Past Speakers: 2017-2018

Speaker Series for 2017/2018 Season

September 16, 2017—A Visit to The MacDowell Colony

NOTE: The September 16th 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 third 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 21, 2017—Gloria Norris

Gloria Norris grew up in the Elmwood Gardens housing project in Manchester, New Hampshire. Her true crime memoir, KooKooLand, was called ‘electrifying’ by Oprah’s magazine and was named as one of NPR’s best books of 2016. It is a bracingly funny and chilling story of a young girl’s gutsy journey to escape her charismatic yet cruel father’s reign—an unforgettable story of survival.

Gloria began her career in New York as an assistant to film directors Brian De Palma, Martin Scorsese, and Woody Allen. Since relocating to Los Angeles, she has worked as a screenwriter with assignments that have taken her from Paris to the Amazon. As an independent producer, her films have premiered at the Sundance, Toronto, and Tribeca Film festivals. You can learn more about Gloria at her website:

November 18, 2017—Joni B. Cole

Photo Credit: Helmut Baer

Joni B. Cole is the author of the new release Good Naked: Reflections on How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier, recently included in Poets & Writers list of “Best Books for Writers.” Joni is also the author of the acclaimed book on writing Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive, and Another Bad-Dog Book: Essays on Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior. Joni teaches in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College, serves on the creative writing faculty of the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and is founder of the Writer’s Center of White River Junction, Vermont. She is also a frequent contributor to The Writer magazine, and leads expressive writing workshops for a diversity of social service programs. Joni has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and USA Fellowship Award. You can learn more about Joni at her website:

December 16, 2017—Member 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.

January 20, 2018—Melanie Brooks

Melanie Brooks is a freelance writer, college professor, and mother living in Nashua, New Hampshire with her husband, two children and yellow Lab. She’s the author of WRITING HARD STORIES: CELEBRATED MEMOIRISTS WHO SHAPED ART FROM TRAUMA (Beacon Press, 2017). Melanie received her master of fine arts in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program. She teaches at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, Merrimack College in Andover, Massachusetts, and Nashua Community College in New Hampshire.

Her work has appeared in the Washington PostCreative NonfictionLiterary HubBrevity’s Nonfiction BlogBustle, the Huffington Post, Modern Loss, and other publications.  Her almost-completed memoir explores the lasting impact of living with the ten-year secret of her father’s HIV disease before his death in 1995. Her writing is the vehicle through which she’s learning to understand that impact.

February 17, 2018—Tammi Traux

Tammi Traux, a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, works with young writers and readers at a Portsmouth elementary school and as a Connections program facilitator for the NH Humanities Council teaching new adult readers. She has lived and worked in New Hampshire, Maine and Germany, and has taught in a variety of nontraditional settings from preschool to prison. In 2008, with NH poet Kyle Potvin, Tammi founded the non-profit The Prickly Pear Poetry Project: Processing the Cancer Experience Through Poetry, a workshop that the two deliver at hospitals, oncology centers and churches.

She was editor of a new release of Lady Wentworth; A Poet’s Tale by Henry Longfellow (illustrated) (Bookbaby, 2013), and released her debut novel Broken Buckets, as an eBook that year. She is a published poet in seven anthologies, including The Widows’ Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival, edited by J. Lapidus and L. Menn, with a foreword by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Kent State University Press, 2014), and has a short story in an anthology called Compass Points (Piscataqua Press, 2015). A volume of her poetry is due out in February 2018 by Hobblebush Books. Her work can also be found in several journals, newspapers, magazines, and online, including at The Huffington Post.

In 2014 Tammi was the first winner of The Provenance Prize for creative short fiction, and in 2013 and 2015 was selected to be one of the writers at A Room of Her Own Foundation’s retreat at Georgia O’Keefe’s ranch in New Mexico. In 2015 and 2016 Tammi was awarded the Buffler Poetry Residency at Portsmouth High School. She was also chosen in 2015 to attend Vermont’s When Words Count writing retreat. The Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance awarded her a scholarship to attend the 2016 Slice Literary Writers’ Conference in NYC, and she was recently selected to attend The Tin House summer workshop and The Salty Quill Retreat for Women Writers. Tammi has just been named the Maine Beat Poet Laureate for 2018-2020.

Children’s literature is a lifelong passion and she has several picture books ready for a publisher. The project she is working on now is a historical novel-in-verse for middle grade readers. She writes from her home in southern Maine, and is seeking representation for her work.

March 17, 2018—Linda Reilly

Photo Credit: Harper Point Photography

Linda Reilly is the author of the Deep Fried Mysteries published by Berkley Prime Crime, and of the Cat Lady Mysteries published by Kensington’s Lyrical Press. Armed with a degree in Criminal Justice, she once contemplated a career in law enforcement. But life took a twist, and instead she found her niche in real estate closings and title examination, where the dusty tomes in the Registry of Deeds enticed her into solving mysteries of a different sort.

A dyed-in-the-wool New Englander, Linda is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She lives in southern New Hampshire with her husband, who affectionately calls her “Nose-in-a-Book.” You can visit her on the web at

April 21, 2018—Mark Timney

Mark Timney is an award winning journalist, educator and mass communicator with more than 30 years of professional experience. He has been teaching media law and ethics at Keene State College for the past 16 years.

Checklist for Libel: Libel law can be confusing, especially when you’re on deadline and there’s a possibility of defamation. This presentation is designed to help anyone who has concerns about libel reduce their legal exposure. Participants will be guided through a libel checklist that examines defamation law through a series of(relatively)simple questions. As soon as you answer “no” to a question libel shouldn’t be an issue. Keep answering “yes” to these questions and you’re on shaky legal ground.

May 19, 2018—Gary Margolis

Gary Margolis is Associate Professor of English and American Literatures (part-time) at Middlebury College. His third book Fire in the Orchard was nominated for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. His poem “The Interview” was featured on National Public Radio’s “The Story.” His fourth book of poems, Below the Falls is a book that responds to the loss of Middlebury College student, Nicholas Garza, our country’s wars, and the things that sustain us.

In 2015 he published Raking the Winter Leaves: New and Selected Poems (Bauhan Publishing, Peterborough). Runner Without a Number (Wind Ridge Publishing Voices of Vermonters) is his latest book, published in 2016.

June 16, 2018—Member 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.