Oliver Wolcott Library
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Events are updated regularly. Please check back!

Wednesday, September 17th
1:00 - 4:00 p.m

Beginning Writer’s Workshop
with Natalie Bates

Do you have a great story to tell but don’t know where to start? Published novelist and playwright Natalie Bates will offer a beginning writer’s workshop on how to create compelling, dramatic and entertaining fiction in a form that best suits your purpose. Explore techniques for telling a story that seizes the reader’s imagination. Discover your narrative voice. Learn how to charm your audience. The workshop will present valuable tools to build a plot and hone your storytelling skills. 

After a successful career in stage and film acting, Natalie Bates turned to writing in 1988 and saw her first novel, Friend of the Family published by Athenaeum. Besides her various fiction projects, she has authored or edited several non-fiction books, including the Nautilus Award-winning collection of Daisaku Ikeda’s essays, For the Sake of Peace, five children’s books including, The ABC’s of Buddhism, and a ghostwritten biography of a television celebrity, Don’t Look Back We’re Not Going That Way. Teaching workshops privately and for institutions such as the Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University, she has assisted several aspiring authors to publish their own stories and novels. Space is limited. Registration is required.
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Thursday, September 18th
6:30 - 8:00 p.m

Inside Emily Dickinson: Her Poetry and Her Life
Created & Performed by Actress Ginger Grace

This inspiring biographical portrait is based on the letters, life stories and poems of Emily Dickinson. It combines performance with interactive workshop activities. In the course of the show, Ms. Grace reaches out to the audience for ideas, words and phrases, and with their input, new poems are created. The spirit of Emily Dickinson is celebrated not only with her story – filled with heart and humor – but with the immediate creativity taking place in the room!

Ginger Grace toured nationally opposite Rich Little in The Presidents, playing all the First Ladies from Jackie Kennedy to Hillary Clinton.  She has been performing The Belle of Amherst for audiences throughout the country since 2002.  Her recent work includes The First Ladies Coalition, written and performed by Ms. Grace and directed by Austin Pendleton. She has worked extensively in New York and Regional Theater, playing leading roles in plays such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Doubt, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Independent film work includes Wish You Were Here,  It’s All Relative, and SHEER

In addition to workshops and residencies that Ms. Grace creates and conducts in association with The Belle of Amherst, she has taught acting and playwriting workshops with New York inner-city school students in the CASA/CentreStage program for six years.  She is a great believer in the importance of freeing the creativity in each individual.
Space is limited. Registration is required.
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Fourth Sunday of Each Month
July 27th - October 26th
1:00 - 2:00 p.m

Sunday Book Discussion Series with Dr. Mark Schenker


Our Sunday Book Discussion Series with Dr. Mark Schenker focuses on four novels set during the First World War, whose centenary will be marked this summer. The first two novels were written in the decade following the war and the last two selections were written in the 1990s. Taken together, they provide a range of insights - from American, German and British authors - into an event that claimed more than nine million lives and changed forever the political and cultural landscapes of the Western World.

Mark J. Schenker is the Senior Associate Dean of Yale College, Dean of Academic Affairs and a lecturer in English at Yale. He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in English and Comparative Literature. He lectures frequently on literary topics, and enjoys making literature accessible and enjoyable. In 2001, the Connecticut Humanities Council presented him with the Wilbur Cross Award for Outstanding Humanities Scholar. Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited. Registration is required. Books are available at the library to borrow four weeks in advance of each discussion.
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July 27 - A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
August 24 - All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
September 28 - Regeneration by Pat Barker
October 26 - Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War by Sebastian Faulks

Tuesday, September 30th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m

Education Planning for Young Families
with Matt Terzian, CFA, CFP & Corey Veneziano, CPA

Do you have a child, a cousin, a sibling, or a grandchild and are interested in funding, or helping to fund, their higher education costs? Are you having a hard time navigating or unsure of the various methods and strategies for accomplishing this goal? 

In this seminar, Matt Terzian and Corey Veneziano describe the current education environment (from a cost perspective) and illustrate how funding goals can be accomplished. From savings accounts to Section 529 plans and simple to advanced savings/investment strategies, the seminar seeks to appeal to people in a variety of financial positions and different points in the stage of the education saving process. While participation is not required, this seminar is intended to be an open discussion. 

Matt Terzian, CFP, CFA is a resident of Litchfield and a Vice President at Bradley, Foster & Sargent in Hartford. His previous position was at BNY Mellon Wealth Management in Los Angeles where he was a Senior Portfolio Manager/Vice President. He has over a decade of investment experience managing portfolios for individuals, families, and institutions.

Corey Veneziano, CPA, MSAT is a tax manager who sits in the West Hartford office of BlumShapiro. He has over 10 years of tax planning, compliance, and consulting experience and has served a wide variety of privately held businesses and their owners. Space is limited. Registration is required.
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Thursday, October 2nd
1:00 - 2:00 p.m

Fall into Great Books
A Book Talk with OWL Staff

What do I read next? I need a good Book.
...are two comments that library staff hear each day. We love helping you find just the right book. Join us for a book talk where we’ll feature some of our favorites so you can Fall Into Great Books!

OWL Librarian Patricia Moore and Library Book Club Liaison Cameron Bove will share their reading recommendations to get your fall reading off to a great start. Books will be shared including our recently published favorites as well as some gems you may have missed. For each book, we’ll give a brief story line and then share our thoughts on why this book made it to our favorite list. 

After the book talk, join us for an apple cider and cookie reception. A full book list will be available to take home, as well as copies of the books (and when possible, audio books) to borrow. Space is limited. Registration is required.
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Thursday, October 16th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m

Catching Lightning in a Bottle
with Author Winthrop H. Smith, Jr.

In 1939, Charles E. Merrill and Winthrop H. Smith came up with a radical idea for investing: democratize the stock market and bring “Street to Main Street.” Together they created a company that would earn the trust of small investors by putting its clients interest first. To achieve this, they trained their brokers and compensated them with salaries and bonuses rather than commissions. As a result, it expanded capital markets and fueled the growth of the American economy after WWII.

In Catching Lightning in a Bottle, Winthrop H. Smith, Jr. has complied the first complete history of Merrill Lynch, tracing its impact on the world of finance from the day Charlie Merrill opened his one-man shop on January 6, 1913, to the final shareholder meeting prior to its acquisition by Bank of America on December 5, 2008. As the son of a founding partner, the author knew every Merrill Lynch CEO from Charlie Merrill to John Thain. 

Smith had his own illustrious twenty-eight-year career with the storied Wall Street firm, serving as an          executive vice president, a member of the Executive Management Committee, and chairman of Merrill Lynch International. He resigned abruptly in 2001   because he believed the firm had betrayed the business principles established by his father and Charles E. Merrill. He now owns and operates the Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont. His website is www.smith-merrillhistory.com. A wine & cheese reception will follow the event. The author will provide books for sale & signing. 
Space is limited. Registration is required.
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Thursday, October 23rd
7:00 - 8:00 p.m

Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger
with Author Stephen Grant

Collecting Shakespeare recounts the story of Henry and Emily Folger, a couple who were devoted to each other and to Shakespeare. Shortly after marrying in 1885, the Folgers started buying, cataloging, and storing all manner of items about Shakespeare and his era. Emily earned a master’s degree in Shakespeare studies. The frugal couple worked passionately as a tight-knit team during the Gilded Age, financing their hobby with the fortune Henry earned as president of Standard Oil Company of New York, where he was a trusted associate of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. 

Their passion culminated in the construction of The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. The library houses 82 First Folios, 275,000 books, and 60,000 manuscripts. It welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year and provides professors, scholars, graduate students, and researchers from around the world with access to the collections.

Writing is Stephen Grant’s second career after a diplomatic profession working as an education project manager in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), with long-term postings in Ivory Coast, Egypt, Guinea, Indonesia, and El Salvador.     Shifting largely from a diplomatic career to a writing life, he serves as Senior Fellow at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training in Arlington, Virginia, where he helps retired diplomats prepare their manuscripts for publication. Visit his website at              www.stephenhgrant.com. A wine & cheese reception will follow the event. The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing. Space is limited. Registration is required.
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Wednesday, October 29th
7:00 - 8:15 p.m

Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Speckled Band
A Live Theatrical Performance with The East Haddam Stage Company

The East Haddam Stage Company is proud to present William Gillette’s 1930 radio script of the first Sherlock Holmes play ever broadcast via radio. Thanks to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center’s Nook Farm collection, they know that this 30-minute ‘sketch’ as he called it was originally written by Edith Meiser but extensively by Gillette himself. He knew Sherlock like no other actor at the time, having played the detective for many years on stages all over the world. Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Speckled Band is one of the most popular Holmes stories about a young woman named Helen Stonor who employs Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to foil the villainous plans of her stepfather, Grimesby Roylott. 

The cast includes Neil Myers originally from London, England now in Old Lyme as Sherlock; Rick Bean of New Haven as Dr. Watson; Rayah Martin of Manchester as Helen and Julia Stonor; and John Haynal of Old Saybrook as Billy and Dr. Roylott, and as Announcer and Sound Effects. 

The East Haddam Stage Company is managed by K & C Enterprises, with Artistic Director Kandie Carle. Ms. Carle has 30 years experience in all forms of theatre and dance. The goal of the EHSCO is to offer the public an intriguing, thoughtful and provocative theatrical experience. Their website is www.ehsco.org. Space is limited. Registration is required.
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Wednesday, November 5th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m

OWL Cookbook Club
with OWL Staff

Are you a “crusty” reader?
Join Audra MacLaren, Adult Services Librarian, and Patricia Moore, Librarian, for the first meeting of the OWL Cookbook Club. At our inaugural meeting we will be discussing (and eating!) pie. 

Beginning a month before the discussion date we will have an assortment of pie cookbooks available for check out—select the one that most interests you.

Over the course of the month we encourage you to make recipes from your selected cookbook and come ready to chat about what worked, what didn’t, and what you cannot wait to make again.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, find out who has the most foolproof pie crust and what exciting new pies are going to be served next to those tried and true favorites. Audra and Patricia will be bringing their favorite pies to the discussion and if you are feeling adventurous we encourage you to do the same—don’t be intimidated, we are all just amateur cooks who love books and food! Pie and tea will be served. Space is limited. Registration is required.
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