“The Fifth Petal” at The House of the Seven Gables

Join Brunonia Barry for a talk about her latest work, The Fifth Petal, at The House of the Seven Gables over Thanksgiving weekend. Barry will talk about her newest book and the inspiration of living and working in Salem, Mass. Her newest work of fiction weaves a thriller with “ a complex brew of suspense, seduction and murder.” A book signing in the Museum Store will follow the lecture.

Brunonia Barry is the New York Times and international best-selling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She was the first American author to win the International Women’s Fiction Festival’s Baccante Award and was a past recipient of Ragdale Artists’ Colony’s Strnad Fellowship as well as the winner of New England Book Festival’s award for Best Fiction and Amazon’s Best of the Month. Her reviews and articles on writing have appeared in The London Times and The Washington Post. Brunonia co-chairs the Salem Athenaeum’s Writers’ Committee. She lives in Salem with her husband Gary Ward and their dog, Angel. Her new novel, The Fifth Petal was released by Penguin Random House/Crown in January 2017.

Members: Free

Non-Members: $7.00

To reserve your spot for this lecture please CLICK HERE. For more information, please email groups@7gables.org, or call 978-744-0991 ext. 152.

Edgar Allan Poe Readings

Visit Remix Church for readings of Edgar Allen Poe’s works, presented by Scarlet Letter Press.

Edgar Allan Poe Readings

Visit Remix Church for readings of Edgar Allen Poe’s works, presented by Scarlet Letter Press.

Summer Salon: Hannah Tinti

Salem native Hannah Tinti returns to delight us with a talk about her new book, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley at the Salem Athenaeum.

Books will be available for sale and signing. Event is free and open to the public.

Small Press & Literary Fair

Visit the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall for the Small Press and Literary Fair presented by the Massachusetts Poetry Festival.

A Celebration of Salem Poetry Seminar

Each June, the Salem Poetry Seminar brings together selected Massachusetts college students with others who share their obsession with words for five days of intense workshopping, drafting, and evening readings at the historic Salem Athenaeum. Students submit a selection of their work and are chosen to dig deep into their practice and to meet literary co-conspirators. The Seminar began in 2000, and has taken place six times since. For many SPS participants, their identity as Poet took form during this residency. Come hear what the seminar poets are up to today in a fun marathon reading in the place where it all began!

Writing with Spirit Workshop

Explore writing poetry as an act of magic, a creative ritual to open yourself as a channel for divine inspiration. This workshop gives you an opportunity to explore opening an internal channel to healing and wisdom through writing and sharing a poem.

$40. For more information or to register visit: ArtemisiaBotanicals.com.

Salem State University Writer Series: Perry Glasser

Emeritus professor Perry Glasser is an award-winning, frequently anthologized memoirist, novelist, and short fiction writer. A recent Fellow of the Norman Mailer House and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, he was named the Fellow in Creative Nonfiction by the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2012. That same year, when Riverton Noir was named winner of the Gival Press Novel Award, the citation read, “…the American crime novel has notched a new benchmark.” His short fiction collection, Dangerous Places, received the 2008 G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize from BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City). His two prior short fiction collections are Suspicious Origins (New Rivers) and Singing on the Titanic (University of Illinois), a book recorded by the Library of Congress for the blind. Two novellas appeared in Next Stop Hollywood (St Martin’s); a third novella, “Mexico,” was featured in Our Mutual Room, a collection of “transgendered writing.”

His work has twice been read on National Public Radio’s “The Sound of Writing” and has three times won P.E.N. Syndicated Fiction Awards. In consecutive years, his fiction was named Winner of the annual Boston Fiction Festival prize. “Iowa Black Dirt,” his memoir about being a single parent, won First Prize in the contest sponsored by The Good Men Foundation. The American Society of Journalists and Authors named that same memoir the Best Personal Essay (2010). Perry continues as a contributing editor of North American Review since 1994.

The Salem State Writer Series is free and open to the public.

Salem State University Writer Series: John D’Agata

John D’Agata is a major American essayist, the author of Halls of Fame (2000, Graywolf Press) and About A Mountain (Norton, 2011) and three major anthologies, The Next American Essay (2003, Graywolf), The Lost Origins of the Essay (2009, Graywolf), and The Making of the American Essay (2016, Graywolf). For two decades, D’Agata has explored the essay through this series of innovative, informative and expansive anthologies. His work in this genre has introduced new voices, expanding the cannon and redefining what an essay is.

The New York Times Book Review described About a Mountain as a “breathtaking piece of writing.” The book is about the federal government’s decision to store high-level nuclear waste at a place called Yucca mountain, but it’s also about politics, suicide, the city of Las Vegas, and the limits of language and human knowledge.

D’Agata’s work has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, an NEA Literature Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and a grant from the Oberman Center for Advanced Studies. He holds a BA from Hobart College and two MFA’s from the University of Iowa.

Currently he directs the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa, where he teaches creative writing.

The Salem State Writer Series is free and open to the public.

Write Like a Girl: An Evening of Women in Horror

FunDead Publications, Creative Salem, & The Witch House Present:

Write Like a Girl: An Evening of Women in Horror

February is Women in Horror Month, and FunDead has gathered a few local Gothic and Horror Writers to share their work through readings at The Witch House in Salem. (Further details to come)

Current readers include:

Nancy Brewka-Clark – (NancyBrewkaClark.com)
Amber Newberry – (FunDeadPublications.com AuthorAmberNewberry.com)
Laurie Moran – (FunDeadPublications.com)
Kathy Halecki – (http://a.co/eTsGEzh)
R. C. Mulhare – (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14741595.R_C_Mulhare)
Erin Crocker – (AuthorErinCrocker.com)

(Additional writers will be added as they are confirmed).
If you’d like to be considered for reading a Horror or Gothic piece for this event, please send FunDead Publications a message on Facebook or send an email to: DearFunDead@gmail.com.

Tickets ($10) may be purchased online in advance, and ticket proceeds will go towards Safe Child Africa.

Salem State University Writer Series: Regie Gibson

Poet, songwriter, author, workshop facilitator, and educator Regie Gibson has performed, taught, and lectured at schools, universities, theaters and various other venues in the U.S., Cuba and Europe. Gibson and his work appear in the New Line Cinema film love jones, based largely on events in his life. He’s been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, various NPR programs, and nominated for a Boston Emmy. Regie founded the LiteraryMusic Ensemble Neon JuJu: a literary and musical arts ensemble utilizing classic, contemporary and original literary text combined with Middle Eastern, Contemporary American and European classical music.

He is widely published in anthologies, magazines and journals, including The Iowa Review, Harvard Divinity Magazine, Poetry Magazine, and The Good Men Project among others. His full-length book of poetry Storms Beneath The Skin (2001, EM Press) received the Golden Pen Award. A former National Poetry Slam Champion, he received his MFA in Poetry from New England College.

The Salem State University Writer Series is free and open to the public.

Literary Salem

Salem, MA, House of the Seven Gables

Salem is an inspiring town! Perhaps there is something in the water or maybe it’s Salem’s turbulent history. Whatever it is, Salem has inspired many to write and share their sense of this place with the world. Here is a short list of some of Salem’s most notable fiction.

The Scarlett Letter (1850) was Nathaniel Hawthorne’s first critical and popular success. The novel continues to be included in high school English and college literature curricula today. The romance of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale has been interpreted in film multiple times, including the major motion picture starring Demi Moore as Hester in 1995. Today you can visit the Custom House, where Hawthorne worked as a surveyor for the port of Salem from 1846 to 1849 at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site at 160 Derby Street.

Salem, MA, House of the Seven GablesHawthorne’s second novel, The House of the Seven Gables (1851) tells the legend of a curse pronounced on the Pyncheon family during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, and how the curse is manifested through the decay of the Pycheons’ seven-gabled mansion. You can explore the Turner-Ingersoll mansion that inspired the book at The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site at 115 Derby Street. In October, the characters from the novel come alive during dramatic performances of “Spirits at the Gables.”

Carry On Mr. Bowditch by Jen Lee Latham was published for younger readers (9-12 year olds) in 1955. Latham tells the story of Nathaniel Bowditch, who grew up to be one of the greatest navigators in history. The novel is a looking glass into Salem’s maritime heritage that is fascinating for all ages. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site has a walking tour of Nathaniel Bowditch’s Salem available at both the Visitor Center and the Orientation Center.

The Lace Reader (2008) by Brunonia Barry is a contemporary novel set in Salem that follows protagonist Towner Whitney on her journey home, through the streets of Salem and around the harbor islands. The novel is a journey through decades of Salem society, maritime history, and the modern witch community. A map of Towner’s Salem is available on Salem.org.

The Heretic’s Daughter (2008) was written by Kathleen Kent, a tenth generation descendant of Martha Carrier, who was accused and ultimately hanged as a witch during the Salem Witch Trials. The story is told from the point of view of Martha’s young daughter, Sarah, who survived the witchcraft hysteria that was overtaking her community and immediate family. Kent’s work of historical fiction not only describes how the witch trials took place, but also how powerful familial bonds can be even at the most destructive times in our history.

51hgv0gih5lThe Physic Book of Deliverance Dane (2009) by Katherine Howe is historical fiction with a new perspective on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Deliverance Dane was an accused witch, and her descendant Connie Goodwin is sorting out the story of her life while living in Marblehead in the early 1900s. This novel asks the question – what if the accused were really practicing witchcraft?

Map of True Places (2011) by Brunonia Barry follows Zee Finch, a psychotherapist from Boston, on a journey to rediscover herself when the life of one her patients puts things into a different perspective, and brings back memories of her family’s tragic past. Her search for answers brings her back to Salem, where she finds her father’s health failing and the need to create a new map for the next chapter in her life.

The Traitor’s Wife (2011), also by Kathleen Kent is a prequel to her earlier book, The Heretic’s Daughter. This story takes place before the Salem Witch trials, and rather focuses on the relationship and courtship of Martha Allen and Thomas Carrier. According to Kent’s family tradition’s Thomas was believed to have fought in the English Civil War, and may have been one of the executioners of King Charles I.

51x77p2ltqlConversion (2015) by Katherine Howe modernizes the Salem Witch Hysteria through an all-girls school in Danvers, Massachusetts. Girls in Howe’s story are overtaken by conditions similar to those experienced in 1692, and the story is told simultaneously through the points of view of Coleen, a modern student, and Ann Putnam in 1706.

How to Hang a Witch (2016) was written by Adriana Mather, a 12th-generation descendant of Cotton Mather, infamous for his role in the Salem Witch Trials. How to Hang a Witch follows the story of Samantha Mather, a descendant of Cotton Mather who is forced to move to Salem when her father falls into a coma and is treated in a Boston area hospital. Samantha endures bullying and abandonment by her classmates, some of which being descendants of the victims of the witch trials, while finding herself wrapped up in a centuries old curse that surrounds living descendants in Salem.

The Fifth Petal  (2017) is the latest work by Brunonia Barry. Following The Lace Reader, The Fifth Petal focuses on the mystery surrounding a suspicious death taking place in Salem on Halloween night. The death appears oddly similar to a string of past murders, and the chief of police believes they may be connected, perhaps even by a curse that may be haunting Salem residents with familial ties to the Salem Witch Trials.