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2023 Reading Room Programs

Annual Ocean Conservation Boat Tours. July and August. Join us for an exploration of Ninigret Pond through the knowledge of an oceanographer, marine affairs expert and oyster farmer. Departure: Shelter Cove Marina. Roundtable + Refreshments: BoP's Reading Room (red barn). Click here for more information. OLLI URI members receive 10% discount (boat tour only).

Captain Declan O'Donnell, Charlestown Bait & Tackle and Bill Twardy, Wallander Realty

Jon Campbell Writing Series. A Writing Group For All Levels but only for the committed. Facilitated by BoP owner and executive director, Alexandra Lehmann. Eight (8) sessions in June-July in the late afternoon. Email for more information. BoP's Reading Room.
Flick Ford. Back by popular demand, join us for a conversation with Flick, venerated fish illustrator, author, and angler. Why are fish illustrations more valuable than photographs for measuring ocean life? Ford has also exhibited at Drexel University's Museum of Natural Science in the same tradition as James Audobon (French-American artist and naturalist, 1785-1851). BoP's Reading Room.
Neil Rappaport Photographs, Messages from a Small Town. For more information on this artist, please visit past 2022 exhibit at Vermont Folk Life Center. BoP patron and friend, Daniel Griswold, descendant of Charles (photographed by Rappaport below), loaned Reading Room gallery, 22 of Neil Rappoport's black and white photographs. Stay tuned for more information on opening evening and scheduled lecture. BoP's Reading Room.

Charles and Beatrice Griswold photographed by Neil Rappaport

Richard Schweid Narrative Nonfiction Writing Master Class. Back by popular demand, author Schweid discusses what distinguishes this genre from nonfiction and memoir. August. For more information, email BoP's Reading Room.
Collaboration with Beach House at the General's Market/Field of Artisans. Our featured artists who works in our studio share Beach House to create a stand out, stand alone booth this summer, Sundays 1-4 p.m. at the General Stanton Inn, Charlestown.</h5

Past Readings, Classes and Exhibits

Jon Campbell Writing Series 2022

Jon passed away at the end of 2021. He was one of our closest new friends. We depended on him to steer and advise us with his very own brilliance and brutal honesty - especially with all things art and literature related. His loss to us is immeasurable. Even during two autumns of Covid, Jon also took part in our writing classes and with his formidable presence, shaped our discussions to such a level we actually thought we could be writers. We shall miss him and honor his memory by continuing to learn.

NARRATIVE NONFICTION, Saturday, OCTOBER 22, 10-12 p.m.

This two hour class will examine what is meant by “narrative nonfiction.” What is narrative, and how can we use it when writing nonfiction? What sets narrative nonfiction apart from didactic nonfiction, in which the facts are researched and assembled in prose? Richard will demonstrate answers to these questions by using Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

It is recommended that students purchase this book in advance in order to participate in conversation. A short in-class writing exercise will conclude the class. Students are welcome to stay and read from their own work afterwards.

Limit: 15 students

All writers welcome from beginners to professionals

Cost: $75.

Registration required in advance by October 15.

Please email to reserve your place.


Our Instructor, Richard Schweid

Richard Schweid is the author of over six nonfiction books. He currently splits his writing life between Charlestown, Rhode Island and Barcelona, Spain. Richard's most recent book, published by Cornell University Press (Ithaca, New York, 2021), addresses the state of elder care in our country. Bilingual, he is the editor and founder of the Spanish culture magazine, Barcelona.

BoP sold many copies of his natural science book, Eel (University of North Carolina Press, N.C., 2008) which received praise from the New York Times. It is such a wonderfully researched and written book about one of our most enigmatic and mysterious sea creatures.

Richard Schweid has given us a perceptive, contemporary snapshot of an eel's changing world. The result is a fine piece of archival writing…”       The Times Literary Supplement (cover review)

WRITING POETRY, SATURDAY, November 5, 10-12 p.m.

This is a generative workshop that concentrates on process over product, beginning with the blank page and resulting in your most authentic writing. Through short writing prompts, discover how your life, obsessions, and subject matter can emerge from the personal to  universal. We will also be reading from a selection of poets who have written about voice (list forthcoming).
Poet Alison Woods will also discuss the process of compiling poems into chapbooks, and how she was first recognized by poetry editors and publishers.
Limit: 15 writers
All level of poets welcome.
Cost: $75
Registration required in advance by October 27
Please email to reserve your place.


Alison has been writing and submitting poems for several decades. She has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and her poetry has been published in literary journals and chapbooks, including The Paris Review.  Her first full length chapbook was published in 2020 by Finishing Line Press. Most recently, her poem, "Mint," was included in a prestigious anthology. She received her Master in Fine Arts at Columbia University.


Learn the elements of successful traditional and nontraditional historical fiction, three ways to incorporate history into a novel, the challenges presented by HF and much more.   How can a writer incorporate history into a novel? By using prompts, Lynne Heinzmann will inspire your interest in writing historical fiction and/or increase your skills as a writer. After taking this class, …


Poems come out of wonder, not out of knowing.” – Lucille CliftonFinding one ’s voice is the essential task for any artist. Through specific writing exercises, we will explore pathways into writing poetry and different ways to tap into your natural and unique voice.   THIS CLASS HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. This is a generative workshop that concentrates …


Renowned American illustrator and angler Flick Ford returns to Books on the Pond – this time to catch stripers with BoP’s Captain Ed Everich. Afterwards, we will have a chance to riff on all things fish.   Please join us for conversation on surfcasting, the importance of taxonomic drawings, ocean preservation and the purpose of ‘parlor prints.’ Following our discussion, …


Halloween at BoP is scary. We dress up in horrifying attire. We read terrifying literature. Some of us pull pranks that may make us scream. The wind blows. Candles burn down. A spider may crawl out of the wall as a bat flies overhead. A mouse sneaks out of the barn. Yikes!   Kent J. Starrett reads from his latest …


Reading An evening of sharing fiction and nonfiction stories and poems published in the annual Westerly Writers’ Group anthology. All are welcome. FREE.


BoP Chess for All Ages and Skill Level Come join us for a couple of hours and play some chess. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced skill levels. We will help you find a partner. Boards provided; or bring your own. Three evenings. We will create a tournament schedule during the first event. FREE  


SOLD OUT tour of Ninigret Pond with Declan O’Donnell, marine biologist. What can we do as individuals – visitors and residents – to clean up our salt ponds and protect them? It isn’t that difficult! There are solutions! We can start now!! Tour based on the marvelous book by the late Rhode Island marine biologist, Professor and author, PRENTICE K. …




  Tao Te Ching #44 Fame or integrity: which is more important? Money or happiness: which is more valuable? Success or failure: which is more destructive? If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money. you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the …


BROOKS’ FIVE: OUT OF NEW YORK CITY OLIVER WESTERMEIER, Munich. Selfless Selfies Digital Art Non-fungible token ERC-721 Token ID: 0 9 mb Tif + file archive documentation Minted on July 28, 2021 on Ethereum blockchain New York City is an important part of the art world and international artists drive its cultural scene.  This selected group of artists on view …


How does one become a modern day illustrator of fish? And why are these prints important to our eco system?     Please join us on Saturday, July 31 to find out. Introduction by Captain Ed Everich, captains the tug out of New London, CT. “Flick Ford’s pictures, though realistic, have a certain spiritual quality. His drawings are informed by …


FREEMEN: Why was the 1st Rhode Island Regiment important? The 1st RI Regiment of the Continental Army will be known as the corps of mixed race. Robert Geake, Rhode Island historian and author of thirteen books, will speak about how freemen helped the cause of liberty from Britain’s rule over the colonies.  


  TICKETS ($20) ARE STILL AVAILABLE! as of June 26, 12:45 p.m. Please call 914 450 9598 with any questions. The American eel, found in more freshwater bodies in Rhode Island than any other fish, is a slimy and serpentine creature that emerges from underwater lairs to feed at night. It is the only fish in North America that spends …


For more on Elizabeth Eckel, click here


First Annual Live Auction TO BENEFIT CHARLESTOWN HISTORICAL SOCIETY Featuring 19th Century American Furniture and Earthenware from Charlestown’s Hoxsie Family $20 Tickets include a paddle, Quonnie Siren Oysters, other appetizers and fanfare 50% of proceeds go to CHS


Author: Robert Curley Publisher: Reedy Press, Missouri, 2019 The things you never knew you could do here disprove that Rhode Island is the smallest state in the Union. Del’s Lemonade and Quonnie Sirens – the best oysters ever – will accompany a pleasant summer’s evening with author Robert Gurley as we explore options for adventure in our backyard.


What of the men of the sea – mariners – who joined the cause of freedom against the British?