Friday, May 22, 2009

Tony Horwitz

Fri 5/22, 5-7pm, SALON - Pulitzer-winning author Tony Horwitz on his book A Voyage Long and Strange: on the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America. One of the New York Times' 50 Notable Books of Nonfiction for 2008, A Voyage Long and Strange is Horwitz's account of the years Americans know little about, namely what happened here between 1492 and the arrival of the Pilgrims (which some Americans think happened in 1492). Not content to read his way through the history, he sets out on his own odyssey - which includes canoeing the Mississippi, taking the heat in a Canadian sweat lodge, and donning 60 pounds of armor as a conquistador reenactor in Florida - to retrace the steps of the early explorers. Join us for a conversation about adventure travel then and now. Books available for sale and signing, thanks to Borders! Free and open to the public! (Sponsor: Antiques & Interiors,

Friday, May 15, 2009

Loren Spears

Fri, 5/15, 5-7pm: SALON – Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum Executive Director Loren Spears on Eastern Native Arts. The Tomaquag Museum is Rhode Island's only museum entirely dedicated to telling the story of the state's original inhabitants, and the only museum operated by Native people over the last 52 years. Join us for a Native perspective on the collection of art, its history, meaning, and use. Images as well as actual pieces from the collections will be featured, as well as works from Native artists today. More on the museum: For Athenaeum members and their guests. Salon is presented in collaboration with The Rhode Island Foundation's Expansion Arts Program.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Providence String Quartet

Thurs 5/14, 7pm: The Providence String Quartet plays Benjamin Britten's String Quartet No. 2. Great admirers of one another's music, Dmitry Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten stand as two giants of 20th century music. In February, PSQ played Shostakovich; their 2009 Athenaeum series ends with Britten's Second Quartet, written in 1945 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of the great English composer, Henry Purcell. This three movement work concludes with a immense baroque chaconne as a direct tribute. Tickets must be purchased before the day of the show! PSQ is notorious for selling out at the Athenaeum, so don't delay, call today! Tickets are $30 for members and $35 for non-members. Call 401-421-6970 or stop by the library to purchase.

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Members' Reception

Mon 5/11, 5:30-7pm: New Members' Reception. Join us for a tour of the building, a look at our special collections, and a chance to meet other members plus staff and board members. For new Athenaeum members and their guests.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Eleventh Annual Philbrick Poetry Project Award and Reading

Fri 5/8, 7pm: Eleventh Annual Philbrick Poetry Project Award and Reading, with poet judge Marilyn Nelson and winner Jennifer E. Whitten. Poet judge Nelson has chosen Whitten's manuscript Auction as the 2009 Philbrick Poetry Award winner. Join us for the presentation of the award, and a reading by both poets. As part of the award, the Athenaeum has published Auction as a chapbook; copies will be on sale at the reading. The Athenaeum's Philbrick Poetry Project is named for long-time Athenaeum members Charles Philbrick, a noted poet, and his wife Deborah, a mentor to many poets, and fosters the art of poetry in RI and New England. Funded in part by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Free and open to the public!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tony Estrella

Fri 5/1, 5-7pm, SALON - Series: Gamm Theatre Artistic Director Tony Estrella on The Scarlet Letter, Phyllis Nagy's adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's dark tale, on stage at the Gamm 5/7-6/7. Hawthorne's exploration of sin, hypocrisy, and society is vividly re-imagined in this sexually charged, psychologically complex tale of obsession and revenge. Branded an adultress in 17th-century Puritan Boston, Hester Prynne is sentenced to wear the scarlet letter A on her dress. Refusing to name her lover, the father of her daughter, Pearl, she turns the mark of shame into a badge of beauty. Then Hester's long-lost husband unexpectedly reappears, and will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. Narrated by the spirited Pearl, this stripped-bare stage version of the "greatest American novel" makes us consider its power anew. More info: For Athenaeum members and their guests. (Sponsor: Antiques & Interiors,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rhode Island – Culture of Corruption?

Tues 4/28, 6-7pm: WRNI presents Rhode Island – Culture of Corruption? the second installment of Policy and Pinot, a new conversation series on vital issues affecting our state. Join WRNI General Manager Joe O'Connor and WRNI political reporters Ian Donnis and Scott MacKay as they interview Robert Clark Corrente, U.S. Attorney for RI, and Mike Stanton, Providence Journal reporter and author of The Prince of Providence, about the role of corruption, past and present, in Rhode Island's political culture. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED! To be part of the conversation, while also enjoying a glass of wine, please reserve with Rita Cidre, WRNI Membership Director, at or 401-351-0203

Friday, April 24, 2009

Andrew Losowsky

Fri 4/24, 5-7pm, SALON - Series: The Once and Future Library, part 7: Why Books Matter. The digi-vangelists are ready to burn down the libraries and put everything online - or so the story goes. In fact, digital has an extremely complex relationship with the physical world, and a book is a lot more than just words on a page. Andrew Losowsky, Providence based author of The Doorbells of Florence, media expert, and journalist (The Guardian,The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London), will explain how technology has changed the purpose of books, reveal how to keep print relevant, and talk about the future of storytelling. Technophobes and technophiles alike will find plenty to talk about!

For Athenaeum members and their guests.
(Series Sponsor: Dan Siegel, M&S Rare Books)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Matthew Goodman

Mon 4/20/2009, 6pm: Co-presented in partnership with the Providence Public Library: Matthew Goodman on his The Sun and the Moon: the Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York, takes place at PPL’s Empire Branch, Empire Street in downtown Providence. Fans of the 1830s: don’t miss this account of an 1835 tabloid-inspired hoax about a telescope that showed fantastical life on the moon, including scandalously-behaving flora and fauna. In the ensuing furor everyone had an opinion, including Poe, who claimed plagery.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Timothy S. Philbrick and Anthony Ramos

Fri 4/17/2009, 5-7pm: SALON – Artists Timothy S. Philbrick and Anthony Ramos on their upcoming Providence Art Club show, Native Sons. Lifelong friends, master furniture maker Philbrick and painter/video arist Ramos both grew up in RI and are finally showing their work together. It’s an RI first for Ramos, who lives in the south of France and has shown in Boston, Barcelona, Florence, and Paris among other locales. Philbrick’s furniture has been featured in many museum shows and permanent collections; his pieces are known for their sense of proportion, luxurious design, exquisite craftsmanship, and unique understanding of the materials (for more: Ramos’s works engage and interpret the cultural, political, and social complexities of a global world. Providence Art Club show runs 4/19-5/8.

For Athenaeum members and their guests.
(Sponsor: Studio Hop, 810 Hope Street, 621-2262)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Margaret B. Stillwell Prize 2009

Margaret B. Stillwell Prize 2009

First $750 / Second $500 / Third $250,
as well as gift certificates will be awarded.

In order to stimulate the interest of students in books and printing, and in all the bibliographical concerns which motivate its members, the John Russell Bartlett Society has established this annual prize competition, open to undergraduates at any Rhode Island college or university. In so doing, the Society honors the memory of Margaret Bingham Stillwell, Brown University Class of 1909, the University's first woman Professor of Bibliography and a renowned scholar of early printing, with the intent of encouraging students to share her lifelong pleasure in reading and book collecting.

A contestant's collection may be in any field. It may emphasize some particular interest within a field, or exemplify certain bibliographical features such as edition, issue, and other conditions of manufacture and sale; illustration, type, calligraphy, binding, etc. All types of books, including paperbacks, may be included, as long as their place in the collection can be justified (the inclusion of textbooks is nevertheless discouraged, except in rare cases).

Any undergraduate of a Rhode Island college or university who wishes to compete is invited to obtain an entry form and a brochure containing rules and guidelines for the competition from the Chair of the Stillwell Prize (name and address below).

Entry forms for 2009 must be submitted by April 3, 2009 and addressed to "Stillwell Prize, Box A / John Hay Library, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912"; or as an e-mail attachment, by arrangement with the Chair. The final competition and judging will take place at 6:00 p.m. on April 16 at the Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street at the corner of College Street, as part of an evening event sponsored by the John Russell Bartlett Society.


Before entering, contestants are strongly encouraged to contact the Stillwell Prize chair, Richard Noble, at the John Hay Library, Brown University (Richard_Noble@Brown.EDU; 401-863-1187).

The competition is open to all undergraduates attending Rhode Island colleges and universities.

Written entries (essay and bibliography) must be submitted by April 3, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Aaron Jungels

Friday 4/10/2009, 5-7pm: SALON - Choreographer and multi-media artist Aaron Jungels of Everett Dance Theatre on his new, Silas the Teenager, on stage at the Carriage House Stage April 17-19 and 24-26. Inspired by his 16-year-old nephew Silas, who has autism, Jungels utilizes vivid imagery and evocative physicality in depicting the pleasures and challenges of interacting with Silas. Interweaving video projection, dialogue, choreography, and kinetic-sculptural stage props, Jungels reflects upon the way Silas perceives the world. A live score by Alec K. Redfearn and five musicians accompanies the performances. Jungels researched the latest studies on the autistic mind; new theories about how people with autism perceive and process information about the world, as well as their reports "from the inside," guided the development of his work. Jungels received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Capital's Multi-Arts Production Fund and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts to produce Silas the Teenager.

Free and open to the public! Sponsor: Antiques & Interiors

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jeremy Dibbell

Fri 4/3, 5-7pm, SALON - Series: The Once and Future Library, part 6: Massachusetts Historical Society librarian Jeremy Dibbell on The Libraries of Early America project. Using the online book-cataloging site, scholars and volunteers from around the country are creating digital catalogs of personal and institutional libraries from the colonial and early national periods, including those of America's first three presidents, Benjamin Franklin, Lady Jean Skipwith, and the Providence Athenaeum's own Founders' Collection. These digital catalogs allow users to efficiently compare libraries (what books did John Adams and Benjamin Franklin have in common?), and search collections that may not exist today in physical form or are spread across multiple institutions and private collections. Users can enter their personal libraries into LibraryThing and see what books they have in common with early American readers.

For more on Libraries of Early America, including links to the various collections now in place or in progress:

For Athenaeum members and their guests. Series Sponsor: Dan Siegel, M&S Rare Books,

Friday, March 27, 2009

Karen Leona Anderson

Fri 3/272009, 5-7pm: SALON – Poet Karen Leona Anderson on the interactions of poetry and science. Anderson's interest in the interactions of these two disciplines informs her new collection of poems, Punish Honey, and has led her to look for these interactions in the work of other poets - such as Emily Dickinson, for example - as well. Join us for a conversation about her discoveries - scientific, poetical, and the combination thereof - and then don't miss her reading from Punish Honey the following evening (Sat 3/27) at 6pm at the beloved Ada Books, 717 Westminster Street in Providence! For Athenaeum members and their guests. (Sponsor: Elad Inc, Industrial Consulting)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Listen Local Composers' Forum

Thurs 3/26, 6-7:30pm: Listen Local Composers' Forum, moderated by Open Source's Christopher Lydon, with composers including Mitchell Clark, Marilyn Currier, Garrison Hull, Mike Kelley, Forrest Larson, and Jessie Montgomery; presented with Community MusicWorks and the Providence Public Library. The event takes place at the Providence Public Library, 150 Empire Street in Providence. Join us for a conversation with composers featured in last season's Community MusicWorks Listen Local project.

Free and open to the public, but reservations are REQUIRED due to limited seating. Please email Lisa Miller at (preferred), or leave her a message at 401-455-8057.

Picture courtesy of John Chiafalo.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Oasis International

Fri 3/20, 5-7pm: SALON – Oasis International. Oasis International serves African immigrants to Providence's West End, Elmwood, Southwest Providence, and Washington Park neighborhoods, focusing on health and wellness, consumer education, and programs for youth. Through funding from the National Constitution Center for their "Living News" program, Oasis is developing theatrical productions that present the young people they serve - American-born children of African immigrants - with constitutional issues in the media that have a direct impact on their everyday lives, and help them understand that in a democracy, their voices matter. Join us for a conversation with Oasis Executive Director Mary Smith and other participants on Africans becoming Americans, from one generation to the next. For Athenaeum members and their guests. Salon is presented in collaboration with The Rhode Island Foundation's Expansion Arts Program.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Giles Morris and Ben Jones

Fri 3/13, 5-7pm, SALON - Series: The Once and Future Library, part 5: From Charles Dickens to Giles Morris: A Self-Published Serial Novel in the Digital Age. Giles Morris is a journalist, former political speech writer, community organizer on Chicago's south side, and teacher. Faced with the daunting task of publishing his first novel, he decided to publish directly on the web, partly in hopes of generating a book deal. He called on friends at Providence-based Left Brain, including founder Ben Jones, to design and produce the online-publishing project. Using an open source content management system, Joomla, Left Brain created a site usable by a non-technically-expert author. With the ease of publishing made possible by content management systems - given the exigencies of the publishing industry today, where even proven writers face increasing hurdles - does the web provide a formula for more autonomy for writers? As writers adapt, can publishers keep up? And whither the library in all this? Join Morris and Jones to hear about their adventures and ponder these questions and more! Special thanks to Left Brain for making this event possible. For Athenaeum members and their guests. (Series Sponsor: Dan Siegel, M&S Rare Books,

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wild Dreams: the Best of Italian Americana

Fri 3/6, 5-7pm, SALON - Readings from the newly published anthology, Wild Dreams: the Best of Italian Americana, with editor-in-chief Carol Bonomo (Ahearn) Albright and contributors Ann Hood, Mary Caponegro, Peter Covino, Christine Palamidessi Moore, and Christina Bevilacqua. For over 30 years the journal Italian Americana has showcased writers who have chronicled Italian-American literary culture and helped to define an Italian-American imagination. Wild Dreams offers the best of those pages - fiction, memoir, poetry, and interview - ranging widely in style and sentiment, tracing the arc of an immigrant culture's coming of age in America. Join us for a conversation with several contributors about how they deal with the complicated questions of identity in their art. Copies of Wild Dreams available for sale at 20% discount! Free and open to the public! (Sponsor: Elad Inc, Industrial Consulting)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Francisco Noya

Fri 2/27, 5-7pm: SALON – RI Philharmonic's Resident Conductor Francisco Noya on Music, Life, and the Pursuit of Extreme Pleasure. Need we say more? For Athenaeum members and their guests. (Sponsor: Jillian Siqueland of Residential Properties, 401-274-6740)