Saturday, April 22, 2017

Conversation With Author Mary Newman

Join us as Mary Newman presents her book “Edible Flowers” at the Holyoke Public Library on Monday, May 15 at 6:30pm.
Most of us like to look at them, but why on earth would anyone want to eat them? As Constance L. Kirker and Mary Newman show in this book, however, flowers have a long history as a tasty ingredient in a variety of cuisines. The Greeks, Romans, Persians, Ottomans, Mayans, Chinese, and Indians all knew how to cook with them for centuries, and today contemporary chefs use them to add something special to their dishes.

Edible Flowers is the fascinating history of how flowers have been used in cooking, from ancient Greek dishes to the today’s molecular gastronomy and farm-to-table restaurants. Looking at flowers’ natural qualities: their unique and beautiful appearance, their pungent fragrance, and their surprisingly good taste, Kirker and Newman proffer a bouquet of dishes—from soups to stews to desserts to beverages—that use them in interesting ways. Tying this culinary history into a larger cultural one, they show how flowers’ cultural, symbolic, and religious connotations have added value and meaning to dishes in daily life and special occasions. From fried squash blossoms to marigold dressings, this book rediscovers the flower not just as something beautiful but as something absolutely delicious.

The event is free and open to the public; copy of the book is available at the Library to borrow and read before the event.

For further questions on this entertaining event, please contact or413-420-8101.

Conversation with Local Author series are relaxed conversations between our members and an outstanding member of our author community.

Parking available along the street in front of the new entrance to the library and in generous lots adjacent to and immediately across the street from the library.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Experience The Labyrinth Walk with Cathy Rigali and Sister Lorry Villemarie

Need to clear your mind, find inner peace or ‘center’ yourself? Try walking the stone labyrinth on the beautiful grounds of Mont Marie on Friday April 28 starting at 11am.

Walk the Labyrinth at Mont Marie in Holyoke with Cathy Rigali and Sister Lorry Villemarie, authors of "Labyrinth Reflections" Friday, April 28, 2017 from 11am to 2pm

A SEED project, the labyrinth is a single, circular path which can provide a powerful experience to anyone who walks it with respect. Often a religious experience, the labyrinth may also be used to solve a problem, face a truth about oneself, pray, heal, or celebrate.

One of the first things Sister Lorraine Villemarie of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield will explain to you is the difference between a maze and a labyrinth. A maze is a puzzle designed to confuse you, while a labyrinth is a design that takes its walker in a circular path with one way in and one way out.

A labyrinth is also a means for self-reflection and meditation and Sister Lorry Villemarie has been teaching about the effect for years.

Individuals and groups who are not guests at Mont Marie may make an appointment to use the labyrinth by calling (413) 536-0853 ext. 293.

The Sisters of St. Joseph also have a portable labyrinth which can be brought to your school, church or other large space.

The 24-foot square portable labyrinth can be reserved by contacting:
Sr. Lorry Villemaire
(413) 532-6134

And on Monday, May 1st, Sister Lorry Villemarie and Cathy Rigali will present their book “Labyrinth Reflections” at the Holyoke Public Library at 6:00pm.

Labyrinth Reflections is now available. The initial section covers information about the labyrinth, its history, spirituality and purpose. What follows are over forty themes that merge into the fabric of one's life. Among them are seasons of the year, the moon, universe, music, forgiveness, change, peace, compassion, time, doors, meditation, wisdom, healing, in memoriam, journal writing, clouds, and much more. Labyrinth walkers are encouraged to reflect on each theme from their own perspective. Although the book is invaluable to labyrinth facilitators, the themes can also be used for private meditation. A final chapter gives instructions on how to build a 7-circuit labyrinth.

The event is free and open to the public; copy of the book is available at the Library to borrow and read before the event on Monday, May 1st.

For further questions on this entertaining event, please contact or 413-420-8101.

Conversation with Local Author series are relaxed conversations between our members and an outstanding member of our author community.

Parking available along the street in front of the new entrance to the library and in generous lots adjacent to and immediately across the street from the library.

After our discussion,Cathy Rigali and Sister Lorry Villemarie will sign books. Books will be available for purchase or bring your own.

Wastelands (Opera) Returns to Holyoke

Children of the Wild, a theatre and film ensemble previously in residence at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfiled, MA, will present three free performances of an original folk opera The Wastelands, stating at the Holyoke Creative Arts Center in downtown Holyoke, Friday, May 5th through Sunday, May 7th.

A reimagining of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem Purgatorio, The Wastelands takes audiences on an outdoor, visceral journey through the seven stages of grief, weaving music, movement, imagery, and local testimony in connection with local struggles to protect our communities from forces of oppression.

This performance marks the revival of The Wastelands in Western Mass where it first debuted in May 2016. Following that performance last year, Children of the Wild traveled from June to October across the Great Lakes basin from Buffalo to Minneapolis, performing in post-industrial sites and sacrifice zones. They are thrilled to bring this performance full circle by returning to Holyoke, MA a year later.

This event is made possible through support of the Holyoke Creative Arts Center (HCAC), the Wauregan Building, El Mercado, and the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MiFA/Victory Theatre); and with community partners Nathalie Vicencio, Housing Rights Activist, and City Counselor Nelson Roman.

The performance runs for 75 minutes with a reception and dialogue to follow. It is free, open to the public, and meets ADA standards of accessibility. The performance is outdoors, involves traveling less than .2 miles, and proceeds rain or shine; please bring good walking shoes, a chair you can carry if you desire, and an umbrella if it looks like rain.

To learn more about Children of the Wild and The Wastelands, visit To find out more about the Holyoke Creative Arts Center, vist

Holyoke Farmer’s Market Kicks-Off May 18th

The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the City of Holyoke announces the start date for the Annual Farmer’s Market.

The market will begin on Thursday, May 18th and will continue to run every Thursday from 10 am - 2 pm outside of Holyoke City Hall on High Street.

All vendors must fill out an application and obtain the correct permits from the City. The cost of participation is $20 per week or $250 for the entire season.

If you are interested in becoming a vendor, please contact Andres Villada at 413-22-5510 or by email at

For more information, check out the Farmer’s Market Facebook page at

Local Author Samuel Abrams To Present His New Book

Join us for a talk by Holyoke native Samuel E. Abrams about his recently published bookEducation and the Commercial Mindset
at the Holyoke Public Library

on Wednesday, May 10th at 6:30pm
250 Chestnut Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

Drawing on his bookEducation and the Commercial Mindset (Harvard University Press, 2016), Sam Abrams, a Holyoke native, will discuss the divergent paths taken by education policymakers in Chile, Finland, Sweden, and the United States. In addition, Abrams will address the implications of Donald Trump’s presidency for schooling in the United States. Joining Abrams on stage for a Q&A will be Gus Morales, another Holyoke native and a veteran local teacher.

Writing in 
The New York Review of Books, Diane Ravitch described Education and the Commercial Mindset as “an elegant analysis of the workings of market forces in education.” Reviewing the book for Teachers College Record, Margaret Stange-Topkins described it as “exceptionally balanced, meticulously researched, and rooted in a deep understanding of the historical, cultural, and social antecedents of the widespread use of business practices and norms in education.”
This excerpt from Education and the Commercial Mindset concerning Finnish education policy was published by The Stanford Social Innovation Review. For a Q&A with Abrams about his book, see this column by Valerie Strauss for The Washington Post. For his assessment of Trump’s approach to education policy, see this op-ed from The Los Angeles Times.

The event is free and open to the public. A copy of the book is available at the Library to borrow and read before the event. Following the discussion, Abrams will sign copies.His book will be available for purchase at the event. Or you may bring your own.

For further questions on this entertaining event, please contact or413-420-8101.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Don't Retire -- Rewire 2nd Workshop At Holyoke Public Library

Don't Retire...Rewire!
A series of two  hour workshops of  self-assessments, reflection and brainstorming
with Barbara Foster

Part 2
Tuesday, April 25 at 6:00pm

Holyoke Public Library
250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, MA 01040

Attention Boomers
Their is a limit of 12 participants. Registration is required.

Are you wondering how you will spend the 2080 hours per year you’ve spent at your full-time job when you retire? Boomers aren’t retiring, they are “rewiring” by pursuing satisfying self-employment, part-time jobs, volunteering, or taking college classes.

In two 2½ hour
 interactive workshops you’ll complete a series of exercises, do some self-assessments, and reflect and brainstorm with others to create an action plan to help you transition into a satisfying new chapter of your life. You’ll also leave with a variety of valuable resources.  People contemplating retirement, already retired, or anyone who is faced with a career transition will benefit from these workshops.
Their is a limit of 12 participants. Registration is required.
Part 1 on Tuesday, April 18 ; Part 2 on Tuesday, April 25...both at 6pm

For more information and registration, please call 413-420-8101.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Holyoke Council for Human Understanding Hosts Annual Holocaust Commemoration

On Thursday, May 4th the Greater Holyoke Council for Human Understanding will host its annual Holocaust Commemoration event at the Holyoke Senior Center at 6:45 pm. The event is sponsored by the Council for Human Understanding, the Holyoke Public Schools, Holyoke Community College, and the Holyoke Council on Aging.

Each year we remember the more than 6 million people who were killed during the Holocaust. This year’s guest speaker is Henia Lewin, a child survivor of the Holocaust who was born in Lithuania and hidden from the Nazis by a Christian family.

Later, she was reunited with her biological parents and eventually moved to the new State of Israel before immigrating to Montreal. While in Canada, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Sir George Williams College and went on to teach in Jewish day schools and synagogues in Canada and the U.S.

Henia earned a Master in Education from the University of Vermont where she became an instructor of Hebrew and Yiddish, advisor to a student Zionist club and director of Hillel. During her sabbatical in Israel, she taught Hebrew to new immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

She received the prestigious 1997 Covenant Award as an Outstanding Jewish Educator in North America. Currently, Henia continues to teach Hebrew and Yiddish to children and adults in the Pioneer Valley, facilitates a memoir-writing group through the 5 College Learning in Retirement, and is president of the Northampton-Amherst chapter of Hadassah.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information on the Council for Human Understanding, please visit