Our Events

Our Events Fall 2021

Our fall calendar combines in-person and livestreamed events. Click on any event title for more details and to register where required.

We're excited to be presenting in-person events beginning in October. All individuals attending in-person Members’ Room or Whitridge Room events will be required to show proof of vaccination (Excelsior Pass, vaccination card, photo of vaccination card) at check-in. Please note that we continue to monitor all the news about COVID-19, and we reserve the right to make changes to any or all events including postponement, cancelation, or a change to livestreaming only. Registrants will be contacted as far in advance as possible in the case of any such change.


New events are added throughout the season. Join our mailing list to hear about it first (open to all).

All start times are U.S. Eastern.


Exhibitions | Special Events | Performances | Lectures, Conversations & Panels | PoetrySeminars & Reading Groups | The Writing Life | Technology | Children's & Young Adult Events | Informal & Informational Gatherings


Exhibition

Black Literature Matters
April 28, 2021 - May 1, 2022

In a consequential moment in American history, the New York Society Library presents a not-to-be-missed exhibition of its remarkable collection of books by African American, Caribbean, and African writers. The exhibition is open to the public in limited numbers during the Library's open hours.

Special Events

Farah Jasmine Griffin, Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature
Thursday, September 30, 6:00 PM
livestreamed | open to the public | free of charge | registration required

The brilliant scholar who served as guest curator for the Library's Black Literature Matters exhibition imparts the lessons bequeathed by the Black community and its remarkable artists and thinkers. This event is by-invitation for Members' Room seats; the livestream is free and open to the public, with registration required.

Live from the Library, Fall 2021
Thursday, October 14, 6:00 PM
Members’ Room | open to the public | $15 per person | registration required

Live from the Library returns to the Members' Room! Library members read from their own short stories, novels, poetry, criticism, memoir, and plays. Refreshments and wine will be served.

Uptown at Night: An Evening of Comedy and Humorous Storytelling
Thursday, November 4, 6:00 PM
Members' Room | open to the public | $20 per person | registration required

Uptown at Night returns to the Members’ Room with a vibrant lineup of humorous storytellers and comedians including Joan Juliet Buck, Sloane Crosley, Patty Kiernan, Tom Perrotta, and James Harvey on keyboard. Sydney LeBlanc hosts.

Lectures, Conversations & Panels

Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray, The Personal Librarian: A Novel
Thursday, September 23, 6:00 PM
livestreamed | open to the public | free of charge | registration required

A remarkable novel about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white in order to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.

Dantiel W. Moniz, Milk Blood Heat, and Deesha Philyaw, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
Tuesday, September 28, 6:00 PM
livestreamed | open to the public | $10 per person | registration required

A one-of-a-kind conversation between rising star fiction writers Deesha Philyaw (2020 Pen/Faulkner Award winner) and Dantiel W. Moniz (“a gorgeous debut” - Lauren Groff).

Thomas Dyja, New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation
Thursday, October 7, 6:00 PM
open to the public
Members' Room: $15 per person - register here
Livestream: $10 per person - register here

A lively, immersive history by an award-winning urbanist of New York City’s transformation, and the lessons it offers for the city’s future.

Joseph J. Ellis, The Cause: The American Revolution and its Discontents, 1773-1783
Monday, October 18, 6:00 PM
livestreamed | open to the public | $10 per person | registration required

A culminating work on the American Founding by one of its leading historians, The Cause rethinks the American Revolution as we have known it.

Johanna Fernández, The Young Lords: A Radical History
Thursday, October 21, 6:00 PM

open to the public | free of charge
Members' Room - register here
Livestream - register here

The 2020 New York City Book Award-winning author presents her definitive account of the Young Lords from their roots as a street gang to their rise and fall as a political organization in the 1960s and 1970s.

Cynthia Saltzman, Plunder: Napoleon's Theft of Veronese's Feast, with Xavier F. Salomon
Monday, October 25, 6:00 PM
open to the public
Members' Room: $15 per person - register here
Livestream: $10 per person - register here

A captivating study of Napoleon’s plundering of Europe’s art for the Louvre, told through the story of a Renaissance masterpiece seized from Venice. Author Cynthia Saltzman talks about the history and the art with Xavier F. Salomon, The Frick Collection Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator. A noted Veronese scholar, Salomon curated the 2014 exhibition on the artist at London's National Gallery.

Poetry

NEW! Writing Life Poetry Workshop: Writing Together with Esther Cohen
Thursdays October 7, October 21, November 4, 2:00 PM
on the Zoom Meetings platform | open to the public; free for members | separate sessions | registration required

In this free-form creative writing workshop, we will explore what we can say and ways we can say it, by writing and reading together.

NEW! Writing Life Workshop: Writing Through the City with Bhisham Bherwani
Fridays October 8, October 22, November 5, November 19, 2:00 PM
Whitridge Room | for members only | free of charge | registration required

How do poets employ, adapt, and respond to their urban environments while exploring their personal interests and obsessions? In this practical workshop, we will compose and revise poems informed by urban backdrops and experiences while addressing subjects that individually engage us.

Seminars and Reading Groups

Seminar: Two Great Portuguese-Language Novelists, with Nicholas Birns
Wednesdays September 22, October 13, November 3, November 17, 11:00 AM
on the Zoom Meetings platform | for members only | $60 for the four sessions | registration required

This seminar looks at two of the most renowned novelists in the Portuguese language, José Saramago and Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis.

NEW! Seminar: Exploring Place and Space in Fiction with Claire Jimenez
Wednesdays October 6, October 27, November 17, December 8, 5:00 PM
on the Zoom Meetings platform | open to the public | $60 for the set of four sessions | registration required

In this seminar, we will read selections from Stuart Dybek, Edward P. Jones, Toni Cade Bambara, Tommy Orange, and Grace Paley to understand how each author animates place to create deeper meaning.

NEW! Seminar: Literature from Hell, with Jane Mallison
Thursdays October 21, November 4, November 18, December 2, 11:00 AM
Whitridge Room | for members only | $60 for the four sessions | registration required

Six devilish figures in literature from the 14th century to the 1970s - will they strike us as scary? Hilarious? Intriguing? All of the above?

The Writing Life

NEW! Writing Life Poetry Workshop: Writing Together with Esther Cohen
Thursdays October 7, October 21, November 4, 2:00 PM
on the Zoom Meetings platform | open to the public; free for members | separate sessions | registration required

In this free-form creative writing workshop, we will explore what we can say and ways we can say it, by writing and reading together.

NEW! Writing Life Workshop: Writing Through the City with Bhisham Bherwani
Fridays October 8, October 22, November 5, November 19, 2:00 PM
Whitridge Room | for members only | free of charge | registration required

How do poets employ, adapt, and respond to their urban environments while exploring their personal interests and obsessions? In this practical workshop, we will compose and revise poems informed by urban backdrops and experiences while addressing subjects that individually engage us.

Prompt! Fall 2021
Fridays October 8, November 12, December 10, 11:00 AM (separate sessions)
on the Zoom Meetings platform | for members only | free of charge | registration required

Come write with us on Friday mornings. Join your fellow member writers for a fun and stimulating hour and a half of prompts, writing, and sharing. Sessions are separate - attend any or all.

NEW! Writing Life Workshop: The Library of Memory: Recovering Your Story with Julia Ain-Krupa
Tuesdays October 12, October 19, October 26, November 2, November 9, November 16, 11:00 AM
Whitridge Room | open to the public | free of charge | registration required

This 6-week workshop will explore new ways of connecting to storytelling and discovering how fulfilling writing one’s own story can be.

Live from the Library, Fall 2021
Thursday, October 14, 6:00 PM
Members’ Room | open to the public | $15 per person

Live from the Library returns to the Members' Room! Library members read from their own short stories, novels, poetry, criticism, memoir, and plays. Refreshments and wine will be served.

Uptown at Night: An Evening of Comedy and Humorous Storytelling
Thursday, November 4, 6:00 PM
Members' Room | open to the public | $20 per person | registration required

Uptown at Night returns to the Members’ Room with a vibrant lineup of humorous storytellers and comedians including Joan Juliet Buck, Sloane Crosley, Patty Kiernan, Tom Perrotta, and James Harvey on keyboard. Sydney LeBlanc hosts.

Children's and Young Adult Events

Storytime Live!
varying dates
Zoom | for all ages | no registration required

Join us on Zoom for a live face-to-face storytime.

Storytime Online
varying dates
YouTube | for all ages | no registration required

SEE THE FULL CHILDREN'S CALENDAR HERE.

View our playlist of recorded children's events here.

Informal and Informational Gatherings

Digital Teatime
Fridays, 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM
online | for members only | free of charge | drop in
Grab your favorite cup and your current read and spend a little time in social sipping and book-friendly chat with your fellow members.

Member Orientation Videos
Videos introducing the Library's collections, services, and online resources


The Black Literature Matters exhibition is generously supported by The Florence Gould Foundation. Photograph of Langston Hughes Copyright © Van Vechten Trust; Gravure and Compilation copyright © Eakins Press Foundation.

The event with Joseph J. Ellis is a Henry S.F. Cooper Jr. Lecture on Early American History and Literature.

The Writing Life events in 2021 are generously underwritten by Jenny Lawrence.