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MWG monthly meetings are free of charge and open to the public.

Monthly meetings are free of charge and open to the public, and are held in the lower level of the Peterborough Town Library, 2 Concord Street in downtown Peterborough, New Hampshire. Meetings run from 9:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on the third Saturday of the month from September through June, except for May which is held on the second Saturday in deference to Children and the Arts.

Speaker Series for 2018/2019 Season


September 15, 2018 — A Visit to The MacDowell Colony

NOTE: The September 15th meeting will be held at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, not at the Peterborough Town Library. As with all of MWG’s monthly meetings, this meeting is open to the public and free of charge.

The MacDowell Colony, photograph by Patricia Henderson

For the fourth year, Monadnock Writers’ Group will meet at The MacDowell Colony’s Savidge Library in September, thanks to the generosity of the MacDowell staff and the willingness of two current writers in residence to share their process and work with us. It’s a grand way to start, being at the celebrated artists colony that has supported so many artists, composers, playwrights, poets and writers over the years! You can learn more about The MacDowell Colony at their website:

DIRECTIONS: Driving directions from the Peterborough Town Hall (the Intersection of Grove Street and Main Street) to The MacDowell Colony, 100 High Street, Peterborough.
(Total distance from Town Hall to The MacDowell Colony is ONE mile.)

From the intersection of Grove and Main Streets:

  • Go WEST on Main Street for 2/10 mile to VINE Street.
  • Turn RIGHT on VINE Street then an IMMEDIATE LEFT onto HIGH Street.
  • In 3/10 mile the road forks; STAY RIGHT AT THE FORK, STAY on HIGH Street.
  • In 4/10 mile the MacDowell Colony is on the LEFT. TURN LEFT to parking.

WHERE TO PARK: Parking will be in the Colony’s main lot along the pine trees off High Street, with some parking available at the Library located to the left behind the main building.

OCTOBER 20 – Emerson Blake

Though he studied ecology, H. Emerson Blake, or Chip, as he is known to most people, has been ensconced in the world of small publishing, editing, and nature writing.

He has been Orion‘s Editor-in-Chief since 2005, and also serves as the Executive Director of The Orion Society. Previously he was Editor-in-Chief of Milkweed Editions, and before that he served as Orion’s Managing Editor.

Orion is a bimonthly, advertisement-free, magazine focused on nature, culture, and place addressing environmental and societal issues based in Great Barrington, MA.

Chip’s tenure as editor and environmentalist has guided his path through the fields of ecology and literature, cementing his role as a prominent voice in the environmental movement in New England and across the nation.


LOCATION: Peterborough Town Library

NOVEMBER 17 – Elaine Isaak

Elaine IsaakElaine Isaak was born in California in the same year that Tolkien died (which she didn’t find out until much later). She’s lived in Illinois, Massachusetts, and now New Hampshire, with some wonderful summers in Colorado, and a few visits to Seattle thrown in the mix. After feeling like a misfit through Middle School, and finding a group of peers as geeky as myself in High School, she went off to Rhode Island School of Design with some vague notion of working for Jim Henson or Hollywood making creatures. Finding the program there to be too limiting for her needs, she withdrew and came home to seek her fortune (read: to crash at my folk’s house until she figured out what to do with herself). She wound up sewing animal mascot costumes for a rental shop, and free-lance sewing quilt squares and dance outfits. From that, she developed her own business, Curious Characters, creating original design stuffed animals and small-scale metal sculptures.

Elaine Isaak finished her first book and promptly had it rejected by Del Rey. She started her second book, which remains unfinished to this day. She was primarily a poet, and self-published a couple of chapbooks, “Doubles or Metaphors” and “The Intimate Toes of Rome”. Won a couple of poetry slams, met her husband at a poetry reading and founded a poetry group in Nashua, Poets Unbound, which is still thriving to this day. She sold my first short story for the same amount of money as her first paid poem ($10, a much better rate for poetry than for fiction). She attended the Odyssey Speculative Fiction Workshop, which she highly recommends. Took about four years to write her third book, in fits and starts. She had her daughter in 2001 and feared she would never have time to write again. In response, she wrote faster. Productivity fell off a bit after the second child arrived in 2007. Nonetheless, she has just finished her thirteenth novel.

Visit her at

LOCATION: Peterborough Town Library

DECEMBER 15 – Read-around

Our December meeting is the popular Member Read-Around. Please bring a few poems or short excerpts from your writing to share with the group (5-10 minutes of reading time each). Please note that in the interest of time, this is not a critique session. It is your chance to shine and hear your voice within a welcoming, writer community.

The public is welcome to attend and hear Monadnock Writers’ Group members read excerpts from their work.

LOCATION: Peterborough Town Library

JANUARY 19, 2019

William DoreskiWilliam Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in a small house in the woods. He taught at Keene State College for many years, but has now retired to feed the deer and wild turkeys. He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals and several small-press books. His forthcoming book of poetry is The Last Concert (Salmon Press). Visit


David Gonthier JrFor twenty-two years, David Gonthier, Jr. has made a living as a free-lance educator. He has a BA in Drama/Theatre Arts from the University of New Hampshire, an MS in Film from Boston University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. In addition to teaching in the Film department at Keene State College (since 1998), he teaches mindfulness courses in the English department at NHTI in Concord, NH and he is a writing coach at the Online Writing Center at SNHU. He is a published author of short fiction, film articles and two books on film, the most recent one being the first book on the films of British director, Alan Parker. He is also an interdisciplinary creative artist: He is a filmmaker, theatre producer/playwright/director and a guitar player/songwriter. He has been married for twenty years and has a twelve year-old son and twenty-seven year-old stepdaughter.


Eric MastersonWhen not fielding questions about birds, bicycling the migration route of the Broad-winged Hawk from New Hampshire to Panama, or learning how to ride thermals in his hang glider, Eric Masterson coordinates the Harris Center’s land protection and stewardship activities.
He lives with his wife, Tricia, and dog, Rusty, in Hancock.


Jenna LeA Minnesota-born Vietnamese American, Jenna Le works as a physician in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire. Her poetry, fiction, essays, criticism, and translations have been published widely. Le has been a Minnetonka Review Editor’s Prize winner, a two-time Pharos Poetry Competition winner, a William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition finalist, a Michael E. DeBakey Poetry Award finalist, a Pamet River Prize semifinalist, a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a Best of the Net nominee, and a Rhysling Award nominee.

MAY 11

*date change
Yvonne DaleyYvonne Daley moved to Vermont in 1967 as part of the counterculture movement and later became an award-winning journalist for the Boston Globe, Rutland Herald, Washington Post and other publications. Her newest book, Going Up the Country, explores how thousands of young migrants like her, largely from cities and suburbs of New York and Massachusetts, turned their backs on the establishment of the 1950s and moved to Vermont, spawning a revolution in lifestyle, politics, farming, sexuality, and business practices that had a profound impact on the state and the nation.
NOTE: Please note the change of date to avoid conflict with Children and the Arts

JUNE 15 – Annual meeting and Read-around

Our June meeting is the popular Member Read-Around. Please bring a few poems or short excerpts from your writing to share with the group (5-10 minutes of reading time each). Please note that in the interest of time, this is not a critique session. It is your chance to shine and hear your voice within a welcoming, writer community.

The public is welcome to attend and hear Monadnock Writers’ Group members read excerpts from their work.

The public is welcome to attend any Monadnock Writers’ Group meeting.