Event Calendar

Imagined Landscapes: Beatrix Farrand and A Lady of Good Family @ Eastover Estate & Retreat
Oct 10 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Jeanne Mackin

Jeanne Mackin

Join historical novelist Jeanne Mackin as she delves into the privileged life and career of Beatrix Farrand, the first woman to become a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Niece of famed author Edith Wharton, Farrand not only helped her aunt with the gardens at The Mount, but also designed the grounds and gardens at Eastover for architect Francis Hoppin when he built the estate in 1910. At a time when social standards and garden styles were in flux, Farrand began to develop and defend her own aesthetics based on naturalness and authenticity. Autographed copies of A Lady of Good Family will be available for purchase.

Space is very limited and advance reservations are strongly encouraged.

Fish Out of Water: Stories of People Out of Place and Out of Sorts @ The Stable at The Mount
Oct 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

logo-240x100Speak Up founder Matthew Dicks returns for a night of live storytelling.

Storytelling line-up includes:

Susan Gregg Gilmore was born in Nashville, Tennessee. She began her writing career at the University of Virginia as a reporter for the school’s award-winning newspaper, The Cavalier Daily.

After graduating with a degree in history, she assumed a secretarial position with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. A year later, Gregg Gilmore entered graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, earning a Master of Arts in American Studies.

She married in 1985 and with her husband, Dan, raised three daughters all the while writing for newspapers including the Los Angeles TimesThe Christian Science Monitor and the Chattanooga News-Free Press. While on staff at the Free Press, Gregg Gilmore wrote a weekly column about parenting in the South.

Her debut novel, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, was a USA TODAY bestseller and Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) 2009 Book Award Nominee. NPR’s Alan Cheese called Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen a “stand-out coming of age novel.”

Gregg Gilmore’s second novel, The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove was named a 2010 SIBA Summer OKRA Pick and selected as part of TARGET’s Emerging Author Program.

Her most recent work, The Funeral Dress, was called “a revelatory novel that offers an evocative account of the lives of Appalachian working women” by Kirkus Reviews and was selected for TARGET’s Emerging Author Program as well as named a TARGET Recommended Read.

Susan Gregg Gilmore currently lives in Chattanooga with her family and two dogs.

Dina Nathan lives in West Hartford with her three children and husband. When asked if she has a job, she’s been known to say, “Not one that I get paid for.” When pushed to commit to a title she usually defers to “Personal Assistant to My Three Children” or her favorite, “Her Royal Highness: Dina J Nathan.”

Dina has been known to spend too much time in The Whole Foods. If she needs to go twice in one day, she’ll rotate between the two in town so as to protect her identity. She has found that the best way to make money when you don’t have a job is to head out to Target and make a few returns.  It’s quite simple! She is also well known for taking her lunch wherever she goes. It’s not that she’s picky, it’s just that a fairy can’t go long without food.

When not performing her daily duties for her family, Dina spends time biking, hiking, and going to yoga class. As a Certified Health Coach she often shares her knowledge with a friend or even a stranger in the aisles of whatever store she’s in. Dina is a true spiritual seeker. She’s working on growing her internal garden until it rivals the Garden of Eden. When her children grow up she will be a mother to all of the world’s children in need.  What she really looks forward to is the day when she truly finds out “Who I Am.”

Matthew Dicks is the author of the novels Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Something Missing and Unexpectedly, Milo, and The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs. His novels have been translated into more than 25 languages worldwide, and his most recent is an international bestseller. He is also the author of the rock opera The Clowns and the musicals Caught in the Middle and Sticks & Stones. He is the humor columnist for Seasons magazine and has published work in The Hartford Courant, The Huffington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor. He is also a comic book writer for DoubleTake Comics.

When not hunched over a computer screen, he fills his days as an elementary school teacher, a storyteller, a blogger, a wedding DJ, a minister, a life coach, and a Lord of Sealand. He is a former West Hartford Teacher of the Year and a finalist for Connecticut Teacher of the Year.

Matthew is an 18-time Moth StorySLAM champion and three-time GrandSLAM champion whose stories have been featured on their nationally syndicated Moth Radio Hour and their weekly podcast. He has also told stories for The American Life, TED, The Story Collider, The Liar Show, Literary Death Match, The Mouth, and many others. He is the co-founder and creative director of Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling organization that produces shows throughout New England and teaches storytelling at a variety of venues.

Matthew is married to friend and fellow teacher, Elysha, and they have two children, Clara and Charlie. He grew up in the small town of Blackstone, Massachusetts, where he made a name for himself by dying twice before the age of eighteen and becoming the first student in his high school to be suspended for inciting riot upon himself.

Carol Kaplan is a practicing artist and retired art teacher. She’s been married to the same guy for 41 years and raised 3 children, one of whom insists on living in California, where he is holding their only grandson hostage. In addition to her teaching career, Carol has run a variety of school and volunteer programs, owned a business, staged events, been an artist-in-residence, exhibited artwork in galleries and museums, and traveled extensively; none of which has prepared her for the terrifying act of standing in front of a microphone.

Robin Gelfenbien is a NYC-based writer, comedian and storyteller. She has performed at The Moth, RISK!,Mortified and The Soundtrack Series, and she is the Creator and Host of the storytelling series, “Yum’s the Word,” that features her homemade ice cream cakes. The show was recently named a “Critics Pick” by Time Out New York Comedy, one of the “5 Best Storytelling Series in NYC” by CBS New York and Bon Appetit raved, “We love Yum’s the Word.” Robin has written jokes for emcee Rosie O’Donnell at The Matrix Awards where featured presenters included Martha Stewart, Rupert Murdoch, Hillary Rodham Clinton and more. Her critically-acclaimed solo show, “My Salvation Has a First Name (A Wienermobile Journey),” premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival where New York Magazine called it “the highlight of next month’s Fringe.”

She’s performed her original comedy songs at The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and on Sirius Satellite Radio. She’s also starred in a commercial directed by Spike Lee. Robin also created the web series “Auntie, Do Tell” with her 70-something aunt and is the co-host and co-producer of the storytelling show “A Very Special Episode.” Off stage, Robin writes for Huffington Post Comedy, and she is currently working on a screenplay about how the Wienermobile saved her life. www.robingelfenbien.com.

Kathy Binder lives in West Hartford, CT with her husband, Eddie and dog, Luna.   Mother of three young adults and recently empty nested, she has found time to do things like take workshops with Matt Dicks in an attempt to be a better storyteller.   She has also recently taken up tap dancing, crew rowing on the Connecticut River and helping to mentor middle school girls in underserved areas of Hartford. An avid reader, she chairs the JCC Annual Book Festival for the great Hartford area. This is her third story with Speak Up and is working up her nerve to throw her name in the hat at The Moth in NYC.

Eric KorenmanEric Korenman

                                Photos by Eric Korenman.


Roman Fever: An Evening Hosted By The Boston Committee @ The Country Club
Nov 6 @ 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm

The Boston Committee of The Mount

presents a dramatic reading of Edith Wharton’s short story

Roman Fever

performed by Corinna May and Diane Prusha

Friday, November 6, 2015

6:00 – Cocktails

7:00 – Reading

8:00 – Dinner

“Roman Fever”

This short story, one of Edith Wharton’s best known and most popular, was published in Liberty magazine November 1934, and was later included in Wharton’s last short-story collection, The World Over.  The story is set in the mid-1920’s Rome, where two widowed American ladies, “of ripe but well-cared for middle age,” are sitting after lunch on the terrace on the Janiculum overlooking the Palatine Hill.


Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born into the tightly controlled society of Old New York at a time when women were discouraged from achieving anything beyond a proper marriage.  Wharton broke through these strictures to become one of America’s greatest writers.  Author of The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, and The House of Mirth, she wrote over 40 books in 40 years, including authoritative works on architecture, gardens, interior design, and travel.  She was the first woman awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Yale University, and full membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Mount

The Mount is a National Historic Landmark and cultural center that celebrates the intellectual, artistic, and humanitarian legacy of Edith Wharton.  We engage a diverse audience by providing context to Wharton’s life and achievements through our educational and public programs and the conservation and preservation of her historic estate and gardens.

Each year, The Mount is host to over 40,000 visitors.  Daily tours of the property are offered May through October, with special events throughout the year.  Annual summer programming includes a join exhibit with SculptureNow, Wharton on Wednesdays, Music After Hours, and the celebrated Monday Lecture Series.  Exhibitions explore themes from Wharton’s life and work.

RSVP by October 23.  Space is limited!  For more information, or to purchase tickets, please contact Lindsay Codwise at 413-551-5112 or lcodwise@edithwharton.org.

Love & Arguments @ The Drawing Room at The Mount
Nov 14 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

This 75 minute collection of eleven short films tells urban love stories that tackle truth, commitment, stereotypes, and morality, and includes modern interpretations of stories by Jane Austen, Henry James, and Edith Wharton.

Love & Arguments IISeeing RedThe Other One

Marylou & Jerome Bongiorno are Emmy-nominated, award winning, husband-and-wife filmmakers who create cutting-edge fiction, documentary, and museum installation art films that are widely distributed.  They are the recipients of major grants, prizes, and fellowships.  For more info: www.BongiornoProductions.com

Inside the Met’s Instrument Collection with Curator Ken Moore @ The Mount
Nov 15 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm



THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM’s collection of musical instruments includes approximately 5,000 examples from six continents and the Pacific Islands, dating from 300 B.C. to the present, and illustrating the development of musical instruments from all cultures and eras. Ken Moore, the Frederick P. Rose Curator of Musical Instruments, will share information about this extraordinary collection and its storied history. Since 1990, he has advocated the application of contextual display methods of non-European instruments and developed educational performance programs that emphasize world music cultures. Outside the Metropolitan, he has made pioneering studies of the music of the Snake Handler cult in West Virginia. Woven into the talk is the story of how, at the end of the 19th century, a forward-thinking woman founded a comprehensive collection of musical instruments rivaling any in the world.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.cewm.org/conversations.html.

Comments are closed.