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Programs & Exhibitions

The Library offers free public classes, programs, and exhibitions at its 10 locations throughout the city of Hartford. Below is a selection of upcoming events.

Jump to: Programs / Exhibits / Hip Hop Nation

To submit a public program or exhibition proposal, click here.


Hartford Public Library is pleased to offer the opportunity for local writers to showcase their latest publication and connect with library visitors. HPL will publicize your appearance and will make available your book in the circulating collection. Hartford authors will be given first consideration. Please contact 860.695.6322 for more information.


Deivone Tanksley, A Mother's Pain, Part II: Pain, Guilt and Success

November 2, 12pm-3pm

This is the story of twin brothers, both with a passion to play professional sports, and how life took them each to unexpected places. Within the narrative is a lesson about the choices that we make in life as teens and young adults, and how these choices can impact the ones that we love.

Nicole Blades, The Thunder Beneath Us

November 15, 12pm-3 pm

To the world, Best Lightburn is a talented magazine writer, girlfriend of a gorgeous actor, and friend to New York City’s fabulous….but a secret about a tragic childhood accident is threatening to shatter her charmed life. The Thunder Beneath Us is "a fascinating look at the way people process their own survival in the wake of death, and the many ways the past can wreak havoc in the present.”—Publishers Weekly

Chief Teale's Tools of Learning

Mondays & Wednesdays, 6-6:45 pm
8 weeks, beginning Mon. Oct. 24
Hartford History Center

> Focusing on how to learn, understand, and remember information for both academic and professional success
> Classes are progressive in nature
> Free to beginning and advanced readers ages 18+
> Registration is required; call 860.695.6320

Retired Hartford Fire Chief Charles A. Teale Sr. is on a mission to teach Hartford adults his motivational tools for learning, based on one simple belief: You should never teach anyone anything unless you have first taught them how to learn, how to understand, and how to remember that information.




Woven Threads, Woven Lives
Hands-on Project

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
10 am-1 pm on the ArtWalk
Drop-ins welcome

Artist Sandy Fromson invites you to the ArtWalk to take a turn at weaving using your choice of materials. On hand will be silk sari strips, cotton strips, novelty yarns, and a variety of wool and cotton threads.  Individuals are also welcome to bring materials of their own suitable for weaving.

You may sign up in advance for a time slot onsite.








Poets on Poetry Series

The Connecticut Poetry Society continues its monthly poetry book group discussions this fall and meets on the fourth Saturday of the month at the downtown library from 10:15am-12:15pm.  Poets on Poetry is free and open to the public.   For further information, visit

Gwendolyn Brooks presented by Kate Rushin

Saturday, November 26, 10:15 am-12:15 pm

Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950, for her second collection, Annie Allen.  Kate Rushin will lead a discussion of Brooks’ poetry, including “We Real Cool”.

Kate Rushin holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University, and is the author of The Black Back-Ups, and My Lord, What a Morning, poems in honor of Marian Anderson.  Kate serves on The CT Young Writers Trust and the CT Poetry Circuit at Manchester Community College, and has previously run poetry workshops at Hartford Public Library and Poetry Out Loud workshops for the CT Humanities Foundation.

Spoken Word Workshops
with Iron Poets

Barbour Branch
Tuesday, Sept. 27 & Thursday, Sept. 29, 4:30 - 6 pm

Park Branch
Monday, Oct. 3 & Tuesday 4, 4:30 – 6 pm

Blue Hills Branch
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 4:30-6 pm & Friday, Oct. 7, 3:30-5 pm

Ropkins Branch
Monday Oct. 24 & Wednesday Oct. 26, 4-5:30 pm



MK Asante, Buck: A Memoir
book talk & signing

Tuesday, October 25, 5:30-7:30 pm
Center for Contemporary Culture

MK Asante is a best-selling author, award-winning filmmaker, rapper, and professor who CNN calls “a master storyteller and major creative force.” He will be discussing one of his four books, Buck: A Memoir, which was praised by Maya Angelou as “A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style.” Buck made the Washington Post best-seller list in 2014 and 2015 and is a NAACP Image Award finalist. Asante is a prize-winning filmmaker and a Sundance™ Screenwriting Fellow for the movie adaptation of Buck. Asante is a Distinguished Professor-in-Residence at the MICA School of Ideas in India and a tenured professor of creative writing and film at Morgan State University.

Books will be for sale & light refreshments will be served.

Check out Buck book trailer here!

Download Buck soundtrack for free!  

Candidate Forum: U.S. House of Representatives

Wednesday, October 26, 5:30-7:30 pm
Center for Contemporary Culture

Join Hartford Votes/Hartford Vota Coalition and the League of Women Voters for a forum featuring the candidates for Connecticut's 1st District, U.S. House of Representatives: Incumbent John B. Larson (D) and challengers Matthew M. Corey (R) and S. Michael DeRosa (G).

Light refreshments will be served.

The Fragrance That Remains:
A Memoir-Writing Experience for Older Adults with Author Cindy Brown Austin

Tuesdays, 5:30-7:30 pm: October 4, 11, 18, 25 and November 1 and 15 (no class November 8)
Hartford History Center

The Fragrance That Remains is a series of six memoir-writing workshops designed to create a unique and inspiring literary adventure for older adults aged 55 and up who are interested in becoming better acquainted with the methods and forms of memoir writing. Workshops will help writers sift through their treasury of personal memories in order to identify and share the sacred experiences and milestones of their lives. Workshops will be led by teaching artist and local author Cindy Brown Austin.

Class size is limited; registration required. Register today! Call 860.695.6297 or email to register.

Support made possible by Ensworth Charitable Trust Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

UConn Writing Center at HPL

Upcoming: November 5 & December 3
Wallace Stevens Writing Room, 3rd floor
12:00-4:00 pm

First-Come, First-Serve: please sign up upon arrival for about an hour of attention

Students, Graduate Students, and Professors from UConn Hartford. We are people interested in writing in all its forms. We believe the best writing comes as part of a dialogue.

You bring your writing to us and we discuss it with you. Any Stage of Writing: Planning, Drafting, or Revising—it’s all Welcome. Any Kind of Writing: Academic: Essays/Writing for Classes. Professional: Resumes, Cover Letters, Applications. Creative: Stories Long & Short, Poetry, Non-Fiction. Personal: Letters, Memoirs. Multiple Levels of Attention. Conceptual: Content, Theme, & Organization. Mechanical: Sentence Structure, Clarity, & Grammar.

A Celebration of Textiles:
A Reception with the
Hartford Artisan Weavers and
Simply Crazy Quilters

Wednesday, October 26, 12-1:30 pm

The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center is a non-profit organization that teaches and promotes the craft of handweaving to the community, especially committed to persons with low or no vision and those 55 years of age and older. Their exhibition at Hartford Public Library runs until October 31.

The Simply Crazy Quilting Classes met for eight weeks each under the instruction of teaching artist Irma Nelson. The energetic and enthusiastic classes worked hard to learn the basics of quilting, and their final projects showcase their dedication and creativity. Their crazy quilts have been exhibited throughout the city of Hartford.

Reception is free and open to the public.

The 21st Annual Wallace Stevens Birthday Bash

Saturday, November 5, 2016, 2:00pm; Center for Contemporary Culture

The Twenty-First Annual WALLACE STEVENS BIRTHDAY BASH will be Saturday, Nov. 5, 2 pm, in the Center for Contemporary Culture, at Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St. Author and teacher Glen MacLeod will talk about “Wallace Stevens and Modern Art: Duchamp, Picasso, Matisse.”

Wallace Stevens was deeply interested in the visual arts and habitually thought in terms of analogies between poetry and painting.  He modernized himself and wrote his first mature poems in the midst of the New York Dada movement in the 1910s.  After moving to Hartford he drew inspiration from the Wadsworth Atheneum which was the most modern museum in America during the 1930s.  Stevens’ breakthrough poem “The Man with the Blue Guitar” was inspired by Picasso, the leader of modern art.  His late poetry contains an homage to Matisse, Picasso’s chief rival, who was perhaps equally important to Stevens.

 MacLeod is Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Waterbury.  He is the author of “Wallace Stevens and Company:  The Harmonium Years, 1913-1923 (1983)” and “Wallace Stevens and Modern Art: From the Armory Show to Abstract Expressionism (1993.)” He is editor of a collection of essays, “Wallace Stevens in Context,” to be be published by Cambridge University Press in March 2017.

The original guest speaker, writer and teacher Paul Mariani, withdrew because of health issues.

Suggested donation is $10. RSVP to  Jim Finnegan,, 860-508-2810

For more information, visit:












Consulate General of Mexico in New York
"Consulate on Wheels"

November 16, 17 & 18, 10:00 am—1:30 pm
Center for Contemporary Culture

The Consulate General of Mexico in New York will visit Hartford Public Library with the “Consulate on Wheels” on three consecutive days, providing consular services Mexican nationals in the greater Hartford area.

Passport, consular ID cards, and birth certificate/dual citizenship services will be available.

Appointments: According to the Regulations for the Mobile Consulates and Consulates on Wheels, consular services must be provided by appointments only.  These appointments ARE FREE and can be made by calling 1-877-MEXITEL (1-877-639-4835), from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Monday to Friday) and from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Saturday and Sunday) or online at:

or also with the APP; MiConsulmex:

For more information, contact the Consulate directly by telephone: (1-877-639-4835),

Or visit the website at:

Haga clic aquí para español.




ArtWalk at Hartford Public Library offers one of the largest and most stunning exhibition spaces in greater Hartford and the opportunity for Hartford residents and others to view art in a magnificent setting in our city.

Sandra Bender Fromson and Ellen Schiffman

Open through November 27, 2016

Sandra Bender Fromson is primarily a fiber artist whose work incorporates felting, weaving, quilting, embroidery, and dyeing  and she takes her inspiration for materials, colors, and textures from nature. Her textile pieces are presented in the context of their creation; her floor loom, shuttles, and garment patterns are part of the display.

Ellen Schiffman, a fiber artist working sculpturally, spent a year filling a shadow box per week with explorations of methods and materials. The resulting 52-box visual diary, presented as a cohesive whole and employing both traditional and experimental techniques, questions the boundaries of what fiber art can be.



Stretching the Limits of Plain Weave:
Hartford Artisans Weaving Center Exhibit

August 31—October 31

The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center is a non-profit organization that teaches and promotes the craft of handweaving to the community, especially committed to persons with low or no vision and those 55 years of age and older.

This exhibit features works created with the “plain weave” technique.  Although plain weave is the simplest fabric to create, the artisans explored complex color variations, texture differences, and spacing changes to create different effects and distinct designs.

Items will be offered for sale and proceeds benefit the work of the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center.  The HAWC is supported in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign and the United Way Community Campaign.

The Road Not Taken:
A Do-It-Yourself Social Impact Project

On view at

The Road Not Taken was on view at the Hartford Public Library in the Fall of 2015. Exhibition co-producer Thea Montanez worked with her cousin, Eddie Delberto, who is serving 60 years at Cheshire Correctional Institution. He is a member of the Lifers Group. Childhood photos of lifers are accompanied by written descriptions or where and who they were when the photo was taken.

Hartford Public Library's Digital Art Tour

On view here

Join us on a tour of Hartford Public Library’s collection of visual art. The collection includes 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works in both indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces. You’ll learn the history behind the works of art among which you live and work every day.

Hartford Times: Voices of Change

On view here

View the online exhibition documenting the Civil Rights movement in Hartford in the 1960s. Photos are from the Hartford Times, and include buses leaving Hartford in 1963 to attend Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream" speech in Washington DC, civil rights activists boarding a plane at Bradley Field to march in Selma and Montgomery, AL, and housing protests in the North End of Hartford in 1967.