Princeton Public Library invites book lovers to connect and enjoy community at the Beyond Words 2021 events. The virtual talks for November and December will conversations with journalist and novelist Omar El  Akkad on November 12 at 7 p.m. and novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz on December 3 at 7 p.m. The cost to attend is $60 per participant, per event. 

El Akkad is the author of the recently-released What Strange Paradise, which has been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for excellence in Canadian fiction. He is also the author of the award-winning 2017 novel American War. He will be joined in conversation by Professor Deborah Amos, the Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, an NPR international correspondent, and recipient of a 2021-22 Berlin Prize Fellowship.  more

The 8th annual Women Entrepreneurship Week (WEW) at Montclair State University was kicked off by cosmetics giant Bobbi Brown in conversation with friend and award-winning WNBC-TV reporter Tracie Strahan.

Brown was one of a dozen speakers who shared their stories of pivoting, as well as of failures and successes along their entrepreneurial journeys with the in-person and virtual audience. WEW is a global event, as students and attendees from 250 universities in 40 countries and 48 states participated this year, said Mimi Feliciano, a Montclair State University Advisory Board member for The Mimi & Edwin Feliciano School of Business and board member of the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (FCE&I), which hosted the event. more

As part of the Hopewell Theater’s ongoing series, Films That Made Music, the central New Jersey theater presents Moby Doc on Friday, November 19 at 8 p.m. 

With his first electronic single, “Go,” in 1991, Moby helped to define the music of an era. The mega-success of his 1999 album Play brought him into the stratosphere of fame when it became the best-selling electronic album of all time.  more

Join Morven Museum for a virtual evening with Wes Modes to reveal “A Secret History of American River People” on Thursday, October 28 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10-15 and can be purchased online at https://bit.ly/3ETY44D. 

The painter and ornithologist Gerard Rutgers Hardenbergh lived and painted in a rustic houseboat along the shores of the Scow Ditch in Bay Head, New Jersey. For more than a century, shantyboat communities sprung up in industrial towns and out-of-the-way rural areas on rivers and lakes all over the continent.  more

Princeton University’s Fund for Irish Studies presents a conversation with award winning novelist, dramatist, and screenwriter Roddy Doyle led by scholar and critic Frintan O’Toole, co-chair of the series, on Friday, September 17 at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. Princeton’s Howard G.B. Clark University Professor of the Humanities Paul Muldoon, co-chair of the series, will provide a welcome and introduction. The event opens the 2021-22 series, which will be virtual for the fall. The event is free and open to the public. 

Doyle has written 12 novels, including The Commitments; Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1993; The Woman Who Walked Into Doors; and, most recently, Love. His latest book, a story collection called Life Without Children, will be published in the U.S. in spring 2022. Doyle has written eight books for children. He has also written for screen and stage. He is the co-founder of Fighting Words, which aims to help Irish children and young people to discover and harness the power of their own imaginations and creative writing skills. He lives in Dublin.  more

Princeton Public Library (PPL) presents an evening of historical fiction featuring two bestselling authors discussing their latest novels, one set in Poland during WWII and the other in prewar Italy. This is a virtual event hosted by the platform Crowdcast. The authors will be speaking from 8 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 8.

To register, visit https://princetonlibrary.libnet.info/event/5300423. This program is free to attend and is best suited for teens and adults.  more

The Friends of the Princeton Public Library will host a virtual fundraiser on Saturday, January 30 at 11 a.m. via Zoom. “Restoring Civility and Bringing Social Justice to American Life: A Virtual Brunch and Talk” features four lifelong advocates for social justice as they share their vision for a more just, egalitarian, and united America.  more

The MC Hotel, in the heart of Montclair, N.J., has announced that its top chef competing on Season 19 of the hit culinary competition series, Hell’s Kitchen, starring Chef Gordon Ramsay. The new season premieres on Thursday, January 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX. more

Documentary Feature Focuses on the Romani Roots of Cinema Legend Charlie Chaplin

Director-writer Carmen Chaplin is directing Charlie Chaplin, A Man of the World, a theatrical documentary feature that adds a hardly-explored new facet to the creator of the Tramp, one of the most iconic cinema characters in popular consciousness, plumbing Chaplin’s Romani roots and heritage. more

The Princeton Senior Resource Center (PSRC), a community nonprofit whose mission is to help older adults thrive, offers programs for enrichment and lifelong learning, no-cost social services, resource referrals, and much more. Its 2020 fall fundraiser on Saturday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m. includes VIP Virtual Cocktails, humor, and discussion with Senator Al Franken. more

Tosca, Teatro Regio Torino. (Photo by Edoardo Piva)

Princeton-Raised Jonathan Tetelman is One of Opera’s Rising Stars

By Anne Levin | Photos Courtesy of Jonathan Tetelman

Opera star Jonathan Tetelman spent the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic sheltering at his parents’ house in Princeton. Only a month before, he had sung lead roles in La Traviata and La Boheme on the stage of London’s Royal Opera House.

Upcoming European engagements for the 30-year-old tenor were being canceled. But Tetelman, an American Boychoir School graduate who was born in Chile and raised in Princeton, didn’t seem fazed. “It’s nice to spend some time at home, relaxing, doing my taxes,” he said at the time.

A month later, Tetelman was back at his apartment in New York, waiting for things to settle down and clearly feeling more restless. “I was supposed to go to Italy, Warsaw, Germany, and Seattle, but those dates have been canceled,” he said. “And now Tosca in Buenos Aires was just canceled, with the next scheduled performance not until August. It’s very difficult for freelance artists, and so many others around the world, who aren’t able to work during this pandemic, and have no other means of support for themselves and their families.”

Judging by reviews he has been receiving in publications across the globe, this interruption in Tetelman’s schedule shouldn’t pose much of a problem once the music world returns to some semblance of normal.

“In this production we were lucky to have the extraordinary tenor Jonathan Tetelman, a young figure who already receives excellent reviews and begins his career in the great theaters,” reads a review in the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio. “His presence on stage is difficult not to compare to the young Jonas Kaufmann of the 2000s, just before being today’s superstar, with a voice in the transition from light to dramatic-lyrical repertoire.” more

Cook along with five-time James Beard Award winner and New York Times best-selling cookbook author Dorie Greenspan in this special virtual fundraising event for Princeton Public Library (PPL) on Sunday, July 12 from 4 to 5 p.m. more

Dr. Oliver Sacks seated next to his collection of elements and in front of the periodic table of elements. (Photo by Jurgen Frank/Corbis Outline)

On January 15, 2015, a few weeks after completing his memoir, writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks learned that the rare form of cancer for which he had been treated seven years earlier had returned, and that he only had a few months left to live. more

The Asbury Park Music + Film Festival (APMFF) presents Lucinda Williams at the Paramount Theatre on Sunday, April 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $25-89 and are available for purchase at apmff.org/ticketsmore

Over 1,000 Romantic Letters Unsealed at Princeton University After 60 Years

By Donald Gilpin

The unsealing after more than 60 years of a collection of 1,131 letters written by Nobel laureate T.S. Eliot to Emily Hale, his secret platonic love, caused “the special collections equivalent of a stampede at a rock concert” on the morning of January 2 in the basement of Princeton University’s Firestone Library, according to Daniel Linke, interim head of the Library’s special collections, as told to the Associated Press.

Emily Hale and T.S. Eliot in Dorset, Vermont, during the summer of 1946. (Photo courtesy of Princeton University Library)

Released at the same time as a 1960 “disclaimer” statement from Eliot, which had been held in Harvard University’s Houghton Library, those letters, one of the most noteworthy sealed archives in the world, will provide rich fodder for English professors and biographers for many years to come. Eliot aficionados have long debated the true nature of Eliot’s relationship with Hale and her influence on his poetry.  Psychotherapists will also be drawn to this intricately detailed, complex, unflattering depiction of a man who perhaps most closely resembles the persona of his first published poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915).

“Prufrock” is a very odd love song, an interior monologue full of doubt and indecision, anguish, regret, weariness, and longing, but no more odd and frustrating than Eliot’s relationship with Hale as depicted in his letters written from 1930 to 1957. If you thought his poetry was difficult to understand, the complexity and confusion of his love life as revealed in these letters and his 1960 statement disclaiming his relationship with Hale will not surprise you. 

Like his character Prufrock, the Eliot who emerges from the letters to Hale and the subsequent statement, apparently intending to set the record straight, is full of contradictions and uncertainty. He burned Hale’s numerous letters to him when he found out that she had turned over his letters to Princeton University, to remain sealed until 50 years after they were both dead. He died in 1965. She died in 1969.  more

By Taylor Smith

Produced in partnership with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New York Public Library (NYPL) at 476 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street) presents an evening of performances and conversations centered around Toni Morrison, the American icon, writer, and intellectual, on Wednesday, March 18 at 7 p.m. more

Dana and Christopher Reeve (Image Source: https://www.christopherreeve.org/about-us/christopher-and-dana)

By Taylor Smith

This year’s gala benefit for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation took place on Thursday, November 14 at Cipriani South Street in New York City.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation grew out of the community-driven Stifel Paralysis Research Foundation, which was founded in 1982 when Henry Stifel, a New Jersey high school student, was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed at age 17. The organization evolved into the American Paralysis Association (APA). When actor Christopher Reeve was injured in a horseback riding accident in 1995, the APA was one of the first places that Reeve and his wife, Dana, sought support. By 1999, the APA and Christopher’s foundation united as the Christopher Reeve Foundation (Dana’s name was added to the moniker after her death in 2006). more

Image Credit: NJPAC

By Taylor Smith

Experience two of the sharpest comedic minds onstage for one special evening as Stephen Colbert (a New Jersey resident) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus team up for the Ninth Annual Montclair Film Festival Benefit on Saturday, December 7 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Prudential Hall in Newark. The comedic festivities begin at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $79.50 and are available for purchase at www.njpac.orgmore

Film still from Cider House Rules

By Taylor Smith

Autumn can often induce feelings of nostalgia. As the weather turns cooler and a hint of the coming winter is detectable in the late evening air, you might be tempted to curl up with your favorite blanket and settle in for a fall movie marathon. Here are a few films that are guaranteed to send you on a journey and make for a memorable evening (or two). more