Mid-April 2014 Newsletter


For more details on all our events, please visit our website.


The MOuTH with Chion Wolf: "Punching the Clock: Work"

Friday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.


"The Mark Twain House & Museum continues "The MOuTH," a storytelling series with WNPR personality Chion Wolf -- and invites stories about work.

The event is in no way a competition, just storytelling in front of friends in a museum dedicated to Mark Twain, one of our country's best storytellers.


$5.00; (Storytellers chosen for the lineup get in free.) Call (860) 280-3130 or click here.



Tom Lee Tom Lee, Storyteller-THE CAMEL HUSBAND

Sunday, April 13, 2:00 p.m.


The Mark Twain House & Museum is excited to present another Sunday afternoon storytelling session with Master Storyteller Tom Lee. Tom will be sharing the fun and adventurous story of The Camel Husband: A folktale from the Middle EastThis story is appropriate for children ages 5 and up, and the program is about 75 minutes in length.


Tickets - $10; $5 for children under 16. Please click here or call (860) 280-3130 for more information & ticketing. 



BOOK/MARK - Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side, and the Prime of Our Lives by Brendan Jay Sullivan

Thursday, April 17, 7:00 p.m.


Lady Gaga's old friend and former DJ Brendan Jay Sullivan will paint a vivid picture of the downtown New York City scene from which she emerged. Brendan Jay Sullivan was an up-and-coming DJ in NYC when he met Stefani Germanotta, then a struggling artist, in 2006. She was a go-go dancer who sewed her own outfits but had bigger ambitions--she wanted nothing less than to take over the music world. In this intimate portrait of the budding star who would soon catapult to fame and fortune, the author describes afternoons sitting with Gaga on the floor of her bare Lower East Side apartment, drinking wine from pint glasses and plotting out the pop stardom that awaited her. Followed by a book sale and signing.


FREE Book/Mark Event. Registration recommended: (860) 280-3130 or click here.



Mac Griswold author of The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island

Wednesday, April 23, 7:00 p.m. at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center


The Manor is the biography of a uniquely American place that has endured through wars great and small, through fortunes won and lost, through histories bright and sinister - and of the family that has lived at the manor since its founding as a Northern slave plantation three and a half centuries ago. Sylvester Manor had been held in the same family for eleven generations. Formerly encompassing all of Shelter Island, a pearl of 8,000 acres caught between the North and South Forks of Long Island, the manor had dwindled to 243 acres. Still, its hidden vault proved to be full of revelations and treasures. Most notable was the short and steep flight of steps the family had called the "slave staircase," which would provide clues to the extensive but little-known story of Northern slavery. 


This is free event followed by a book sale and signing. Registration is encouraged at (860) 522-9258, Ext. 317



Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26; 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.


We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for some spring fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost StoryOn these tours participants will hear about these investigations -- and learn about Mark Twain's own interest in the supernatural. Filled with haunted history, dark tales and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing. They sell out fast, so be sure to call soon to make your reservations!


$22 with discounts for members and children.  Please call (860) 280-3130 for more information & ticketing, or click here.



The Dream of the Great American Novel with author Lawrence Buell

Wednesday, April 30, 7:00 p.m. at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center


The idea of "the great American novel" continues to thrive almost as vigorously as in its nineteenth-century heyday, defying 150 years of attempts to dismiss it as amateurish or obsolete. In this landmark book, the first in many years to take in the whole sweep of national fiction, Lawrence Buell reanimates this supposedly antiquated idea, demonstrating that its history is a key to the dynamics of national literature and national identity itself. A book sale and signing will follow the event. 


The event is free, but registration is encouraged at 860-522-9258, Ext. 317.



Friday, April 25, through Sunday, April 27
Join us for year three of a paradise for writers!

This can't-miss-it event is the best small writers' conference in Connecticut. Our first and second years were smash successes, and we can't wait to offer even more writers, workshops, genres, and opportunities for everyone.


From Keynote Speaker Meg Wolitzer, author of the current bestseller The Interestings, all the way through a Literary Death Match that will pit Director of Writing Julia Pistell against the most fun, famous and talented writers you know, this weekend will be a thrilling and inspiring exploration of literary creativity and craft.

In the shadow of Mark Twain's breathtaking home, writers of all levels of experience are invited to spend a weekend writing, learning, exchanging ideas, and getting books signed by the authors you've been dying to meet. The roster includes: a panel on Criticism with former Granta Editor-in-Chief John Freeman; workshops and discussions on aspects of the writing craft, including jump-starting a novel, poetry as memoir, researching for nonfiction essays, and much more; lectures on aspects of publishing, including finding an agent, pitching to publicity outlets, and editing for publication; and an all-day marathon of authors selling and signing books.


Sunday morning will feature an expo of and book signing by members of the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. Writers range from recurring favorites Bessy Reyna, Susan Campbell, and Mary Sharnick to first-time presenters Matthew Dicks, Vivian Shipley, and Qais Akbar Omar. Also presenting will be Tim Parrish, Susan Schoenberger, Wayne English, TJ Jarrett, John Casey, Mike Morin, Patricia Chaffee, Steve Courtney, Ravi Shankar, Leslie Johnson, John Stanizzi--and more, because we're adding others every day.


The cost of the weekend is $160. This includes an opening and closing reception, coffee, and a small lunch on Saturday. The weekend will kick off at 6:00 p.m. on Friday with a reception preceding Meg Wolitzer's Keynote Conversation at 7:00 p.m. and continue with programs from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, before concluding with a Literary Death Match on Sunday afternoon.


Call: (860) 280-3130 for more information & ticketing. Or, click here for tickets.




A Writing Workshop with Dayna Lorentz

Saturday, April 12, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Lift the cover of any Young Adult novel lining the shelves of your local bookseller or library, and you'll likely find that it's told from the first person point of view, and in the present tense. Bestsellers The Hunger Games, Thirteen Reasons Why, Divergent, and Speak: all first-person, present tense narratives. In this workshop, we'll discuss the appeal of this point of view for writing YA in particular, and also the kinds of problems it presents and limitations it entails. We'll look at popular examples of the form, and also write and workshop short pieces of our own.  Dayna Lorentz is the author of the No Safety in Numbers trilogy.

$40. Call: (860) 280-3130 for more information & ticketing. Or, click here for tickets.


JOIN The Mark Twain House & Museum!


Enjoy the special insider benefits of membership in The Mark Twain House & Museum. And there's the sheer joy of being part of the legacy of Mark Twain, whose wit and insight remain alive today in 2014 -- over 150 years after Sam Clemens took on his famous pen name and entered history.


Submit our easy-to-use, secure online membership form or simply call 860-280-3112.


Make a DONATION Today!


Your donation to The Mark Twain House & Museum has a major impact on our ability to preserve this beautiful home, provide crucial educational programs for thousands of schoolchildren, offer mind-stimulating and spine-tingling events for adults, and welcome thousands of visitors each year. 


 ...and make your donation count double: Find out if your employer has a Matching Gift program.


Donate online, call 860-280-3112, or send your donation to: The Mark Twain House & Museum, Development Department, 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut 06105.


Join the FRIENDS!


The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum offer wonderful speaking events, social gatherings, and fun volunteer opportunities. Pony up $30 and you'll get it all, too!


It's the volunteer organization that has supported the museum for more than 50 years. To join, call Membership Co-Chairs Chuck Paydos, 860-242-4825, or Dee Peters, 860-233-4066.




The Mark Twain House & Museum has restored the author's Hartford, Connecticut, home, where the author and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. Twain wrote his most important works there, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. In addition to providing tours of Twain's restored home, a National Historic Landmark, the institution offers activities and educational programs that illuminate Twain's literary legacy and provide information about his life and times. The house and museum at 351 Farmington Ave. are open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon-5:30 p.m. For more information, call 860-247-0998 or visit us online. Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council's United Arts Campaign.


David Cash

Mark Twain House & Museum




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