NEWS: May 2010

Vol. 3, No. 5

In This Issue:

Banner Image: Athenaeum Book Sale. Photo by Jim Carroll.



Our Athenaeum book sale opened for members on April 28th in the evening and runs through Saturday, May 1st, with hours from 10AM to 4PM each day. This sale would not be possible without the wonderful donations of Athenaeum members and the many volunteer hours spent sorting and pricing books as well as staffing the sale itself. Thank you to all of the volunteers!

The book sale leads us into Literary May, when we have scheduled three programs designed to appeal to the literary in all of us: the Athenaeum Literary Award, “Crime Does Pay,” a panel of local mystery and detective writers, and finally the Saturnalia Books poetry reading. This is our first Literary May, but it follows a tradition of giving the Literary Award which extends back to 1949.


Above: Athenaeum canvas book bag available at the book sale.  Photo by Jim Carroll.


Banner Image: Athenaeum Book Sale. Photo by Jim Carroll.


New Books for May

Athenaeum Bookshelf  05-2010

Literary Award Presentation

The 2009 Literary Award winner is Richard Beeman for his book Plain Honest Men, The Making of the American Constitution.


An historian of late 18th-century America, Richard Beeman enlivens an account of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia.  The heat of the summer, a tense atmosphere, and the need for compromise bring the Convention delegates to their decisions.  Lauded by one reviewer as the "most authoritative, up-to-date treatment of the Constitutional Convention since Catherine Drinker Bowen's Miracle at Philadelphia of 1966, Plain Honest Men lends new depth to our understanding of the beginnings of the United States and the composition of the world's most enduring national constitution. 


Wednesday, May 5, 2010



Free for Members and Non-Members.  RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688, or

Crime Does Pay

Join local authors William Lashner, Merry Jones, George Anastasia, Gerald Kolpan, Jonathan Levitan, and moderator Cordelia Frances Biddle for a lively discussion of the art of mystery and suspense writing.  Whether the genre is historical, thriller, traditional, or true crime with plots ripped out of the daily headlines, our experts will reveal their fascination with all things dangerous and sinister.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Reception: 5:30
Panel: 6:00pm
Book signing to follow.

Free for Members and Non-Members.  RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688, or


Shakespeare Workshop

Ejner Jensen, Professor Emeritus of the University of Michigan, will offer a workshop on "Shakespeare's Comic Practice."  In this session, Professor Jensen will lead the group in exploring elements of Shakespearean comedy on a number of levels ranging from the design of entire plays, to the development of scenes, to the creation of characters.  He will use film excerpts to illustrate lecture materials and to initiate discussion.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Members: $25
Non-Members: $35

Register here

Poetry Readings from Saturnalia Books

Join us for an evening of poetry with Saturnalia Books, Philadelphia's local poetry press.  Carl Phillips, Margaret Ronda, Sabrina Orah Marks, and Kristi  Maxwell will share their work with us in this showcase of Saturnalia poets.

Saturnalia Books' mission is to publish literary works, primarily poetry, of high merit, by new and established writers; to encourage collaboration between poets and visual artists, particularly in book form; and to encourage the publication of literature of a non-commercial and challenging nature.

Thursday, May 20, 2010
Reception and book signing to follow.

Free for Members and Non-Members.  RSVP to Susan Gallo at 215-925-2688, or

Save the Date:  

May 5: Literary Award Program, Richard Beeman, Plain Honest Men, 5:30pm

May 11: Socrates Cafe, 11:00am

May 12: Crime Does Pay author panel, 5:30pm

May 18: Shakespeare Workshop, 3:30pm

May 20: Saturnalia Books Poetry Reading, 6:00pm

June 2: Jennifer Lee Carrell Lecture, 5:30pm


See the Event Calendar for details and additional events.

The Athenaeum is open 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday-Friday and the first Saturday of the month from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Group tours and research visits are by appointment only. Please visit our website for more information, or call 215-925-2688.


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