Past Speakers: 2016-2017

September 17, 2016—A Visit to The MacDowell Colony

NOTE: The September 17th 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 a second 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 15th, 2016—Sarah Bauhan

sarahbauhanMusician, book designer and now publisher Sarah Bauhan oversees Bauhan Publishing, an independent publishing company based in Peterborough, NH with a focus on the New England region and “thoughtful books that explore sustainability of both the earth and the spirit.” With an emphasis on well-designed and well-edited books of quality she says book publishing is an art as well as a business venture. To encourage writers and poets, Bauhaun Publishing sponsors the May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize, and a new contest, the Monadnock Essay Collection Prize for a book-length collection of nonfiction essays. You can learn more about Sarah Bauhan and Bauhan Publishing at their website:

November 19th, 2016—Paul Hertneky

Rust Belt Boy book coverAuthor of a new memoir about his childhood in Western Pennsylvania called Rust Belt Boy: Stories of an American Childhood, Paul Hertneky has written stories, essays, and scripts for the  Boston Globe, Athens News, Pittsburgh Post-GazetteNew Hampshire Union Leader, NBC News, The Comedy Channel, Gourmet, Eating Well, Traveler’s Tales, The Exquisite Corpse, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Adbusters and many more.

His work centers on culture, food, industry, the environment, and travel, winning him a Solas Award, and two James Beard Award nominations. A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, he serves on the faculty of Chatham University. You can learn more about Paul Hertneky at his website:

December 17th, 2016—Member Read-Around

The December 17th Member Read-Around is cancelled due to the winter storm.

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 21st, 2017—Christian McEwen

Photograph by Joanna Eldredge Morrissey

Christian McEwen is a freelance writer, workshop leader and cultural activist.  She has edited four anthologies, produced a video documentary and a play, and published several books. Her book, World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down (2011) is now in its sixth printing. It was published by Bauhan Publishing in Peterborough, NH. World Enough & Time is intended as an antidote to contemporary “hurry sickness,” and explores ordinary everyday activities, such as walking, talking, dreaming, and drawing, both as a pleasure in themselves and as a gateway to creative work.

Christian grew up in the Borders of Scotland, and now lives in Williamsburg, MA. Her most recent book is Sparks from the Anvil: The Smith College Poetry Interviews, which appeared in spring 2015. You can learn more about Christian McEwen at her website:

February 18th, 2017—Howard Mansfield

Howard Mansfield Photograph by Annie Card
Photograph by Annie Card

Howard Mansfield’s talk is titled: “Mr. Klein Mows His Lawn: In Praise and Fear of Routine”

Writing about preservation, architecture and American history, Howard Mansfield has contributed to The New York Times, American Heritage, The Washington Post, Historic Preservation, Yankee Magazine and other publications. Mansfield has explored issues of preservation in six books, including In the Memory House, of which The Hungry Mind Review said, “Now and then an idea suddenly bursts into flame, as if by spontaneous combustion. One instance is the recent explosion of American books about the idea of place… But the best of them, the deepest, the widest-ranging, the most provocative and eloquent is Howard Mansfield’s In the Memory House.”

He is on the Board of Trustees of the New Hampshire Historical Society and the advisory board of the Monadnock Institute of Nature, Place and Culture at Franklin Pierce University.  He is an occasional guest on radio and TV shows commenting on issues of historic preservation. He has been a keynote speaker at preservation conferences, and spoken to many historical societies, art museums, and colleges.

March 18th, 2017—Diane Les Becquets

DianeLesBecquets_photoDiane Les Becquets is the author of four novels, including the national bestselling BREAKING WILD from Berkley at Penguin Random House, which has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist, and was selected as an Indie Next Pick for February, as well as one of the ten most addictive books of the year by Kirkus. Her other books include three YA novels for which she was the recipient of a Pen American fellowship, a BCCB Blue Ribbon Award, the Maine Lupine Award, ALA Best Book of the Year, Foreward Reviews Gold Winner Book of the Year, Volunteer State Book Award Selection, and Garden State Book Award Finalist.

She is a faculty member of the MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University, where she was the director for three years, and serves on the board of Back in the Saddle Equestrian Therapy Center. She is an avid outdoorswoman, enjoying archery, bicycling, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and backpacking.

April 15th, 2017—Henry Walters

Henry WaltersPoet Henry Walters, Writer-in-Residence at New Hampshire’s Dublin School was born in Chicago in 1984 and grew up in Indiana and Michigan. He studied Latin and Greek literature at Harvard College, beekeeping in Sicily, and falconry in Ireland. He has worked as a teacher, a naturalist, and a steward of a wildlife sanctuary, and is the recipient of Better Magazine’s 2014 prize for poetry.

Walters is the author of the play, Objects in Mirror, and a collection of poems, Field Guide A Tempo, which has been named a finalist for the 2016 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He lives in a house he built himself in the beech and hemlock woods of southern New Hampshire.

May 20th, 2017—Dan Szczesny

Dan SzczesnyDan Szczesny is a long-time journalist and author living in New Hampshire. His books include The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie, a hiking memoir about a one year, 225-mile journey through some of New Hampshire’s least known wilderness with his 10-year-old foster daughter. Also, The Nepal Chronicles, about a month long trek to Everest Base Camp and marriage in Kathmandu.

His first collection of fiction, Sing and Other Short Stories, and includes a variety of short fiction spanning Dan’s 25 year career as a writer and journalist. His latest book, Mosquito Rain: Alaskan Travel Essays is an illustrated travelogue of Dan and his wife’s journey to discover the true meaning of the Last Frontier. Dan is also the Editor of Murder Ink, a series of New England-based Pulp Fiction anthologies set in or around the newsroom. Volume Two is set for release in 2017. You can learn more about his work at his website:

June 17th, 2017—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.