Meetinghouse Readings 2021

Canaan Meetinghouse Reading Series Summer 2021
Moderator: Phil Pochoda


NEW THIS YEAR: All readings start at 7:00 pm at the Meetinghouse, Canaan Street, Canaan, NH. Face masks are required, and inside occupancy will be restricted to 100 persons (50% of capacity).  We will be offering outdoor seating with sound amplification of the readers for those who would like to sit outside or for overflow.  We will also be forgoing with intermission refreshments.


 July 8:  Andrew Delbanco      The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War. A New York Times Notable Book Selection; Winner of the Mark Lynton History Prize and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Delbanco was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2012. In 2001, He was named “America’s Best Social Critic” by Time Magazine.

 Rebecca Makkai        The Great Believers (fiction): Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (2018); Finalist for the National Book Award; New York Times 10 Best Books of 2018; Winner of ALA Stonewall Award and many other prizes.  Her first novel, The Borrower was a Booklist Top Ten Debut; her second novel, The Hundred-Year House, won the 2015 Novel of the Year award from the Chicago Writers Association.



July 15:  Cleopatra Mathis      After the Body: Poems New and Selected. Mathis directed the Creative Writing Department at Dartmouth for 27 years. Her new book consists of poems selected from her seven previous books of poetry as well as new poems, primarily about her Parkinson’s disease. The many prizes for her work include two National Endowment for the Arts Awards; the Robert Frost Award, and the Guggenheim Fellowship.

Special tribute to poet, Gary Lenhart (1947- 2021) by Cleopatra Mathis & Matthew Olzemann Gary Lenhart was the author of four books of poetry, from which he read at the Meetinghouse in 1998, 1999, and 2010.. He published two books of essays, including The Stamp of Class: Reflections on Poetry and Social Class. Before moving to the Upper Valley with his wife, painter Louise Hamlin, and daughter Katy, and soon  a job teaching writing and literature courses at Dartmouth (1992-2019), he lived in New York City where he edited two avant garde poetry magazines,  ran several reading series, was Associate Director of the Teachers & Writers Collaborative, and was a close associate of outsider groups of New York City poets.

 Sue Miller                Monogamy  (fiction). Miller’s eleventh novel, was selected as a NYT notable book (2020). The Good Mother (1986), the first of her novels, was a NYT best-seller for more than six months. and was made into a movie; Family Pictures(1990), her second novel, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award; while her fifth, While I was Gone (1999) was an Oprah Book selection in 2000. Her book of short stories, Inventing the Abbots and Other Stories (1987) was made into a movie, was chair of PEN New England for four years.

 July 22: Benjamin Garcia        Thrown in the Throat: Garcia’s first poetry collection; selected by Kazim Ali as part of the 2019 National Poetry Series. He was the 2017 Latinix Scholar at the Frost Place, and a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow.

 Tom Barbash              The Dakota Winters: A Novel. Barbash’s fourth novel “works like an act of necromancy, communicating directly with New York City’s outsized celebrities, fables, histories, and locations.” (Interview magazine). He is the author of the California Book Award-winning novel, The Last Good Chance, and the NYT bestselling nonfiction book, On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11.

 July 29: Jeff Sharlet                This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers. Dartmouth Associate Professor of Literary Nonfiction chronicles the lives of people living on the social margins. Renowned for his writings on outliers in American religions, he exposed the role of a powerful secret Washington right-wing religious/political organization in two books that were made into a five-part docudrama, The Family, last year.


 Ivy Pochoda              These Women: Ivy’s fourth novel: NYT 2020 Thriller of the Year award winner; currently a finalist for the Edgar Award for best mystery fiction of 2020, and for the LA Times award for mystery fiction. Her previous novel, Wonder Valley, was chosen as 
one of the best books of 2017 by NPR and the LA Times, and book of the month by Oprah and Vanity Fair. It was a finalist for the Grand Prix de Litterature Americaine in France. Visitation Street, her second novel, received the French Page America Prize.

The Norwich Bookstore (thanks to stalwarts Penny McConnell and Jim Gold will sell current and past books by each author at the Meetinghouse. (All of the books can be purchased at the bookstore in advance and can be signed by the authors in July or August. Copies are also available at the Canaan Town Library and at the Converse Free Library in Lyme.)