While the UK is taking the lead this week in recognizing the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, Wellesley College (“we’re the only liberal arts college that still requires Shakespear…”) is doing its part to remember the Bard as well. The college’s celebration actually began earlier this semester, but things are really starting to heat up now. Here are a few highlights, and you can find the whole schedule here.
*That Right Promethean Fire: Shakespeare Illustrated. While that title sounds awful, it’s actually a pretty cool little exhibit of Shakespeare’s works depicted in art at the Davis Museum. February 10-June 5 .
*Shakespeare on the Global Stage: A Festival of Performance and Scholarship
– See more at: http://www.wellesley.edu/events/node/84096#sthash.8ImfYcia.LPAYHnT8.dpuf
*Offering two free Shakespeare courses online:
Shakespeare on the Page and in Performance: Young Love
April 27, 2016 – May 18, 2016 (3 weeks long)
Shakespeare on the Page and in Performance: Tragic Love
May 25, 2016 – June 22, 2016 (4 weeks long)
Books, those typically rectangular-shaped wads of paper with little scribbles and sometimes pictures in them, are needed by the Friends of the Wellesley Free Library for its annual Spring book sale, which takes place at the main library from April 28 to May 1.
So if you’re doing any Spring cleaning and are looking to relocate books, CDs or DVDs, drop them off at the main branch before Sunday, April 24. A donation cart is located to the right of the circulation desk.
Proceeds from the sale help to fund library programming, including children’s activities and museum passes.
The book sale schedule:
Thursday, April 28: 5-9pm for Friends’ members
Friday, April 29: 9am-6pm
Saturday, April 30: 9am-5pm
Sunday, May 1: 1-5pm (bag sale)
Wellesley College Alumnae of Boston hosts the annual Authors on Stage event at Wellesley College Club on May 4, with coffee at 9:45am and the program following at 10:30am. The event costs $27 per person and you can stick around for lunch for another $16.
Here’s this year’s line-up of authors:
Barry Meier: MISSING MAN: The American Spy Who Vanished in Iran
Meier draws on years of interviews and never before disclosed CIA files for his narrative of Robert Levinson’s journey to Iran and the hunt (still active) to rescue him.
Jim Lynch: BEFORE THE WIND
Lynch grew up in the world of sailors, and his new novel is a grand saga of the sailing-obsessed Johannssen family, where the past and the present merge seamlessly and collide surprisingly.
Laura Claridge: THE LADY WITH THE BORZOI: Blanche Knopf, Literary Tastemaker Extraordinaire
Blanche Knopf began her career when she founded Alfred A. Knopf with her husband in 1915. With her finger on the pulse of a rapidly changing culture, she became a driving force behind the firm that defined much of American literature in the 20th century.
More info: Questions: [email protected] or call 781-237-0030
Following the talk on Paul Revere, the Historical Society will wrap up their lecture series on May 19 before taking a break for the summer with The History of the Quabbin Reservoir, 7pm, in the Wellesley Library’s Wakelin Room.
Anita Diamant, author of The Boston Girl, The Red Tent, Good Harbor, The Last Days of Dogtown, and Day After Night, speaks at Wellesley Free Library on Tuesday, March 22 at 7pm. The Annual Arnold Lecture is free and open to the public.
Jacquelyn Mitchard, best-selling author of The Deep End of the Ocean will be on hand at Wellesley Books on Thursday, March 24 at 7 pm for an author appearance, reading, Q & A, and book signing to promote her new novel Two if by Sea. Two If by Sea is about the best and worst in people, and the possibility of heroism, and even magic, in ordinary life.
Mitchard is the editor in chief and co-creator of Merit Press and a professor of fiction and creative non-fiction at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. The Deep End of the Ocean was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband and their nine children.
Other author visits in March:
Wednesday, March 2nd 2016 @ 7pm
Theresa Rebeck – I’m Glad About You, (The pathos and missed connections of One Day meet the hilarity of Crazy Rich Asians in Theresa Rebeck’s comedic and tender novel, I’m Glad About You.)
About the author: Theresa Rebeck has had more than a dozen plays produced in New York, including Omnium Gatherum, for which she was a Pulitzer-Prize finalist, Seminar, starring Alan Rickman and Dead Accounts. She was the creator of the NBC drama Smash.
Monday, March 7th 2016 @ 7pm
Jay Atkinson, Massacre on the Merrimack, (The courageous story of Hannah Duston and the band of Abenaki that raided her village of Haverhill, Massachusetts.)
About the author: Jay Atkinson teaches writing at Boston University and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times. He grew up hearing Hannah Duston’s story in his hometown of Methuen, Massachusetts, which was part of Haverhill until 1726.
Wednesday, March 23rd 2016 @ 7pm
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Helen Simonson, best-selling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, was born in England and is a graduate of the London School of Economics. Simonson is married, with two grown sons. This is her second novel.
Thursday, March 31st 2016 @ 7pm
Peggy Orenstein, Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape (A clear-eyed picture of the new sexual landscape girls face in the high school and college years, and how they are negotiating it.)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Peggy Orenstein, author of the best-seller, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. She lives in Northern California with her husband and their daughter, Daisy.
UPDATE: Ms. G saw her shadow at 10am today. Thanks for the weather update, Ms. G.!
Chances are, Groundhog Day is that mid-winter tradition most likely to creep up on you unawares, leaving you panicked at the last minute, wondering if you’ve gotten all your Groundhog Day shopping done, knowing in your heart that you haven’t. At ease you Type A person, you. It’s not a gift-giving occasion. All that’s needed to be fully involved in the big day is to observe it. And due to the hard work and political savvy of some pretty heavy hitters here in town, you can observe the big day locally at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm in Lincoln at 10am on Feb. 2 and know that a group of Hunnewell School students, working together since they were in kindergarten, has seen to it that Massachusetts has its own official State Groundhog.
It took a whole lot of hard work and dedication over two years, but the students, with help from Emmy-award winning broadcast meteorologist and Wellesley mom Mish Michaels, and backed by writer of the bill Representative Alice Peisch, convinced the State House Committee, the State Senate, and former Govenor Deval Patrick that yes, indeed, Massachusetts did need its own lawful groundhog to forecast the local weather on the big day.
Michaels, author of children’s book Ms. G’s Shadowy Road to Fame, which tells the story of how it all happened, stopped by Hunnewell school today, along with the book’s illustrator, Kathleen Jameson. Michaels reviewed the long road from idea to bill to law with a group of about 45 students, most of whom were involved in the journey, and gave them the news that Ms. G’s story would be featured in the Scholastic News Weekly Reader, a publication that reaches a million students across the country. Oprah-style, everyone in the room got a Scholastic News copy. It’s been a long road, Michaels told the students, reminding them that “When you have an idea, you have to talk a lot about it and share your idea with other people, because that’s how your ideas become reality.”
Ms. G was, in fact, an idea whose time had come. After all, Puxatawney Phil, Birmingham Bill, Staten Island Chuck, and all the rest of the groundhog men scattered across various states can hardly know about the subtleties of Massachusetts weather. Ms. G, the country’s first female groundhog weather prognosticator, understands the capricious nature of spring around here. She’s got her Drumlin Farms burrow in Lincoln all set up to inform her about the secrets of the seasons, and she stands ready to share that information on her day. Here at The Swellesley Report, we know exactly where Ms. G is coming from. We, too, are all about providing hyper-local information.
And although Groundhog Day isn’t a gift-giving ocassion (thank heavens), it’s most certainly an educational opportunity. If you’d like to jump onto that end of things, Ms. G’s Shadowy Road to Fame, which is hard cover, full color, 62 pages, and retails for $18, is available on Amazon, MAStateGroundhog.com and is in limited stock at Wellesley Books. Ten percent of profits go to Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm to help care for Ms. G and her farm friends. The rest go to Michaels’ illustrator.
Click here to check out this great youtube video about the adventure.