NEA Big Read

NEA Big Read

NEA Big Read

NEA Big Read

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Programs and book discussions throughout the month of October.

Beginning September 1, book giveaways at all locations and select bookmobile stops while copies last.

NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Generously supported by the Friends of the Ferguson Library and co-sponsored by Stamford Stands Against Racism and UCONN-Stamford.

The library has copies of Beloved available to borrow in several formats – book, audiobook, e-audio and e-book. If you would prefer reading an e-book edition, download it from OverDrive with the Libby app. No waiting time. We have simultaneous access through October.

Throughout the month of October: Documentary Viewing: Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
Available on Hoopla and DVD.

Upcoming Events

This event is in the "Main Library" group.
Library Branch: Main Library
Room: First Floor New Materials Room
Age Group: Kids (grades K-5), Tweens (grades 5-8), Teens (grades 6-12), Parents, Families, Adults
Program Type: NEA Big Read
Event Details:
Join us to create your own square for the Community Quilt Project that will kick off the NEA Big Read of Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize winning Beloved. The quilt will be unveiled at the end of the month. All ages welcome. NEA Big Read is a progra...
This event is in the "Virtual" group.
Library Branch: Virtual
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: NEA Big Read, Books & Reading
Event Details:
An NEA BIG READ Program Beloved by Toni Morrison Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding New York Times bestseller transforms history into a powerful story. Sethe, the novel's protagonist, was born a slave and escaped...
This event is in the "Main Library" group.
Registration
Library Branch: Main Library
Room: Third Floor Auditorium
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: NEA Big Read, Author Events
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 72
Event Details:
Valerie Smith, a distinguished scholar of African American literature, is the 15th president of Swarthmore College, where her priorities have included attracting more low-income and first-generation students, supporting curricular innovation, increas...
This event is in the "Virtual" group.

The People Could Fly: story read-aloud

11:00am - 12:00pm
Virtual
Register
Registration
Library Branch: Virtual
Age Group: Tweens (grades 5-8), Teens (grades 6-12), Parents, Families, Adults
Program Type: NEA Big Read, Books & Reading
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 100
Event Details:
Listen to and see librarians from The Ferguson Library read stories from Virginia Hamilton's wonderful book The People Could Fly:  American Black Folktales. Registration required. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Ar...
This event is in the "Main Library" group.
Registration
Library Branch: Main Library
Room: Third Floor Board Room
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: NEA Big Read, Books & Reading
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 10
Event Details:
An NEA BIG READ Program Beloved by Toni Morrison Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding New York Times bestseller transforms history into a powerful story. Sethe, the novel's protagonist, was born a slave and escaped...
This event is in the "Main Library" group.
Registration
Library Branch: Main Library
Room: Third Floor Auditorium
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: NEA Big Read, Author Events
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 78
Event Details:
Allison Bass-Riccio currently serves as Department Chair and teacher of English Literature at Cheshire Academy, a boarding school in Cheshire. Additionally, she is coordinator of the Campus Writing Center and house head of a girls' dorm on campus. ...

Programs and Book Discussions

Schedule is subject to change. Updates will appear on this page.

Please note that face masks are required for all indoor in-person programs.

The NEA Big Read Kick-off: Community Quilt Project
Saturday, October 2 from 11a.m. to 2 p.m.
Main Library, DiMattia Building
First Floor Lobby

Create your square to add to the community quilt. All ages.

Keynote Speaker –Valerie Smith, President of Swarthmore College
Thursday, October 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Main Library, DiMattia Building
Third Floor Auditorium

Valerie Smith, President of Swarthmore College, a Toni Morrison scholar and author of Toni Morrison: Writing the Moral Imagination.  Registration required for in-person program at the library. REGISTER.

Also available as a virtual program on Zoom. Join the Zoom webinar at the scheduled time.

(photo credit Laurence Kesterson)

Valerie Smith
Allison Bass-Riccio

Healing from Trauma - Exploring the Personal Grief Process through the Lens of Toni Morrison's Novel, Beloved – with Allison Bass-Riccio
Wednesday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m.
Main Library, DiMattia Building
Third Floor Auditorium

Allison Bass-Riccio currently serves as Department Chair and teacher of English Literature at Cheshire Academy, a boarding school in Cheshire, CT. Additionally, she is Coordinator of the Campus Writing Center and House Head of a girls' dorm on campus. Registration required. REGISTER.

Also available as a virtual program on Zoom. Join the Zoom webinar at the scheduled time.

The Work and World of Toni Morrison – with Grégory Pierrot
Monday, October 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Main Library, DiMattia Building
Third Floor Auditorium

Grégory Pierrot is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut at Stamford. His articles have been published in Studies in American Fiction, the African American Review, Criticism, and Notes and Queries. Registration required. REGISTER.

Also available as a virtual program on Zoom. Join the Zoom webinar at the scheduled time.

Grégory Pierrot
When  a Door Opens by Mary Ann Glass

Art Show Opening
Thursday, October 21 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Main Library, DiMattia Building
Third Floor Auditorium

Opening of Fragments of Memory art exhibit. Co-sponsored by the Stamford Art Association. (Pictured: When a Door Opens by Mary Ann Glass)

Gothic Elements in Toni Morrison's Beloved – with Blessing Diala-Ogamba
Wednesday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom

Blessing Diala-Ogamba is a Professor of English at Coppin State University in Baltimore, MD. She is the co-author of Literary Crossroads: An International Exploration of Women, Gender, and Otherhood; and Emerging Perspectives on Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo. Registration required. REGISTER.

Zoom details will be included in registration confirmation.

Blessing headshot
Farah Jasmine Griffin (c) Peggy Dillard Toone

Finale: Friends Author Series Event – Meet Farah Jasmine Griffin, Author of Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature
Monday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m.
Main Library, DiMattia Building
Third Floor Auditorium

Farah Jasmine Griffin was the inaugural chair of the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department at Columbia University, where she is also William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature. She is the author of numerous books, including Read Until You Understand, and the recipient of a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is also in the documentary Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am. (Morrison personally selected her as one of the few scholars to speak about her work in the film, which played in theaters and on PBS.) Book sale and signing. Registration required. Register.

Also available as a virtual program on Zoom. Join the Zoom webinar at the scheduled time.

(photo credit: Peggy Dillard Toone)

BOOK DISCUSSIONS
Pick up your free copy at any Ferguson Library location prior to discussions.

For virtual book discussions, Zoom meeting details will be provided in registration confirmations.

Weed Memorial & Hollander Branch
Monday, October 4 at 11:30 a.m. via Zoom

Main Library, DiMattia Building
Third Floor Board Room
Tuesday, October 12 at 7 p.m.
REGISTER

Mill River Park
Great Lawn

Friday, October 15 at 11 a.m.
REGISTER

Harry Bennett Branch
Monday, October 18 at 7 p.m. via Zoom
 

South End Branch
Monday, October 25 at 7 p.m.
(also on Zoom)
 

Beloved

YOUTH PROGRAMS

The Library will also host companion book discussions for children and teens. Our young reader’s selections are Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes and Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden. Copies of both titles are available at the library.

The People Could Fly: A Storytelling Program
Saturday, October 9 at 11 a.m. via Zoom

Selections from the book by Virginia Hamilton. Age 8 and up. Registration required.
Register.

Zoom login information will be included in confirmation email.

The People Could Fly
Crossing Ebenezer Creek

BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden
Tuesday, October 14 at 7 p.m. via Zoom

When Mariah and her young brother Zeke are suddenly freed from slavery, they set out on Sherman's long march through Georgia during the Civil War. Mariah wants to believe that the brutalities of slavery are behind them forever and that freedom lies ahead. But even hope comes at a cost, and as the treacherous march continues toward the churning waters of Ebenezer Creek, Mariah’s dreams are as vulnerable as ever. For teens in grades 6 and up. Registration required. Register.
Zoom login information will be provided in the confirmation email.

Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Tuesday, October 19 at 7 p.m. via Zoom

In 1870, Reconstruction brings big changes to the Louisiana sugar plantation where spunky ten-year-old Sugar has always lived, including her friendship with Billy, the son of her former master, and the arrival of workmen from China. For kids in grades 4 to 6. Registration required. Registration opening soon.

Sugar
Jewel Parker Rhodes

A Conversation with Jewell Parker Rhodes, Author of Sugar
Saturday, October 23 at 2 p.m. via Zoom

Jewell Parker Rhodes is an award-winning and bestselling author. In addition to Sugar, winner of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award, she is also the author of Ninth Ward, winner of a Coretta Scott King Honor, and the New York Times-bestselling Ghost Boys. Grades 3 and up. Registration required. Registration opening soon.