“the NORFOLK community GATHERED FOR THREE DAYS OF WRITERS IN CONVERSATION
and thanks to you, the 2019 Haystack Book Talks was a great success.”

with thanks,
Stephen Melville, co-director and Founder Haystack Book Talks and Michael Selleck, co-director

Haystack Book Talks brings writers into conversation on a wide range of topics to celebrate ideas and discourse.

WRITERS IN CONVERSATION.


ABOUT HAYSTACK
BOOK TALKS

Tucked away in the beautiful wooded hills of Northwestern Connecticut, Norfolk provides an intimate setting for the festival. Literary conversations are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 4, 5, and 6 2019, in downtown Norfolk, set against the backdrop of autumn foliage.

New this year, the festival will also offer an array of “one-off” conversations during the summer.

All events are held at the Norfolk Library and are free and open to the public with seat reservations required.

We are thrilled to add this literary festival to the vibrant cultural offerings in town, including the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Yale Norfolk School of Music and ArtInfinity HallNorfolk Library and Norfolk Historical Society.

Haystack Book Talks bring together in unmoderated conversation writers and thinkers who have something to talk about.  Past and upcoming talks are as various as Rosa Alcala and McArthur Award winner John Keene discussing the relation between their creative writing and their work as translators; prize-winning writers David Blight and Steve Luxenberg talking about the fateful American passage from abolition to segregation; novelists Courtney Maum and Teddy Wayne examining the relation between historical and fictional characters in their work; and Jeff Goodell and Julian Brave NoiseCat exploring the social and ecological inevitabilities of climate change.

SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFO ABOUT OUR 2019 FESTIVAL SCHEDULE AND MUCH, MORE!

Please contact us @ 860-542-7185 x260 for more information about ADA/mobility accommodations.

The Haystack Book Talks is sponsored in part by the Norfolk Foundation, Inc. 
We are especially grateful to Steve Melville for spearheading this literary festival.


Click OPT IN below to receive weekly emails about the October festival; emails begin on or around Aug 26th.

2019 PROGRAM

All events are open to the public
FREE with seat reservation
and will take place at the Norfolk Library

Marshall Miles of robinhoodradio.com interview co-directors Stephen Melville (Haystack Book Talks Founder) and Michael Selleck about the upcoming festival.
Listen
HERE.

OCTOBER FESTIVAL

Friday, October 4

6:00 pm
WAIT LIST, CALL LIBRARY TO BE PLACED ON WAIT LIST - 860-542-5075
Brendan Gill Lecture, by Mitchell S. Jackson, author of Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family
An electrifying, dazzlingly written reckoning and an essential addition to the national conversation about race and class, Survival Math takes its name from the calculations award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson made to survive the Portland, Oregon, of his youth.

7:30PM - 9:30PM:
Friday, Oct 4, after the Mitchell Jackson talk, join us at the Manor House Inn for a free cocktail reception
69 Maple Ave, Norfolk

Saturday, October 5

10:30 am
SEATS STILL AVAILABLE: Call library @ 860-542-5075 to reserve your seat.

Prickly Subjects: Biographies in Dialog
Martha Saxton, author of The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington and poet, biographer, and New Yorker staff writer, Judith Thurman discuss the biography of female subjects from history and what kind of historical context is needed to situate these powerful figures in their time.

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1:00 pm
SEATS STILL AVAILABLE: Call library @ 860-542-5075 to reserve your seat.

Lives Real and Imagined: The Fictionalization of True Characters
Costalegre’s Courtney Maum and The Love Song of Jonny Valentine’s Teddy Wayne discuss the fictionalization of real people in their recent novels.

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3:00 pm
WAIT LIST, CALL LIBRARY TO BE PLACED ON WAIT LIST - 860-542-5075

Reporting from the Front
Award-winning journalists Janine di Giovanni , author of The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria, and Anne Garrels, author of Naked in Baghdad, discuss what it takes to tell the hardest stories, to work in a field dominated by men, and to survive the aftereffects of the job.

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Saturday evening, October 5th, JOIN US FOR cocktails (6pm) and dinner (7pm) at the Norfolk Country Club
Cost to attend this event is $150/person. 

Become a Haystack Book Talks supporter and help keep the conversation going in Norfolk. All Friends (starting @ $150/person) and Supporting Patrons (starting @ $500) will be acknowledged in our program with your name and/or your business logo.

Sunday, October 6

10:00 am
WAIT LIST, CALL LIBRARY TO BE PLACED ON WAIT LIST - 860-542-5075
Great Mountain Forest Session: Coyotes and Beavers and Their Lives Among Us
Ben Goldfarb, author of  Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, and Dan Flores, author of Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History, talk about humanity's fanatical and misguided attempts to control unruly and ecologically crucial wildlife.


PROGRAM CHANGE

12:30 pm
SEATS STILL AVAILABLE: Call library @ 860-542-5075 to reserve your seat.

Haystack Book Talks announces that due to personal circumstances
, David Blight, author of Frederick Douglass; Prophet of Freedom will not be able to attend the festival on Sunday, October 6th at the 12:30PM event. Roxanne Coady, owner of RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT has graciously agreed to step into conversation with Steve Luxenberg, author of Separate; The Story of Plessy V. Ferguson, and Americas Journey From Slavery to Segregation.

Roxanne Coady founded R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut in 1989, creating a business that is recognized as a national leader among independent booksellers. The store hosts over 200 author events annually. Recently, R.J. Julia partnered with BookHampton in East Hampton, NY and Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, respectively, to open, oversee, and manage those unique locations. In 2009, Ms. Coady founded a personalized book subscription site, Just the Right Book. This site has a national reach and combines the intimacy of an independent bookstore with the digital marketplace. In addition, Ms. Coady hosts a weekly podcast available on iTunes, Just the Right Book, in which she interviews best-selling authors and people in the bookselling and publishing community. In 1996, Ms. Coady founded and continues to chair Read to Grow, the largest literacy program in Connecticut. Over the last 18 years, Read to Grow has donated more than 1.7 million children’s books and reaches tens of thousands of at risk households every year through collaborations with other non-profit organizations.

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3:00 pm (Talk & Walk)
THIS WALK IS FULL - NO FURTHER RESERVATIONS ARE BEING TAKEN AT THIS TIME.

The Art of the Dam: Beavers in Our Backyard
Ben Goldfarb and Dan Flores will lead an outdoor talk and walk in Great Mountain Forest. Rendezvous at Mountain House, 200 Canaan Mountain Road at 3:00pm and walk from there up to Chattleton Road to see the beaver activity.


2019 SUMMER SERIES

Sunday, June 2
1:00 pm
In and Out of Art School
Nell Painter, author of Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over in conversation with Byron Kim and Lisa Sigal, Co-Directors of the Yale Norfolk School of Art.

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Sunday, July 7
1:00 pm
Discussion of Fryderyk Chopin, A Life and Times

Dr Alan Walker, author of Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times in conversation with Melvin Chen, Director of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.
Listen HERE to an interview with Dr. Walker on robinhoodradio.com with Marshall Miles

A WEEKEND IN NORFOLK EVENT
Sunday, August 4
1:00 pm
Dunya Mikhail, author of In Her Feminine Sign in conversation with Michael Kelleher, author of Visible Instruments
“Poetry is not medicine [but] an x-ray,” writes Dunya Mikhail. From her childhood in Baghdad to her years of living in exile in Detroit, Dunya Mikhail has used poetry (and prose) to look beneath the surface, and to find in the recesses of language whatever truth there is to be found. In this wide-ranging conversation with poet Michael Kelleher, she discusses everything from evading the Iraqi censor’s pen to that ever more essential task of freeing her mind from the pernicious western habit of self-censoring awkward or uncomfortable truths before they are spoken.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU MISSED in 2018….

When Picket Fences Burn
Rumaan Alam, That Kind of Mother, and Angelica Baker, Our Little Racket, discuss race, class divisions and changing definitions of “family” in contemporary America.                  
Location: Battell Chapel; Followed by book sales and signings at Norfolk Library

Pablo Neruda
Mark Eisner, author of Neruda: The Poet’s Calling, in conversation with Jessica Powell, translator of Neruda’s crucial early venture of the infinite man.
Location: Battell Chapel; Followed by book sales and signings at Norfolk Library

Giving Voice: Originality and Translation
John Keene, Counternarratives, with Rosa AlcaláMyOTHER Tongue, explore the complexities of voice in their work as writers and translators.
Location: Battell Chapel; Followed by book sales and signings at Norfolk Library

Border Crossings   
Ken Ilgunas, This Land Is Our Land: How We Lost the Right to Roam and How to Take It Back, and Kate Harris, Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road  take us trespassing around the world.
Location: Battell Chapel; Followed by book sales and signings at Norfolk Library

Water, Water, Everywhere: Rethinking the Coastline                                              Julian Brave NoiseCat talks with Jeff Goodell, The Water Will Come, about the social and ecological inevitabilities of our ongoing climate transformation.
Location: Norfolk Curling Club; Followed by book sales and signings at the Norfolk Curling Club

Tobey Bog Walk with Star Childs
Location: Walk will start/end at the Norfolk Curling Club FREE

Paperback Revolution: Norfolk's 'Modern Age Books' and How It Changed the Way
America Reads,
an exhibit of the Norfolk Historical Society.  Modern Age Books, founded by Norfolk's Dick Childs in 1936, was one of the first paperback publishers in the US, issuing progressive paperbacks.  Exhibit focus: Child’s innovative use of illustration, printing, and distribution processes to help democratize American reading, writing, and publishing. Location: Norfolk Historical Society FREE

 
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PLAN YOUR VISIT

Visit Norfolk, Connecticut, for the Haystack Book Talks Festival. Visit the town site to plan your visit this October.