Check out these upcoming literary events in the Lancaster area!
Millersville Literary Festival – McNairy Library Reading Room
Thursday, November 7: 4pm Readings/Reception, 7:30pm Keynote
Friday, November 8: 9am Panel Presentations, 12pm Lunch, 3-5pm Readings
More Information Coming Soon
Wait Until Dark: Tuesday, October 8, 8pm (pay what you want)
- A mysterious doll mistakenly smuggled into the country possesses secrets that puts a young couple in serious danger, especially the blind homemaker. This cult classic will have you on the edge of your seat, minute after pulsating minute. Left home alone and to her own devices, Susan is forced to defend herself against con men, who are after the doll and its goods. A clever cat-and-mouse game of deception becomes more dangerous when the doll disappears! The game takes a drastic turn when the lights go out!
August Wilson’s Radio Golf: Sunday in Late October TBD
- Successful real estate developer Harmond Wilks is on a mission to become Pittsburgh’s first black mayor by doing whatever it takes to transform his childhood neighborhood from blighted to bustling. But when he learns the truth about his family’s legacy, he is forced to decide whether he will finish what he started or fight to preserve his community’s history. This fast-paced, crackling conclusion to August Wilson’s unparalleled 10-play The American Century Cycle examining the African-American experience in the 20th century is “surprising, suspenseful and crowd-pleasing” (The New York Times), and draws striking parallels to the issues we still face today.
Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel: Every Thursday 7-9pm
- The Cartel is a weekly reading series founded in 1999, has featured many talented writers, poets, and artists as well as an exciting and growing list of guest readers and headliners. All are welcome–bring your own poetry, poetry you love, or just an open ear.
An Evening with John Leland: Saturday, September 21, 6-8pm
This September, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome bestselling author John Leland to Harrisburg as he presents his new book, Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old. This event is free and open to the public.
Harrisburg Book Festival: Thursday, October 3, 7pm – Sunday, October 6, 7pm
- Now in its seventh year, the Harrisburg Book Festival is proudly hosted by the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. Featuring an annual tent sale, award-winning authors, children’s illustrators, emerging novelists, acclaimed historians — surrounded by hundreds of thousands of books at one of the nation’s most celebrated independent bookstores — the Harrisburg Book Festival aims to amplify and celebrate diverse literature for all ages. All events are free and open to the public.
Nathaniel Gadsen’s Spoken Word Cafe: Every Other Friday, 7-9pm
Join Nathaniel Gadsden’s Spoken Word Café for a time of poetry and storytelling. This event is free and open to the public.
LGBT Book Club: Every Third Sunday of the Month, 4:30-5:30pm
- Join the LGBT Book Club every third Sunday of the month for a discussion on this month’s book!
Eleanor Gordon-Smith: Wednesday, October 23, 7-9pm
This October, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome author Eleanor Gordon-Smith to Harrisburg as she presents her new book, Stop Being Reasonable: How We Really Change Our Minds. This event is free and open to the public.
An Evening with John Witherow: Thursday, October 24, 7-9pm
- The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome local author John Witherow to Harrisburg as he presents his new novel, The Gap: Fort Indiantown. This event is free and open to the public. The Gap is a coming-of-age story that poses questions about the wisdom of the current drug war while employing themes from another lost war.
An Evening with Stephen Fried: Wednesday, November 6, 7-9pm
The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome bestselling author Stephen Fried to Harrisburg as he discusses his new book, Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father. This event is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow discussion.
Henry Hemming: Saturday, November 9, 5-7pm
The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome bestselling espionage author Henry Hemming to Harrisburg as he presents his new book, Agents of Influence: A British Campaign, a Canadian Spy, and the Secret Plot to Bring America into World War II. This event is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow discussion.
Faculty Writers: Eve Bratman: Tuesday, September 24, 4:30-5:30pm
- Eve Bratman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environment. She is a political ecologist who has a PhD in international relations from American University. Her book, Governing the Rainforest, is based on ten years of research concerning development policies, infrastructure, conservation, and human rights in the Brazilian Amazon. This event is free and open to the public.
Hausman Lecture Craft Talk: Alice McDermott: Tuesday, October 1, 4:30-5:30pm
- Alice McDermott’s eighth novel, The Ninth Hour, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in September 2017. She has received the Whiting Writers Award, the Carington Award for Literary Excellence, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for American Literature. Established through an endowment by Richard Hausman ’50, P’85 and Edna Hausman P’85, the Hausman Lecture has brought prominent writers to campus for lectures, readings and workshops since 1982.
Will to Read: Shakespeare Aloud: Thursday, October 3, 7-9pm (Monthly)
- Do you enjoy Shakespeare? If so, join this monthly reading/viewing/discussion group on Thursday evenings 7-9pm at the Writers House. We will simply read selected scenes, watch recorded stage and screen performances of those scenes, and talk about it all. No preparation, experience, or expertise required–only enthusiasm! The second play is Henry IV. This event is free and open to the public.
A Reading with Jamie Beth Cohen: Tuesday, October 15, 7:30-8:30pm
- Jamie Beth Cohen is a writer who works in higher education. She writes about difficult things, but her friends think she’s funny. Her non-fiction has appeared in TeenVogue.com, The Washington Post/On Parenting, Salon, and several other outlets. Her debut novel, Wasted Pretty, was published in April 2019.
Playwriting in a Plotless World: Thursday, November 21, 11:30-12:30pm
- Paula Vogel is Franklin & Marshall College’s tenth annual Lapine Family Visiting Theatre Artist. She has written How I Learned to Drive (Pulitzer Prize, New York Drama Critics Award, Obie Award, Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and many more) and many more plays.
The Interpreters – On Screen/In Person: Thursday, September 26, 7pm
Local interpreters were key to recent US war efforts, but now many face danger in their countries because of their affiliation. This is the moving story of how they are rebuilding their lives, told through an Iraqi who was able to make it to the US with the help of an American soldier he befriended, an Afghan who is still working as an interpreter in Kabul despite threats to his life, and another who fled with his family as refugees to Turkey. Run Time: 75 minutes. The evening begins in Steinman Hall with a pre-showing activity or community panel at 6:15 PM, and a post-show Q+A with the film’s director.
- An onstage celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Rita Smith Wade-El featuring the best of Lancaster’s African-American performing arts community including such artists as the Imani-Edutainers, Maria and Kiana Corley, CoCo Coleman, Gerri MrGritty, Tyrell, and others, all performing brief tributes to Rita in the respective genres – dance, vocal and instrumental music, spoken-word, and more! Free and open to the public.
- Badger Creek is a portrait of Native-American resilience as seen through a year in the life of three generations of a Blackfeet family living on the reservation in Montana.The Thick Dark Fog is the story of Walter Littlemoon who attended a federal Indian boarding school in South Dakota sixty years ago. The mission of many of these schools in 1950, was still to “kill the Indian and save the man.” The children were not allowed to speak their language or express their cultural identity in any way. Total Run Time: 84 minutes. The evening begins in Steinman Hall with a pre-showing activity or community panel at 6:15 PM, and a post-show Q+A with the film’s director.
- Gods mix with mortals, a feuding king and queen unleash magical practical jokes on one another, spells yield improbable love affairs and a band of comical wanderers enter into an enchanted woods and are transformed in the most unlikely ways in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s most popular and enduring comedy. Discounted MU Student tickets available at a ticket office location with a valid ID; limit 2 per ID. Early reservations are strongly encouraged because Rafters Theatre has limited seating.
- DETROIT 48202 examines the rise, demise, and contested resurgence of Detroit through the lens of an utterly charming African-American mail carrier, Wendell Watkins, and the community of committed residents he faithfully served for thirty years. We take a journey with Wendell along his route, winding through the center of what was, once upon a time, a vital and thriving city. Run Time: 80 minutes. The evening begins in Steinman Hall with a pre-showing activity or community panel at 6:15 PM, and a post-show Q+A with the film’s director.
The 24 Hour Plays: Saturday, October 5, 7pm
- Six writers, six directors, twenty-five actors, and one production team will write, rehearse, and perform six short plays in a 24 hour period. The process begins Friday evening, October 4, with writers choosing actors from a pool of talent. The six writers work through the night and hand their work to directors early Saturday morning, October 5, the day of the performance. After negotiating for their choice of play, directors, along with their play’s actors and a crew of stage technicians, prepare for the 7 pm performance. All tickets are free to reserve, and there is no obligation, or suggested minimum, to pay. Tickets can be reserved through Eventbrite.
Poetry Readings: Every Second Thursday, 7-8:30pm
- Each month The Turning Wheel welcomes a featured writer from around the region to share their work with our community. After the featured reading, there will be our usual, all-genre open mic. Bring your poems and short prose pieces to share!
The Nightingale: Friday, September 20 and Saturday, September 21
- Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.
Manhattan Short Film Festival: September 27 – October 6
- Manhattan Short is not a touring festival; rather, it is an instantaneous celebration that occurs simultaneously across the globe, bringing great films to great venues and allowing the audiences to select their favorites. If the Film Festival experience truly is about getting great works in front of as many eyes as possible, Manhattan Short offers the ultimate platform — one that sees its films screened in Sydney, Mumbai, Moscow, Kathmandu, Vienna, Cape Town to cinemas in all fifty states of the United States and beyond.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Sunday,October 6, 7pm
- 50th Anniversary Event! Monty Python and the Holy Grail loosely follows the legend of King Arthur. Arthur along with his squire, Patsy, recruits his Knights of the Round Table, including Sir Bedevere the Wise, Sir Lancelot the Brave, Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot and Sir Galahad the Pure. On the way Arthur battles the Black Knight who, despite having had all his limbs chopped off, insists he can still fight. They reach Camelot, but Arthur decides not to enter, as “it is a silly place”.
ACLU-PA Presents, Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook: Monday, October 7, 7:30pm
- Narrated by Jeffrey Wright, and shot during the chaotic 2016 election, the film identifies and unpacks a shrewd ten-part strategy to suppress the vote, from creating new barriers to voter registration, to purging American citizens from the voting rolls without notice, to new and deliberate impediments to casting a vote. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Alex Domingos, Organizer, Campaign for Smart Justice. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited so an RSVP is requested. Email your name and quantity of tickets needed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
GLAS Presents: Animation Next: Friday, October 11 – Sunday, October 13
- The best-of-the-best from the groundbreaking annual GLAS Animation Festival in Berkeley, CA. Showcasing seven bold new shorts from the newest generation to redefine what’s possible in the medium, ANIMATION NEXT takes you on a prismatic journey ranging from subterranean nightmares to sun-soaked coming of age stories — each exploring themes that most grip the modern world. For more info, visit glasanimation.com
Winterbeast: Thursday, October 24, 7:30pm
- Join us for the 3rd film in the So Bad! So Good! Series. Presented and Introduced by Bradley Lyndon. The finest, and possibly only movie ever made in Newbury, New Hampshire, it’s a head-scratching tour-de-force of incoherent plot twists, continuity errors, bizarre non-sequitors, cheap effects and clunky performances. It’s even got props borrowed from a Dokken music video! It’s a bizarre train wreck of a movie that somehow transcends its own ineptitude to become an endlessly entertaining anti-masterpiece.
ACLU-PA Presents: Reversing Roe: Monday, November 4, 7:30pm
- Forty-five years after it revolutionized abortion law in America, the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade is once again at a crossroads. In their timely new documentary, filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg present a deeply illuminating look of the state of abortion and women’s rights in America. The film offers candid and riveting interviews with key figures from both sides of the divide. Intense and unflinching in its commitment to telling the whole story, the film provides a gripping look at what’s happening on the ground in 2018. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Marianne Stein, ACLU-PA Legislative Associate. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited so an RSVP is requested. Email your name and quantity of tickets needed to: email@example.com
Arrival: Thursday, November 21, 6:30pm
- Taking place after alien crafts land around the world, an expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. Film introduced by Dennis Weiss and followed by conversation and cocktails.