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Adult Events

The Oliver Wolcott Library offers a wide range of programming for adults, from continuing series like Monday Scholars and Tea with TED,
to lectures, book discussions, and author talks. All events are free and open to all.

Continue your journey of lifelong learning with us!


Monday Scholars: Cooking Across the Ages


LIVE Zoom Event - At The Time of Event...Click Here To Join On ZOOM

Mondays: 1:00 - 2:30 PM 
September 13 - December 6*

*No meeting October 11


About Monday Scholars:

Monday Scholars combines the best of online learning with live virtual discussion! All you need to do in advance is be eager to learn and discuss. Each week, you will log in and together, via Zoom, all of us will watch two video lectures presented by Professor Ken Albala. Then, via Zoom, OWL's Karen Pasternak will lead everyone in a discussion of what we just watched.


About the course:

Does the fact that we depend on very exact, almost scientifically rigid recipes make us great cooks—or does that take the fun and creativity out of the whole experience? What was cooking like before the internet, before meat thermometers, grocery stores, and internationally standardized measurements? And more importantly, who were these cooks of the past and who did they cook for?

In Cooking across the Ages, award-winning Professor Ken Albala of the University of the Pacific takes us on a fascinating international journey through civilizations across the ages—showing us who we were, how we lived, and why—through the lens of cooking. In 24 fascinating lectures, you will learn:

  • About the values and flavor preferences of ancient peoples, in addition to the labor that went into their daily tasks;
  • How regional foods in the Middle Ages reflected travel and trade among Mediterranean peoples;
  • How regional foods in the Renaissance reflected unique relationships between far-flung nations;
  • Who turned to cookbooks for medical and romantic advice and why; and
  • Why mid-century Americans idealized canned foods as the height of luxury.

But in addition to learning about this history, you’ll have the opportunity to taste it and smell it, exploring cuisines of the past through a type of gastronomic time travel as Professor Albala prepares dishes and illustrates techniques in each lecture. Throughout the 24 lectures as he cooks, Professor Albala welcomes you into his own home kitchen, a cozy place where he encourages you to relax, experiment, and shed any gastronomic insecurities at the door.


About the instructor:

Ken Albala is a Professor of History at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where he won the Faye and Alex Spanos Distinguished Teaching Award and has been teaching for more than two decades. He holds an MA in History from Yale University and a PhD in History from Columbia University. He is the author or editor of more than two dozen books on food, including Eating Right in the Renaissance; Food in Early Modern Europe; Cooking in Europe, 1250–1650; The Banquet: Dining in the Great Courts of Late Renaissance Europe; Pancake: A Global History; and Beans: A History, winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals Jane Grigson Award. His textbook Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican, Chinese won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Foreign Cuisine Book in the World. He also coauthored the cookbook The Lost Art of Real Cooking and its sequel, The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home, a handbook of kitchen and home projects. His most recent book is Noodle Soup: Recipes, Techniques, Obsession.

  • To Join by Phone dial 1 646 876 9923 (New York)
  • Meeting ID: 828 2532 2507
  • Password: 102248

Before & After the Book Deal with Author Courtney Maum


Thursday, September 23 From 7:00 - 8:00 PM

This event will be held in the Library's Jamie Gagarin Community Room & on Zoom.

Regardless of vaccination status, all patrons and staff attending this event in-person are required to wear a mask.

Seating Is Limited & Registration Is Required - Register Here

LIVE Zoom Link - click here at 7 PM on Thursday, September 23. 

Join us for an opportunity to ask anything you’ve ever wanted to know about publishing but had no one to ask! 

There are countless books on the market about how to write better but very few books on how to break into the marketplace with your first book. Cutting through the noise (and very mixed advice) online, while both dispelling rumors and remaining positive, Courtney Maum's Before and After the Book Deal is a one–of–a–kind resource that can help you get your book published.

Get the skinny on questions such as:
Are MFA programs worth the time and money? How do people actually sit down and finish a novel? Did you get a good advance? What do you do when you feel envious of other writers? And why the heck aren’t your friends saying anything about your book? Covering questions ranging from the logistical to the existential (and everything in between). Before and After the Book Deal is the definitive guide for anyone who has ever wanted to know what it’s really like to be an author.

About Courtney:  

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels Costalegre (a GOOP book club pick and one of Glamour Magazine’s top books of the decade), I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You and Touch (a New York Times Editor’s Choice and NPR Best Book of the Year selection), the popular guidebook Before and After the Book Deal: A writer’s guide to finishing, publishing, promoting, and surviving your first book, and the forthcoming memoir, The Year of the Horses. 
A nominee for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize, Courtney’s writing has been widely published in such outlets as the New York Times, and O, the Oprah Magazine, and her short story This is Not Your Fault was turned into an Audible Original at Amazon. Courtney is the founder of the artist residency, The Cabins and she privately coaches writers on how to preserve the mystery and joy of the creative process in a culture that wants artists to become brands. You can sign up for her newsletter at
  • To Join the Zoom by Phone dial 1 646 876 9923 (New York)
  • Meeting ID: 854 2132 5273
  • Password: 309117


Touring Romania With Raz Alexe


Thursday, October 7 From 7:00 - 8:00 PM

This event will be held in the Library's Jamie Gagarin Community Room & on Zoom.

Regardless of vaccination status, all patrons and staff attending this event in-person are required to wear a mask.

Seating Is Limited & Registration Is Required - Register Here

LIVE Zoom Link - click here at 7 PM on Thursday, October 7. 

Join us for a Tour of Romania! 
Discover the myths and legends of Transylvania, the wildlife of the Danube Delta, the UNESCO World Heritage painted churches from Bucovina and more! Raz Alexe, born and raised in Bucharest, Romania will conduct this tour. In collaboration with Dana Bucin, the Honorary Consul of Romania in Connecticut, Raz will embark on a journey through some of the most famous places in one of the most coveted countries in terms of tourism in Eastern Europe.

Raz has been the Director of Public Works and Town Engineer in Litchfield for almost 6 years. He is a Professional Engineer (electrical and civil) licensed in Connecticut and Florida, where he resided for almost 10 years before moving to Connecticut in 2011. Raz has over 34 years of engineering experience and has enjoyed working mainly in the private sector as part of large corporations (Bell Canada, Exxon Mobil in Toronto and Montreal, Canada, where he lived for 9 years) now taking on the challenge of maintaining and improving Litchfield’s aging infrastructure. 

Raz was born in Romania and during his high school years he enjoyed hiking the beautiful Carpathian Mountains, then worked as a tour guide at the Black Sea Coast as well as on the Danube River cruises. He loves to read, loves languages and music, but mostly enjoys his time with his wife Suzi, originally from Litchfield, his 2 boys, Liam and Rory and their corgi Molly. 

  • To Join by Phone dial 1 646 876 9923 (New York)
  • Meeting ID: 869 8583 4293
  • Password: 964093


Non-Fiction Discussion Group


Thursday, October 14

Non-Fiction Group: 2:00 pm 

Meeting will be held in the Library's Jamie Gagarin Community Room.

 The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

As a girl, Kingston lived in two confounding worlds: the California to which her parents immigrated and
the China of her mother’s “talk stories.” This memoir written in the 20th century helps us understand
the discrimination still faced by Asian-Americans in the 21st century. Moderated by Audrey





Fiction Discussion Group


Thursday, October 14

Fiction Group: 3:30 pm 

Meeting will be held in the Library's Jamie Gagarin Community Room.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

In the 1940s a Chinese American and a Japanese American student become friends amid the chaos of
blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, before the girl and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the
internment camps. Years later the man begins a search that reminds us of a shameful episode in
American history. The book cautions us to examine the present and understand the discrimination still
faced by Asian-Americans in the 21st century. Moderated by Cara




This Land of Snow with Author Anders Morley


Thursday, October 14 From 7:00 - 8:00 PM

This event will be held in the Library's Jamie Gagarin Community Room & on Zoom.

Regardless of vaccination status, all patrons and staff attending this event in-person are required to wear a mask.

Seating Is Limited & Registration Is Required - Register Here

LIVE Zoom Link - click here at 7 PM on Thursday, October 14. 

Join us for a conversation with Anders Morley as he shares “This Land of Snow”- A memoir that tells the tale of his solo skiing journey across northwestern Canada!

Every journey begins with a single step, or in Anders Morley’s case, the shush of cross-country skis. For as long as he could remember, Morley dreamed of taking a very long walk. In his thirties, happily married and living in a faraway country but pining for the silent and snowy winters of his New Hampshire home, he decided to unite his old dream with his equally long-standing love of winter. Fourteen months later, just as the snow was starting to fall, he set off alone to spend the four coldest months of the year traveling on skis across the half-wild country of northwestern Canada. 

This Land of Snow tells the story of that journey and of a man who must come to terms with the consequences of living by nostalgia. It is an honest, thoughtful, and sometimes humorous reckoning of an adventure filled with adrenaline and exuberance, as well as mistakes and danger. Both a celebration of a season and a portrait of a place, the book affords readers fascinating and insightful glimpses into life at the edge of the great northern wilderness, the history of cold-weather exploration and nordic skiing, the right-to-roam movement, winter ecology, and more. Throughout, Morley’s clear, subtle, and self-deprecating voice speaks to a backwoods-genteel aesthetic that explores the territory between wildness and refinement, language and personal story, journey and home.

About the Author:

A dual-citizen of the US and Canada, Anders Morley grew up in New Hampshire and began skiing at age five. After earning a master's degree from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, he settled in Italy where he worked as a translator and English teacher, and explored the Alps in his free time. He contributes regularly to New Hampshire magazine and his work has appeared in a variety of other publications including The Globe and Mail, Northern Woodlands magazine, Maisonneuve magazine, and The Aurorean. Morley lives in northern New Hampshire.



Zentangle - Adult Take & Make Bags


A Project for Adults to Take & Make at Home!

October 4 - November 4


Register Here for your Take & Make Bag

Have you ever found yourself mindlessly doodling while engaged in other activities?
Take those lines and squiggles and shapes, add a fine drawing pen, good white paper and place all of your ATTENTION on creating a small, unique piece of art! That’s Zentangle! 

Zentangle is an American method for drawing that promotes concentration, creativity and relaxation. It was invented by a monk named Rick Roberts and an artist named Maria Thomas. 

This is a mindful, relaxing practice for adults. It doesn’t take up much space or require much equipment. You can work on one piece over many days, or sit and breath and relax until you feel the Zentangle is complete in one sitting. No rules other than to remain present to the activity of drawing.

Register above so we will have your bag ready for you, and then stop in any time from October 4 - November 4 to bring home a fun and engaging project that you can do on your own, at your own pace, and when it works for you! 

Your bag will contain:

* Several sheets of 6x6 white paper for your 4x4 drawing
* Two fine point black pens of varying thicknesses
* Directions and inspiration for creating shapes that “tangle” together and guidance for settling your mind into the unfolding design created by each shape, line or squiggle you add

NO drawing or art experience required!

Opt-In Bonus Option:

Want even more Zentangle fun?  If you wish, you can opt-in to receive three to four follow-up emails from us with suggested reading, listening, and watching ideas to enhance your journey exploring meditation, attention, creativity, and focus. Click here to register for the Opt-In Bonus Option!



Conversation & Studio Tour With Jennifer Abbott-Tillou


An Instagram Live Event

Thursday, April 29 at 1:00 PM

Join Jennifer Terzian as she hosts this special Instagram Live Event! 
In a Conversation and Studio Tour with Jennifer Abbott-Tillou, Jennifer will guide you through her studio while discussing her process and current body of work. Viewers will have the opportunity to visually engage with Abbott-Tillou’s diverse oeuvre including sculpture, painting and installation and ask questions along the way.

About Jennifer Abbott-Tillou
With a background in physical therapy, yoga, and fitness, Jennifer’s work is informed by anatomy, kinesiology, and the beautiful ways the human body presents. "My love of the ocean and all things springing from nature are also represented. The work reflects my unique female experience, including violence and religious conflict, while also capturing a certain sensual whimsy. Conflict and juxtaposition of opposites are often prominent." Visit her website at:

About Our Host Jennifer Terzian

Jennifer has a degree in Art History from UCLA and MA in Post-war Contemporary Art from the Sotheby’s Institute London. Jennifer was director of a commercial art gallery in Los Angeles and has been an independent curator and art advisor for over a decade. Jennifer teaches 19th and 20th century art history at Miss Porter’s School. She is opening her eponymous contemporary art gallery in Litchfield this spring. 

What is an Instagram Live Event and how do I join?
Instagram is a visual media platform, owned by the Facebook company, through which users share photos and videos with their friends and with the greater Instagram community. Users can access Instagram by downloading the Instagram app to their mobile phone or by visiting the Instagram website on an internet browser. To view the content on Instagram, users will need to create an account. Click here for information on how to create an Instagram account.

Need more help? Book-a-Tech appointment with Ted our Technology Coordinator at [email protected]
What if I missed the conversation but still wish to watch?
No worries! We've dropped the video in below. Enjoy!



MORE Information about Zoom:

All of our Virtual Zoom Events are live. They are not recorded. To participate/join the event, you need to use the exact link connected to the event. Once you click on the link at the specified date and time, you will be prompted to open Zoom, the virtual meeting program we are using. All you need is an internet connection and a device or computer with a webcam and audio. Most computers have built-in webcams. No passwords or confirmation codes, just click the link and follow the prompts.

Still having difficulty understanding how to access Zoom? Email OWL's Technology Coordinator Ted Moy at [email protected] to set-up a virtual Book-a-Tech session and he will go over it with you.

More security, more privacy: In response to concerns about privacy in a virtual meeting space, we have enabled additional security features in Zoom and updated our meeting links to be protected, private, and secure. These new, unique links can also be accessed through our e-newsletters.To receive secure information regarding these events, please subscribe to our e-newsletter! Click here to subscribe