In Imagine That!: Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance, James Mapes shares the knowledge and experience he has gained in his thirty-plus years as a researcher, speaker, and personal coach. Imagine That! is a guidebook that shows readers how to lead an exceptional life. Enhanced by exercises, in-depth research, and real-life anecdotes, Mapes dives deep into topics as diverse as reframing thinking patterns, shattering a series of limiting myths, hypnosis, stretch goals, transforming fear into love, and forgiveness.

“If you want to be a winner in life and achieve your dreams, you’ve got to have a game plan,” said former NFL Coach Lou Holtz. “Mapes gives it to you – period! James Mapes’ Imagine That! will not only help you reignite your purpose, it’s going to help you be the best you can be.”
The founder of Quantum Leap Thinking, creator of The Transformational Coach, and an expert on the psychology of applied imagination, James Mapes is a highly acclaimed business speaker and personal excellence coach.

For more than thirty years, he has dedicated himself to helping individuals, teams, and organizations break through barriers to reach their goals and achieve success. His clients include Fortune 500 companies and major nonprofit organizations in the areas of finance, technology, healthcare, academia, and the military, including IBM, the U.S. Coast Guard, Lockheed Martin, and the Princeton Center for Leadership Training.  

A wine & cheese reception will follow. The author will provide books for sale & signing. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Tuesday, October 24th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Thin Lines: A Vineyard Journey
with Author John Pryor Fulkerson
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After an inspiring vacation in France’s Rhone Valley, a surgeon decides to grow grapes in the harsh northwest Connecticut hills and create fine wines from them. In Thin Lines: A Vineyard Journey, John Pryor Fulkerson details his experience of gathering friends and family to help with the harvest, the crush, the fermentation, and the final preparation of fine wine.

Throughout this journey, he acquires much more than wine - he also engages more closely with friends and family while cultivating a profound bond with nature. Fulkerson’s love of viticulture and wine making is evident as he chronicles his challenges and victories in eloquent detail. Sprinkled throughout the narrative are original poems that enrich the story and bring the reader deeper into the experience.

Whether you’re a casual wine drinker or are cultivating an interest in viticulture, you’ll find much to love in this story of one man’s journey through the grape-growing and winemaking process.

John Pryor Fulkerson’s love of words began when he was a young boy in New York. He grew up listening to his grandmother recite the works of Kipling and Wordsworth. In college, he exchanged long, entertaining letters with his father, a physician, and also began writing and studying poetry while pursuing pre-medical courses.

Inspired by his father and other physicians in his family, John went to Yale Medical School and became an orthopedic surgeon. Today he continues to write poetry and counts Rumi, Billy Collins, Rudyard Kipling, Rainer Rilke, Lao Tzu, and William Wordsworth among others as writers that influenced him. Lynn Fulkerson, shown here with John, provided the cover art for the book. A wine & cheese reception will follow. The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing.  REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED


Wednesday, October 25th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Light: Its Mysteries & Hidden Secrets
with Joe Dougherty
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When you hear or read about astronomy, descriptions of stars or galaxies, or the discovery of planets in a distant solar system, do you ever wonder how scientists discovered all that information?

It is amazing to be reminded that man has never traveled further than the moon and our farthest and most sophisticated spacecrafts have only recently ventured into interstellar space. Yet, we know a tremendous amount about galaxies millions of light years away.

This presentation will explore light….what it is and how scientists have harnessed it to reveal much of what we know about our universe. Specifically, we will learn about the chemical composition of stars, how to determine the distance and temperatures of astronomical objects and how scientists are discovering new “exoplanets” daily.

Joe Dougherty is the President of the Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club. He has specialized in the field of astro-imaging for nearly 10 years. He has given numerous presentations on imaging to the public and other amateur astronomers over the years. Recently, he has been exploring the use of new tools, software and imaging cameras used in the field of Spectroscopy of stars. He resides in Waterbury, CT and holds an M.B.A. and B.S. in Mathematics. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED 







160 South Street, P.O. Box 187 Litchfield, Connecticut 06759 | Ph: 860-567-8030 | Fx: 860-567-4784

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