For additional information regarding adults contact Luanne Morse, Head of Adult Services



4 - 6 PM

Author, Historian - Diane Lapis will discuss her research into a utopian society that flourished on the Beacon/ Cold Spring border for much of the 20th century.

Nitgedaiget: A Vanished Utopia

Q & A with Reception to follow

Diane Lapis has collected postcards for the past thirty years and revels in unveiling the hidden stories behind each image.  She loves to travel and visit historic places.  Diane is a trustee at the Beacon Historical Society where she researches, writes, and presents topics on local history.  Her book, Cocktails Across America:  A Postcard View of Cocktail Culture in Post-Prohibition America will be published by Countryman Press/W.W. Norton & Company in May 2018.  

Music in December

Featuring Daniel Kelly, Frederick Johnson
w/special guest Sofia Kelly


4 - 6 PM

Award-winning composer and pianist, Daniel Kelly brilliantly reinterprets texts from Shakespeare's most beloved plays with powerhouse jazz vocalist Frederick Johnson.


Award-winning composer & pianist Daniel Kelly creates music that has been declared “powerfully moving” by Time Out New York. He has brought his unique talent to performances with Grammy award-winning jazz legends Joe Lovano and Michael Brecker, hip-hop star Lauryn Hill, modern classical ensemble The Bang on a Can All-Stars, and many other jazz artists, such as NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman, Don Byron, Randy Brecker, Donny McCaslin, Bobby Sanabria, Joseph Jarman, among others. Daniel has toured throughout Southeast Asia and India as a part of the Kennedy Center and US State department-sponsored Jazz Ambassador program. He has composed for chamber orchestra, string quartet, film & multi-media theater works & has released five CDs of original compositions.
Daniel has traveled throughout the United States collecting stories from people of all ages & backgrounds, transforming their experiences into original music for his ongoing series of interview-based, concert-length compositions titled Rakonto ("story" in Esperanto). He has created 11 different Rakonto concerts, celebrating the resilience of the human spirit in communities across America. He is now touring Listening to America, a selection of stories and music from each of the 11 concerts, featuring the stories of farmers, hurricane survivors, immigrants, students and many more.



4 - 6 PM



Q & A with Reception to follow

Poet - Jo Pitkin

When I was eight years old, I wrote and produced A Broadway Musical in my backyard along with my sister, Barbara, and several of our neighbors. We donated our ticket proceeds to the fund for establishing the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, and our achievement was featured in a local newspaper. I’ve been working with words ever since.
Eventually, I earned a B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature from Kirkland College. A progressive women’s college, Kirkland pioneered the undergraduate creative writing degree. At Kirkland, I studied poetry with Michael Burkard and Tess Gallagher, won the George A. Watrous Prize in Poetry, and was founding editor of the extant campus literary magazine Red Weather. Kirkland later merged with its coordinate partner, Hamilton College.
After college, I received an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, where I studied with Donald Justice, Larry Levis, Jane Cooper, and Sandra McPherson. 
My poems have been published in numerous journals and anthologies including The New York Review of Books, Little Star, Quarterly West, Salamander, Southern Humanities Review, Terrain, Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod, Stone Canoe, A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley, Even the Daybreak: 35 Years of Salmon Poetry, and Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace. 
While writing is a solitary art, I have always enjoyed collaboration. As a poet in the community, I have mentored younger writers, read slush piles, judged local and national writing contests, and coordinated two successful reading series in two different states. An advocate for the arts, I served on the executive board of the Arlington Center for the Arts in Massachusetts and completed a three-year term as a grants reviewer for the Putnam County Arts Council in New York. 
I live and work in New York’s Hudson Highlands close to the river’s narrowest and deepest point.


Frederick Johnson is an international performer and has spent the past 35 years presenting international concerts seminars on the power of creative expression as a tool for personal well-being and healing. He is an accomplished vocalist and percussionist and is recognized internationally as one of the world’s greatest vocal jazz improvisers and has been honored as one of the world’s most passionate and versed chanters of sacred text. Frederick has been involved in the development of global programs in America, Europe and the Middle East, bringing people together from diversified spiritual and cultural backgrounds to create artistic forums for learning, sharing, reconciliation, vision and hope.
Frederick has performed on stage with, or as the opening act for, such musical greats as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Herbie Mann, Nat Adderly, Joe Zawinul, David Sanborn, Richard Elliot, Ramsey Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Patti La Belle, Patti Austin, George Benson, BB King and many others.
For over 20 years in Tampa Bay, he was a key contributor in both schools and community centers to presenting programs which served to empower the understanding of arts as a conduit for educational enrichment and enhancement of core curriculum skills training in our educational system.

Poet - Irene O'Garden

Irene O’Garden’s new book, Fulcrum: Selected Poems was published this year by Nirala Press.
O’Garden’s poetry has also found its way to stage, e-screen, hardcover, literary magazines and anthologies. Her critically acclaimed play Women On Fire, (Samuel French) played sold-out houses at Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award. Her new play, Little Heart, won her a Berilla Kerr Playwriting Fellowship awarded by the Millay Colony.
O’Garden’s poetry and essays are found in dozens of literary journals (including Appalachee Review, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, Blue Mesa Review, Calyx, Confrontation, Hawaii Pacific Review, Louisville Review[forthcoming] Permafrost,
Sanskirt, Sou'wester, and Tusculum Review) She won a Willow Review Award for her poem “Nonfiction” and won a Pushcart Prize for her essay “Glad To Be Human,” now an e-book from Untreed Reads. Untreed Reads also published her Harper book Fat Girl in e-form as Goodbye Fat Girl. A Slant of Light, an anthology in which she is included, won the national USA Book Award 2013 for Best Anthology.
O’Garden has performed her poetry at KGB, the Bowery Poetry Club, Nuyorican Poetry Café and at The Player’s Club in Manhattan. Poets and Writers has awarded her several grants.
For her work in children’s literature, Irene received the Alice Curtis Desmond Award. She also won the Gold Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award for The Scrubbly Bubbly Car Wash (Harper). Her first children's book, Maybe My Baby, (Harper) sold over 90,000 copies. Irene is pleased to bring the national River Of Words program to Hudson Valley schools under the auspices of the Hudson Highlands Land Trust. Her latest children’s book Forest, What Would You Like? grew out of this work.
Irene is also known locally for founding The Art Garden, a performing literary magazine which she produced and hosted for twenty-five years. She now contributes to the spoken word event 650-Where Writers Read, in New York City and Sarah Lawrence College. Irene recently completed her second memoir, Family Landscape.
She lives joyfully with John Pielmeier, her husband of thirty-five years. Most known for his play Agnes of God, John also writes movies and miniseries for television. This year, Scribner’s published his first novel, “Hook’s Tale.”