Haystack Book Talks Fall Series Kicks Off October 4

Haystack Book Talks brings writers into conversation on a wide range of topics to celebrate ideas and discourse.



Tucked away in the beautiful wooded hills of Northwestern Connecticut, Norfolk provides an intimate setting for the festival. Literary conversations are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 4, 5, and 6 2019, in downtown Norfolk, set against the backdrop of autumn foliage.

New this year, the festival will also offer an array of “one-off” conversations during the summer.

All events are held at the Norfolk Library and are free and open to the public with seat reservations required.

We are thrilled to add this literary festival to the vibrant cultural offerings in town, including the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Yale Norfolk School of Music and ArtInfinity HallNorfolk Library and Norfolk Historical Society.

Haystack Book Talks bring together in unmoderated conversation writers and thinkers who have something to talk about.  Past and upcoming talks are as various as Rosa Alcala and McArthur Award winner John Keene discussing the relation between their creative writing and their work as translators; prize-winning writers David Blight and Steve Luxenberg talking about the fateful American passage from abolition to segregation; novelists Courtney Maum and Teddy Wayne examining the relation between historical and fictional characters in their work; and Jeff Goodell and Julian Brave NoiseCat exploring the social and ecological inevitabilities of climate change.


Please contact us @ 860-542-7185 x260 for more information about ADA/mobility accommodations.

The Haystack Book Talks is sponsored in part by the Norfolk Foundation, Inc. 
We are especially grateful to Steve Melville for spearheading this literary festival.

Friday, October 4

6:00 pm
HERE to reserve your seat.
Brendan Gill Lecture, by Mitchell S. Jackson, author of Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family
An electrifying, dazzlingly written reckoning and an essential addition to the national conversation about race and class, Survival Math takes its name from the calculations award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson made to survive the Portland, Oregon, of his youth.

Saturday, October 5

10:30 am
HERE to reserve your seat.
The Widow Washington and TBD
Martha Saxton, author of The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington, and author TBD, will discuss the history’s changing understanding of George Washington.


1:00 pm
HERE to reserve your seat.
Lives Real and Imagined: The Fictionalization of True Characters
Costalegre’s Courtney Maum and The Love Song of Jonny Valentine’s Teddy Wayne discuss the fictionalization of real people in their recent novels.


3:00 pm
HERE to reserve your seat.
Reporting from the Front
Award-wining journalists Janine di Giovanni , author of The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria, and Anne Garrels, author of Naked in Baghdad, discuss what it takes to tell the hardest stories, to work in a field dominated by men, and to survive the aftereffects of the job.

Sunday, October 6

10:00 am
HERE to reserve your seat.
From Abolition to Segregation
David  Blight, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, and Steve Luxenberg, author of the highly praised Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation, engage in a timely exploration of the fateful dynamic of idealism and betrayal that continues to shape the fundamental fabric of American society.

12:30 pm
HERE to reserve your seat.
Coyotes and Beavers and Their Lives Among Us
Ben Goldfarb, author of  Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, and Dan Flores, author of Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History, talk about humanity's fanatical and misguided attempts to control unruly and ecologically crucial wildlife.

3:00 pm (Talk & Walk)
HERE to register for the walk.
The Art of the Dam: Beavers in Our Backyard
Ben Goldfarb and Dan Flores will lead an outdoor talk and walk in Great Mountain Forest. Rendezvous at Mountain House, 200 Canaan Mountain Road at 3:00pm and walk from there up to Chattleton Road to see the beaver activity.



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