Our Events

Past Events

  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 11:00 AM | Reading Group | For Members Only | Whitridge Room | $60 for all four sessions (recommended); $15 per session | Advance registration required
    Educator Jane Mallison leads discussion of the English/Irish master of "indignatio," from short works through Gulliver's Travels.
  • Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 6:30 PM | Performance | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $25 per person | Advance registration required
    Sehnsucht is a play about our preoccupation with the past and the impact of propping it up, using vignettes of sibling reminiscing about being cavemen, an imagined empire with no recorded history (inspired by the reign of Chinese Dowager Empress Cixi), and Sigmund Freud's collection of historical artifacts. As modern life increases in rapidity and technology, there's a longing to understand what behavior, if any, is essentially human. We peer into history, trying to figure out when we were most ourselves. Sehnsucht is conceived and directed by Sarah Blush in collaboration with Brian Bock, Georgia King, and Michael Norton and produced by Rachel Christiansen. It will be presented as a full-cast reading, with an audience talkback following. This event is generously underwritten by Alexander Sanger in honor of Jeannette Watson Sanger.
  • Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 6:30 PM | Special Event | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required

    In this unique event, two writers who are scientists - and whose scientific interests converge on olfaction - discuss their work, the process and joys of science writing, and, of course, smell.

    Embedded thumbnail for Conversation: Alexandra Horowitz and Stuart Firestein, Olfactory Convergence: How We Smell
  • Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - 2:00 PM | Special Event | Open to the Public | Reference Room | Free of charge | No registration required

    Poet and performance artist Linda Ravenswood brings the tactile pleasures of typewriters to a drop-in poetry event. Ms. Ravenswood will share on-the-spot typed poems and lead visitors in creating their own hand/heart-made writing.

  • Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 6:30 PM | Lecture | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    Long before archaeological excavations began to reveal the magnificence of the ruins at Persepolis, Ancient Iran was an object of enormous interest in the West. In connection with our exhibition Broken Beauty: Ruins of the Ancient World, one of New York's leading archaeology scholars introduces the tales, engravings, plays, and operas about Iran and its rules that circulated across Europe from the late 15th through the 18th centuries.
    Embedded thumbnail for Daniel T. Potts, Ancient Iran in the Mediaeval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Consciousness of Europe: The Printed Word, the Graven Image, the Learned Traveller, and the Stage
    Event Recording
  • Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 6:00 PM | Special Event | For Members and Guests | Whitridge Room | Free of charge; advance registration required
    In this new occasional series, experts on a current-events topic bring their knowledge to an informal presentation and discussion with readers who want to get beyond the headlines. This inaugural event features Lauris Wren, founder and director of Hofstra University's Asylum Clinic, in conversation with Jenny Chevez Urbina, a former asylum-seeker and staff member at the Central American Refugee Center.
  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 6:00 PM | Lecture | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    Spend an evening with beloved cartoonist Roz Chast, author of the multi-award-winning Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? This event is co-sponsored with Uptown at Night.
    Embedded thumbnail for Theories of Everything, and Much, Much More: An Evening with New Yorker Cartoonist and Author Roz Chast
  • Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 6:30 PM | Lecture | Open to the Public | The Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    The New Deal promised to lift Americans out of the Great Depression through an expansive federal public works program that offered a grand vision of what government could be. Recent scholarship offers new considerations of this period and illuminates New York City’s pivotal role. Explore the city's dramatic transformation during the New Deal with Gray Brechin, founder of The Living New Deal project, and 20th-century American historian Mason Williams. Following their presentations, Brechin and Williams will be joined by MCNY curator Sarah Seidman for a discussion. This event is co-sponsored with the Museum of the City of New York.
  • Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 6:00 PM | Reception | For members and guests | Members' Room | Free of charge; advance registration required

    The New York Society Library Young Writers Awards honor excellent writing by young Library members. Award winners and participants are honored at a ceremony and reception.

  • Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 6:00 PM | Special Event | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    During the past thirty years, the editors of the Hudson Review observed a trend among the best literary essayists and reviewers to couch their criticism in a highly personal manner as opposed to the theoretical, technocratic work being produced in other venues. The Hudson Review became a home for this kind of accessible, memoirist writing. This event celebrfates the publication of an anthology of such essay/memoirs, introduced by William H. Pritchard and with a panel including Susan Balée, Sir Andrew Motion, and Igor Webb. These diverse contributions unite in the joy of appreciation, the pleasures of engaging with literature. The Writing Life events in 2017 are generously underwritten by Jenny Lawrence.
    Embedded thumbnail for Literary Awakenings: Personal Essays from the Hudson Review
  • Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 11:00 AM | Reading Group | For members only | Whitridge Room | $25 for both sessions (recommended); $15 per session
    To “justify the ways of God to men,” John Milton wrote Paradise Lost, in which the serpent got Eve and Adam exiled from Paradise. His Paradise Regained interprets an Old Testament prophecy given to that successful serpent, now identified with Satan. Frequent seminar leader Donald McDonough introduces Milton's lesser-known epic.
  • Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - 6:00 PM | Special Event | For members and guests | Members' Room | Free of charge; advance registration required
    The New York Society Library’s New York City Book Awards, established in 1996, honor books of literary quality or historical importance that, in the opinion of the selection committee, evoke the spirit or enhance appreciation of New York City.
    Embedded thumbnail for The New York City Book Awards 2016-2017
  • Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 6:30 PM | Lecture | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    You might not know Terry McDonell, but you certainly know his work: he has served as top editor for Outside, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and Sports Illustrated, among others. In this revealing memoir, McDonell talks about what really happens when editors and writers work with deadlines ticking (or drinks on the bar).
    Embedded thumbnail for Terry McDonell, The Accidental Life: An Editor’s Notes on Writing and Writers
    Event Recording
  • Monday, April 17, 2017 - 6:30 PM | Lecture | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    Library Conservator Christina Amato discusses the history, craft, and ongoing fascination of miniature books, from devotional items and titillation to children's tales and propaganda.
    Embedded thumbnail for National Library Week: Christina Amato, The Monumental World of Miniature Books
  • Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 6:00 PM | The Writing Life | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    Join us for a special evening of refreshments, conversations, readings, video, and more in our annual evening showcasing great literary magazines.
    Embedded thumbnail for Literary Magazine Salon: Digging Through the Fat and Guernica
  • Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 11:00 AM | Reading Group | For members only | Whitridge Room | $25 for both sessions (recommended); $15 per session
    To “justify the ways of God to men,” John Milton wrote Paradise Lost, in which the serpent got Eve and Adam exiled from Paradise. His Paradise Regained interprets an Old Testament prophecy given to that successful serpent, now identified with Satan. Frequent seminar leader Donald McDonough introduces Milton's lesser-known epic.
  • Monday, April 10, 2017 - 6:30 PM | Lecture | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | advance registration required
    This groundbreaking book from Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Frances FitzGerald is the first to tell the powerful, dramatic story of the evangelical movement in America—from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election.
    Embedded thumbnail for Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 6:30 PM | Lecture | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    The former New Yorker staff writer brings us the rare, vividly personal account of what it feels like to suffer from clinical depression, written from a woman’s perspective and informed by an acute understanding of the implications of this disease over a lifetime.
    Embedded thumbnail for Daphne Merkin, This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression
  • Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 6:00 PM | Special Event | For members and guests | Whitridge Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    Lovers of poetry, join us to celebrate the poetry of love during National Poetry Month. Multilinguist Wendy Power Spielmann and beloved seminar leader James Kraft give dramatic and humorous readings of verses from ancient Egypt, Greece, and China through the Renaissance to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—from Horace to Emily Dickinson to Cole Porter.
  • Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 6:30 PM | Lecture | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    The author of Free Food for Millionaires writes the sweeping saga of an exceptional Korean family through the generations.
    Embedded thumbnail for Min Jin Lee with Jeannette Watson Sanger, Pachinko: A Novel
    Event Recording
  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 11:00 AM | Reading Group | For Members Only | Whitridge Room | $60 for all four sessions (recommended); $15 per session | Advance registration required
    Educator Jane Mallison leads discussion of the English/Irish master of "indignatio," from short works through Gulliver's Travels.
  • Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 6:30 PM | Lecture | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    The first major book about the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok, Eleanor and Hick offers a vivid portrait of love and a revealing look at how an unlikely romance influenced some of the consequential years in American history.
    Embedded thumbnail for Susan Quinn, Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady
  • Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 5:30 PM | Children | For members and their guests in grades 3 and older | Whitridge Room | $15 per child, payable at the door; advance registration required

    Explore the art of bookmaking with Library Conservator Christina Amato. Participants will make their own unique blank books using traditional materials and techniques. Adult assistance is recommended.

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 6:30 PM | Lecture | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    Ecstatic love poems of Rumi, a poet and Sufi mystic born over eight centuries ago, are beloved by millions of readers around the world. In this breakthrough biography, Brad Gooch brilliantly brings to life the man and puts a face to the name Rumi, vividly coloring in his time and place.
    Embedded thumbnail for Brad Gooch, Rumi's Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love
  • Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 6:00 PM | The Writing Life | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | Advance registration required
    Library members read from their own short stories, novels, poetry, criticism, memoir, and plays. Refreshments and wine will be served.

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