Richards Free Library Celebrates Poetry Month

Newport, N.H. — The Richards Free Library, 58 N. Main Street, Newport, is celebrating National Poetry Month on April 24 at 7 p.m.. Bring your favorite poem to read or just come to listen. Everyone is invited. Refreshments will be provided.

At the Richards Free Library on April 28 (at 3:30 p.m.),  Dr. Robert Scott will read and talk about his new book for children, Horatio’s Hometown Hero. The book was written in conjunction with Ambassador Joseph and Augusta Petrone as part of the Inspire Future New Hampshire Heroes program. Admission is free.

The book tells a simple story: To be a hero you do not have to be rich, powerful or beautiful, all you need is a giving heart that cares and shares with others.  “Yes, we all can become a hero,” is the book’s motto.

40th Annual Apple Pie Crafts Fair

NewportApplePieFair_2011Newport, N.H. — The 40th Annual Apple Pie Crafts Fair will be held on Saturday, August 24, 2013, from 9 to 3 p.m., rain or shine, on the Newport Town Common in Newport, N.H.

The fair features nearly 100 booths of traditional crafts, including pottery, woodworking, blown glass, quilting, fiber arts, and more.

Fair-goers will enjoy live music throughout the day, as well as the famous apple pie sale and contest, and the Newport Firemen’s chicken barbecue.  Adjacent to the Fair, the Richards Free Library’s Library will hold a festival & book sale that features crafts for kids and a cookie walk.

For more information, contact the Library Arts Center. Courtesy photo.

Richards Free Library hosts an evening with Wesley McNair


The Richards Free Library in Newport invites the public to an evening with poet and author Wesley McNair on Monday, July 15. Photo by Benjamin Magro.

Newport, NH – The Richards Free Library in Newport, will host an evening with New Hampshire native Wesley McNair on Monday, July 15, 2013, at 7 p.m.

McNair will read from his memoir.

Beginning in poverty and a broken home, McNair went on, through family hardships and setbacks, to become what poet Philip Levine has called “one of the great storytellers of contemporary poetry.”

McNair will talk about how he developed into a poet against the odds, incorporating his struggles into his art.

McNair’s latest books are Lovers of the Lost: New and Selected Poetry and The Words I Chose: A Memoir of Family and Poetry. He is the poet laureate of Maine.

Richards Free Library is at 58 N. Main Street. For more information, email:

Author reading at Richards Free Library: Deidre Currier

Newport, N.H. – The Richards Free Library, 58 N. Main Street, Newport, is sponsoring an author reading on Friday, February 1, at 3 p.m. Deidre Currier will read from her new book “Tales From the Tub: Growing Old is for the Brave.”

“Currier urges our youth oriented culture to look for the gifts of truth our elders have to share,” says the release. “Currier’s stories have been gleaned from 25 years as a nurse in an assisted living home.” The public is invited to visit with the author as she shares her affectionate and compelling stories.

Event will honor Sarah Josepha Hale award winner: Jill Lepore

Newport, N.H. – Historian Jill Lepore will accept the 2012 Sarah Josepha Hale Award at the Newport Opera House, 20 Main Street, on Saturday, November 10 at 8 p.m.

Richards Free Library is sponsoring the event, which is open the public free of charge.

Lepore has won the Anisfield-Wolf Award, the Bancroft Prize, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, and the Berkshire Prize. She is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker.

Her books include:

  • The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle over American History;
  • New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize;
  • The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity;
  • Blindspot, a novel written with Jane Kamensky, a Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; and
  • The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death, her latest book published in June 2012.

For more info about the Hale award, visit the Richards Free Library website.

A garden party for Richards Free Library July 21

The Richards Free Library in Newport, New Hampshire, is having a summer garden party on Saturday, July 21, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. This event, sponsored by the Friends of the Richards Free Library, will take place at 98 Elm Street in one of Newport’s most lovely gardens.

“Sip delightful wine, taste creative delicacies, and listen to beautiful music while surrounded by the sweet smells of a luscious summer garden!” the invitation reads. Also, if your wear an elegant hat, or one you creatively or humorously design, you may win a prize in the hat contest.

Music will be provided by Jet’M.

Tickets ($25 per person) can be purchased at the library or at the door. You must be 21 or older to attend. For more information call Marty Lovely, secretary of the Friends of the RFL, at 603-863-1387.

Matthew Guenette returns to Newport

“There is a splendid intercourse between the dream and the conscious life in Matthew Guenette’s poetry, a constant mental eventfulness that never rests, never surrenders to the old, dried up poeticisms or the stereotypes,” says Rodney Jones about Matthew Guenette‘s poetry in Sudden Anthem (Dream Horse Press, 2008).

Guenette returns to his hometown of Newport to the Richards Free Library on Tuesday, March 6 to read from his latest book of poetry, American Busboy. The program starts at 7 pm and is open to all free of charge.

Richards Free Library is located at 58 North Main Street in Newport, New Hampshire.

A 1990 graduate of Newport Middle High School, Guenette attended UNH where he studied with Hale Award winner Charles Simic.

He now lives in Wisconsin and teaches at Madison Area Technical College.

Sudden Anthem won the 2007 American Poetry Journal Book Award. His latest collection American Busboy was published by University of Akron Press in 2011.

With no apologies and with no mercy, but with an electrifying degree of lyric energy, Matthew Guenette brings the mindset of a stifled serving class to life in American Busboy. In this book’s world, “the restaurant /never asked you to /imagine imaginary /things like the brittle / bones of onion rings.” ….Using irreverent humor, clever lineation, formal invention, and alliteration worthy of Chaucer, American Busboy cuts to the front of the line for the attention of any lover of fresh, funny—yet movingly vulnerable—contemporary poetry. —Sandra Beasley, author of  I  Was the Jukebox

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Author John Walters Travels to Newport Nov. 18

Author John Walters, the creator and former host of  The Front Porch on NH Public Radio, will talk about his book: “Roads Less Traveled: Visionary New England Lives” on Thursday, Nov 18 at  7 pm at the Richards Free Library in Newport. “Road Less Traveled” tells the life stories of some truly remarkable people — people whose lives are full of passion and purpose. All are residents of Vermont or New Hampshire and likely include people you know…

  • Father Andrew Tregubov of Claremont, NH. Russian emigre, Orthodox priest, and renowned iconographer (painter of icons used in Orthodox worship).  He was Alexander Solzhenitysn’s priest during the writer’s years of exile in Vermont.
  • Dudley Giberson, a glass artist and inventor from Warner whose devices are essential fixtures of the modern glass-art studio.
  • Courtney Haase of Sutton, a former Catholic nun who left the convent and became a goat farmer and maker of artisan cheese.
  • Kim Christiansen of Sunapee, an artist who makes Braille jewelry — flat silver pieces with Braille messages imprinted into the surface. His pieces have resonated strongly with many of his customers; as one person put it, the jewelry presents Braille as a thing of beauty rather than a functional tool.
  • Bruce Cronin (Newport) and Babe Sargent (New London), two lifelong friends who made a pair of comedy films, The Wild Goose and Henry Phipps Goes Skiing.

Library Notes from the Lake Sunapee Region

Nov. 13: The Pillsbury Free Library in Warner will be hosting a game day for all ages on Saturday November 13, from 10-1. The library will provide traditional and new board games for groups to play such as Wits and Wagers Family version, Hula Hippo and lots of others, as well as video games for Play Station 3 including Guitar Hero 3, Beatles Rock Band,  Little Big Planet and others; and games on the Wii, such as Wii fit, Wii Play, Wii Sports and Super Mario Bros. This is the third annual National “Gaming at Your Library Day,” writes Library Trustee Laura Milliken. “Come see our newly redecorated meeting room.” Call 456-2289 for more information. Pillsbury Free Library

On-Going: Sunapee’s Abbott Library is now making an Apple IPad available for use at the library. “If you are interested in using the IPad just drop in, email us or call ahead to reserve an hour of time in order to explore all the features the IPad has to offer. A variety of content will be pre-loaded and it will have Internet access via the library wireless network,” reads the announcement on the Abbott Library website.

Nov. 18: At Richard’s Free Library in Newport, Roads Less Traveled: Visionary New England Lives with author John Walters will be presented on Thursday, Nov 18th at 7 pm. Roads Less Traveled tells the life stories of some truly remarkable people — people whose lives are full of passion and purpose. They have devoted themselves to a career, an art form, an idea, or a cause,” reads the announcement. “They have literally taken their own ‘road less traveled.’ Their stories  testify to the breadth of human creativity, and the strength of the human spirit. All are residents of VT or NH.” 

Walters writes about people you know including: Continue reading

A Workshop for Beginner Maplers

Have you thought about making your own maple syrup? Do you want to know what is needed and learn how to do it? Then, here’s your chance to learn about all the steps from the tree to the table and the equipment needed. There will be a backyard Maple Sugaring Workshop geared to first-time and beginner maplers having less than 75 taps on on Thursday, March 4 at Richards Free Library, Newport, from 6 to 8 p.m. Continue reading

In Sunapee Atticus Finch Steps from the Pages

Abbott Library, Sunapee, is participating with other Granite State libraries this month in the The Big Read: New Hampshire Reads To Kill a Mockingbird,” a statewide program organized by the Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library. The Sunapee library will host a portrayal of Atticus Finch by Richard Clark, an actor with over thirty years of experience in New England regional theater, New York Theater and television on Wednesday, March 3 at the Sunapee Methodist Church at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Libraries, schools, bookstores and other organizations throughout New Hampshire will be holding Big Read events during March 2010. A list of participating libraries can be found at the Big Read website.

Programs include film screenings, book discussions, a panel discussion on adapting literature to film, presentations by local attorneys and appearances by Atticus Finch himself. Events are scheduled at 100 different venues according to the Big Read NH website.

  • Tracy Library and community partners in New London have Big Read events planned throughout March.
  • Pillsbury Free Library, Warner, on March 2 will welcome New Hampshire criminal defense attorney Lisa Wellman-Ally using the portrayal of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird as a jumping off point to discuss the role of defense attorneys.
  • Richard’s Free Library, Newport, will host a Southern potluck dinner and book discussion on March 17.
According to the The Center for the Book, it chose to focus on Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird “not only because it is a great coming of age story but also because of the many topics of discussion it inspires: who is a hero, the importance of standing up for what is right, the role of defense attorneys in society, relationships between the races, courage, justice and more.”
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Israeli Dancing in the Ballroom

In Newport, at the the Richards Free Library, one can join dance teacher Jody Underwood on Tuesday, January 5 at 6:30 p.m. for a lively hour of Israeli dancing in the ballroom. The program is open to the public free of charge. Just bring comfortable indoor shoes. No partner is required. For more information, contact the library at 603-863-3430 or email:

Israeli Dancing at Richards Free Library Dec. 1

Dance teacher Jody Underwood will be at the Richards Free Library in Newport on Tuesday evening, December 1 at 6:30 p.m. for a lively hour of Israeli dancing.  The program is open to the public free of charge. No partner is required, only comfortable indoor shoes. For more information, call the library at 603-863-3430.

Richards Free Library offers Menu for the Future

vei_menuFor centuries food has been used to mark the change of the seasons, to bring together a family at the end of day and as an integral part of many celebrations. In recent years, food has grown to represent a multi-billion dollar global industry and a point of confusion for many struggling to understand the risks and benefits associated with choices such as organic vs. conventional, meat vs. vegetarian or local vs. global.

In response to a growing need to consider the larger implications of our food choices and understand food’s relationship to sustainability, the Richards Free Library in Newport (NH) and the Vermont Earth Institute are offering a discussion group based on the discussion guide, Menu for the Future. This six-session anthology offers people a unique opportunity to examine the effects of modern industrial agriculture on both human and ecological health, explore emerging food system alternatives, and discuss how we as individuals can contribute to a more sustainable food supply.

This course is the eighth anthology developed by the Northwest Earth Institute of Portland, Oregon for discussion groups. Vermont Earth Institute has organized over 500 course groups since 2000 including one held earlier this year at Abbott Library in Sunapee. It was well attended and enthusiastically received.

“The Menu for the Future discussion series is a great way to broaden your knowledge about food—where it comes from, what goes into it, how we enjoy it—but the series is also an opportunity to learn more about your neighbors and what is happening locally with respect to food,” said Vanessa Bittermann, one of the members of the Sunapee study circle. “I highly recommend it. Members of our discussion group became friends, and we still meet periodically for local, organic community potlucks.”

The first discussion session will be on Thursday, September 17 from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Richards Library. For more information and for course books, contact the Richards Free Library at 603-863-3430.

A full description of the course is at

Henry Louis Gates Wins Hale Award

This year’s Sarah Josepha Hale Award winner is author, literary scholar and historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. He will accept the honor at a ceremony at the Newport Opera House on October 3 at 8 p.m. For over fifty years, the Sarah Josepha Hale Award, has been given by the trustees of the Richards Free Library, in recognition of a distinguished body of written work in the field of literature and letters.

Henry Louis Gates will receive Hale Award at Newport Opera House

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will receive Sarah Josepha Hale Award at the Newport Opera House on Oct. 3.

A graduate of Yale University and Cambridge University, Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He has received many awards including a MacArthur Grant, an American Book Award and was named to Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Americans” list in 1997.

In a long, distinguished career, he [Gates] has operated with vigor and eloquence in both the academic realm and the popular culture in his quest to enrich the American literary canon with African American voices and to bring these voices to the public. – Mike Pride, former editor of the Concord Monitor

The award honors Sarah Josepha Hale, author, poet, and essayist, who as editor of Godey’s Lady’s Magazine shaped the opinion of nineteenth century American women.

The library has given the award annually since 1956. Recipients include Robert Frost (1956), Archibald MacLeish and Dorothy Canfield Fisher (1958), John Kenneth Galbraith (1967), Roger Tory Peterson (1977), Donald Hall (1983), Maxine Kumin (1992), Tomie dePaola (2007) and Ken Burns (2008).

For more information about the Hale award, visit the library website or contact Library Director Andrea Thorpe at 603-863-3430 or email:


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