A free literary evening of brief talks and book signings will take place Thursday, Dec. 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Keney Park Pond House, 323 Edgewood St., Hartford. The event will present 25 local authors, including Vangie Buchanan, Ben Foster, Thirman Milner, Gloria F. Perry, Gary Rhule, William “Rab” Smith and retired Hartford Fire Chief Charles A. Teale Sr. Their works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s books. 860-402-2251 or 860-424-2943.
Ferriss In Bloomfield
Lucy Ferriss, the award-winning Connecticut author of seven books whose essays appear in The New York Times and other publications and is writer-in-residence at Trinity College, will give a free talk on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 6:30 p.m. at P. Faith McMahon Wintonbury Library, 1015 Blue Hills Ave., Bloomfield. The McMahon Wintonbury Book Discussion event will focus on Ferriss’ novel, “A Sister to Honor.” 860-242-0041.
Inside Private Prisons
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest St., Hartford, has postponed a free talk with Lauren-Brooke Eisen, author of “Inside Private Prisons: An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” Originally scheduled for Dec. 14, the event will be held Jan. 11.
When prisons became overcrowded in the 1980s, entrepreneurs sought to profit by building and running private ones, which now earn about $5 billion. Eisen is senior counsel in the Brennan Center's Justice Program, where she works on changing financial incentives in the criminal-justice system. She was an assistant district attorney in New York City, and taught criminal justice at Yale College. Registration: HarrietBeecherStowe.org or 860-522-9258, ext. 317.
A free talk on the book “Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London,” by author and journalist Eric D. Lehman, sponsored by the Middlesex County Historical Society, will be held at Russell Library, 123 Broad St., Middletown, on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m.
Lehman teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Bridgeport, contributes to many publications and is the author of 12 books of fiction, travel and history. His book on the traitorous Connecticut native Arnold chronicles how, in 1781, he led British soldiers and local loyalists in taking Fort Griswold and burning down New London. 860-346-0746 or mchsct.org.
Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, will present a free talk by author and journalist Lennie Grimaldi about “Connecticut Characters: Personalities Spicing Up The Nutmeg State,” on Tuesday, Dec. 12, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Grimladi will discuss some personalities and trailblazers, including actress Linda Blair, politicians John Rowland, Joe Ganim and Ella Grasso, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren and former client Donald Trump, for whom he was a media consultant in the 1990s. Registration: 860-658-7663 or 860-658-3273.
Blades At J. Crew
Nicole Blades, a Connecticut author and journalist who has worked for Essence, ESPN and Women’s Health and has contributed essays to such publications as The New York Times and Washington Post, will read from her second novel, “Have You Met Nora,” on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m., at J. Crew at Westfarms Mall. Her novel, about a successful fashion stylist who appears to be white but is bi-racial, examines controversies over race and identity and the cost of keeping secrets. nicoleblades.com.
Book Club Bookstore & More, 869 Sullivan Ave. South Windsor, will present a free talk by young adult fantasy author Liz Delton on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 6 p.m. Delton will discuss “Meadowcity,” the first book in her planned Arcera Trilogy. 860-432-7411 or bookclubct.com.
Author and writing instructor Susanne Davis will give a talk on “Using Stories to Make a Difference” on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m. at Carriage House Barn at the Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford.
Davis’s Book/Mark talk will focus on “The Appointed Hour,” her short story collection set in Connecticut, to show how stories can make a difference in the world. Tickets are $5. marktwainhouse.org/event/book-mark-susanne-davis-using-stories-make-difference.
Bank Square Books
Bank Square Books, 53 W. Main St., Mystic, will continue its Holiday Gift Guide Signings on Thursday, Dec. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. with Annie Hartnett, author of the quirky and amusing book, “Rabbit Cake,” about a strange Alabama family experiencing the persistence of humor, even after loss. Reservations: 860-536-3795 or email@example.com.
Hickory Stick Bookshop
Rosemary Wells, creator of the Max and Ruby series and author of more than 100 children’s books, will sign copies at The Hickory Stick Bookshop, 2 Green Hill Road, Washington Depot, on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. Her latest is “Say Hello Sophie.” 860-868-0525 or hickorystickbookshop.com.
Holiday Poetry Reading
The Guilford Poets Guild Poetry Series will continue Thursday, Dec. 14, with a Holiday Round Table Poetry Reading, featuring found poems by Guild members at Guilford Free Library, 67 Park St, Guilford, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., following an open mike from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped children's book, new or gently used, for the Branford Community Dining Room. 203-453-5213 or guilfordpoetsguild.org.
Riverwood Poetry Series
Poet Amy King will be the featured reader as the free Riverwood Poetry Series continues on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. at The Universalist Church of West Hartford, 433 Fern St., West Hartford. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. and an open mike will precede the reading. King won the 2015 Women's National Book Association Award and is co-editor of the anthology "Climate Change: Big Energy Poets: Eco-Poetry Thinks Climate Change". Her latest book is "The Missing Museum." riverwoodpoetry.net
Poetry Society Party
The Connecticut Poetry Society will honor four poets who died recently with a reading of their poems at its annual free holiday party on Sunday, Dec. 10, from 2 to 5 p.m., in Butterworth Hall, University of Hartford, 1265 Asylum Ave., Hartford. The poets to be honored are John Ashbery, Derek Walcott, Richard Wilbur and C. D. Wright. The party will include an open mike, refreshments and a wrapped poetry book gift swap. ctpoetry.net or 860-655-3263.
Dressler In Suffield
Mark Dressler will discuss his mystery novel, “Dead and Gone,” at Kent Memorial Library, 61 Ffyler Place, Suffield, on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. In the book, Hartford detective Dan Shields encounters the thug who nearly killed him six years ago. Reservations: 860-668-3896 or suffield-library.org.
Meet Nzima Hutchings
On Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m., Enfield Public Library, 104 Middle Road, Enfield, will present Nzima Hutchings author of “Every Kinda Lady,” a compilation of provocative, candid poems, quotes and stories. Registration: at the library or 860-763-7512. enfieldpubliclibrary.org.
Books About India
Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, Avon, will offer the last of three free talks about books set in India for its International Book Discussion Series on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. The book is “Before We Visit the Goddess” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. 860-673-9712, ext. 225, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mystery Book Discussion
Carole Shmurak, of Farmington, who writes the Susan Lombardi mystery novels, will lead a free discussion at Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St., on Monday, Dec. 11, at noon, for the Simsbury Mystery Group’s series, The Mysterious West, Part 4, on “The Cold Dish” by Craig Johnson. 860-658-7663.