June 4th – June 10th

The Valley Nerd Watch!

The Nerd Watch for another week! What a delight.

Have you been checking out the excellent work of Valley Creator Joshua A.C. Newman at Xenoglyph? You should! You could, for instance, find out how to make a Star Wars guy!

This time, let’s make up a Star Wars guy.

You might use this same process for a city or a spaceship, but we’ll use it right now for a character for a roleplaying game, or for fanfic, or whatever. I’m going to choose according to my own aesthetic inclinations, of course, but I invite you to use this process with your own.

Here’s the process we’re gonna use here:

1. Pick some pre-industrial elements.
2. Pick some industrial elements.
3. Pick a Modern (not Postmodern!) concern the character has.
4. Let each of these inform another, either directly or ironically.
5. Don’t forget that people in Star Wars have families.

It goes into a lot more detail, for folks who’d like to make a Star Wars guy!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!



Monday, June 4th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Button Making
Design your own buttons with a button maker! Maybe you need a button to keep your shirt closed? Maybe you need a button to launch your master plan? Maybe you need a button that says “I made a button!” all of these are possible with a button-maker!
Westfield Atheneum [6 Elm St, Westfield, MA 01085] at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Maker Monday
Come by to try out new technology, teens! There are snacks! No registration, just drop by! For ages 12-18!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Teen Art: Collage
Ewan will show teens the magic of collage!
Tuesday, June 5th
Gandara Youth Development Center [306 Race St., Holyoke, MA] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Radioplasma Recording Studio Sessions
Meet in the Teen Room to walk as a group to the Radioplasma Recording Studio to get some hands on experience with journalism, storytelling, and sound mixing! SOUNDS cool! Get it? See that? Nice.
Thursday, June 7th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amherst Arts Night Plus at the Emily Dickinson Museum
“Pop-up contemporary art exhibit in the Homestead from 5 to 8 pm. Open mic signups from 5 to 6 pm, with the open mic beginning at 6 pm. Featured readers follow the open mic ” Featuring Wyn Cooper, who’s published five books of poems, and has had his work appear in hundreds of magazines.Also featuring Leonore Alaniz, who’s a botanical printmaker!
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 10:15 AM to 11:00 AM
Art Babes @ SCMA: Outdoor Sculpture Story Walk
“We’re excited to announce this new program at the museum! Join museum educator Gina Hall for an artful adventure for toddlers and their caregivers. Explore a different theme each session — in the museum’s galleries and around the Smith College campus. To accommodate a variety of busy schedules… Each session will be offered twice—Thursday + Saturday—from 10:15-11 a.m.”
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 10:15 AM to 11:00 AM
Art Babes @ SCMA: Outdoor Sculpture Story Walk
The second showing!
Friday, June 8th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Free art! For you! Free! What’s not to like? There’s also hands-on artmaking for all ages. And at 6pm, there’s a guided conversational tour!


Monday, June 4th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Michelle Tea, Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions, & Criticisms
“The razor-sharp but damaged Valerie Solanas, a doomed lesbian biker gang, recovering alcoholics, and teenagers barely surviving at an ice creamery: these are some of the larger-than-life, yet all-too-human figures populating America’s fringes. Rife with never-ending fights and failures, theirs are the stories we too often try to forget. But in the process of excavating and documenting these queer lives, Michelle Tea also reveals herself in unexpected and heartbreaking ways.” Shit this just sounds really interesting.
Wednesday, June 6th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Tommy Orange, There There
“Here is a voice we have never heard–a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with stunning urgency and force. Tommy Orange writes of the plight of the urban Native American, the Native American in the city, in a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide. An unforgettable debut, destined to become required reading in schools and universities across the country.” This also sounds amazing! Odyssey has such excellent authors.
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Wicked Wednesday Book Club Party
0Not certain what sort of party this is! There’s not a description. We generally don’t do book clubs because to be frank we’re awful at doing them far enough ahead of time to get you time to read the danged thing but… this is a party, presumably?
Thursday, June 7th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
David Sedaris, Calypso – Ticketed Event
“If you ordered a ticket + book package, these will be available to be picked up anytime during regular store hours after Tuesday, May 29th. You may also pick up your book and ticket at the will call table prior to the event. Doors open at 6:00pm, event begins at 7:00pm. Please arrive early. Seats that are not claimed by 6:45 will be released to the waiting list. To reserve a spot on the waiting list, please email rsvp@odysseybks.com. If you did not order a ticket + book package, but would like to meet David Sedaris and/or have him sign books, you may join the signing line and enter the store as people leave the event.” Dang this one has a lot of like conditions. David Sedaris is a big deal!
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Young Adult Book Club for Adults Reads Nimona
We can do this book club! You can read Nimona, an excellent comic by excellent artist Noelle Stevenson, in a day! And you should! It’s really wonderful, and we love it. “Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.”
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Wool: A Book Talk with Peggy Hart
Local author Peggy Hart tells the colorful tale of wool! Wool! A majestic material that has impacted the lives of millions and yo uwill earn about the journey from handicraft to industry and back! Peggy Hart is a teacher and a production weaver, who designs and produces hundreds of blankets each year, including custom sheep blankets awwwwww awwww aww sheep blankets.
Saturday, June 9th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Why We Write Middle Grade
Middle grade books! For 8-12 year olds, they’re sometimes dismissed, because people are jerks. A panel of authors including Jeanne Birdsall, Cammie McGovern, Catherine Newman, Liz Rosenberg, and Lisa Yee will discuss the challenges and rewards of writing for this age group!
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Lights, Camera, Disaster, Erin Dionne
“Hester Greene loves making movies. With her camera in hand, she can focus, make decisions, and have the control she lacks in life, where her executive function disorder (think extreme ADHD plus anxiety) sabotages her every move. But middle school is not a movie, and if her last-ditch attempt to save her language-arts grade–and her chance to pass eighth grade, period–doesn’t work, Hess could lose her friends, her year, even her camera. It will take more than a cool training montage to get her life together, but by thinking outside the frame, she just might craft a whole new ending.”


Tuesday, June 5th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Join a lot of nice people to talk about whatever! The general organizing principle is that you work in or like or have heard of computers, but the discussion is pretty freewheeling. A good place to network, particularly if networking usually gives you hives.
Wednesday, June 6th
Northampton Community TV [380 Elm St., Northampton, MA] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Northampton High-Speed Community Network Coalition Organizational Meeting
“Continue working on petitioning the city to help create a high speed municipal network, similar to efforts completed or underway in nearby cities like Leverett, Westfield, Holyoke/South Hadley and one proposed in Easthampton. We’ll get reports from members of the group doing outreach and talking with the city and others. You can see our sort of “prospectus” and recent news on our website: https://www.northamptonma.net/” The fact that they got the domain NorthamptonMA.net speaks well of their organizational know-how!


Monday, June 4th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Voices for Resistance – A Celebration!
“Short readings by Maria Jose Gimenez, Lauren Marie Schmidt, Eileen Kennedy, Ellen LaFleche, Dina Friedman, Christopher J. Sparks & Theresa Vincent. OPEN MIC – slots available on June 4. If you’d like to read (max. 4 minutes) please arrive BY 6:45 pm and put your name in the hat. The slots will be chosen, also randomly, the evening of the event on June 4. You are invited to read something you wrote or a published piece you admire. A Straw Dog Writers Guild Social Justice Writing Event” Free to attend and open to the public!
Wednesday, June 6th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
First Wednesday Speaker Series: Sustainable Living
“Choosing to live a more sustainable life at work, home and play is not always easy. Claire and John will explore ways to help reduce one’s carbon footprint through everyday actions, both large and small.” Lovely! Make sure to make your modern life slightly less terrible for the world wherever possible.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Barbershop Quartet Performance by Shave and a Haircut
“Come listen to this Barbershop Quartet joyfully sing 4-part harmony to songs from the 80’s (1880’s) to the 1960’s. Repertoire includes doo-wop, jazz. familiar love songs, broadway and movie favorites, and barbershop classics! There will even be a little sing-a-long! Pictured left to right: Ted Fijal (Lead), Steve LeClair (Tenor), Bill Simons (Bass), and Dick Bourbeau (Baritone).” Neat!
Thursday, June 7th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime is an art form that we have scattered experience with but a lot of people wicked like. The nice part about anime is that you pretty much only need to pick one show and you’ll have 11,000 hours to get through. We once started watching One Piece, saw it had 500 30-minute episodes, and slowly walked into the sea.
Westfield Atheneum [6 Elm St, Westfield, MA 01085] at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
First Thursdays Concert Series – Dan Daniels
“As part of the “First Thursday Programs” Dan will perform his show “A Songwriter’s Story”, a journey through some of the songs he has written and the stories behind them.”
Friday, June 8th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Native Plants for New England Gardens: A Talk by Mark Richardson
Practical advice and inspiration for indoor and outdoor gardeners. Find out from horticultural expert Mark Richardson, the Botanic Garden Director of the New England Wildflower Society, for a talk based on his new co-authored book Native Plants for New England Gardens! It’ll take special care about plants grown by Dickinson, too! $12 for adults, $8 for Museum Friends, and $6 for Garden Volunteer participants!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Group Singing to learn songs for Our Community Sing in September
“Arts Night Out, Friday, June 8, at 5:00pm, we’ll gather on the Forbes Library Lawn to learn songs that are possibilities for the large community sing in the fall. Free and open to the public. Local musician and singer Alex Johnson will lead the singing. Come relax on the lawn and enjoy singing for an hour. Some chairs will be provided, but it’d be good to bring along an lawn chair or a blanket.” So this is how they do it in musicals, preparation!
Saturday, June 9th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Gardener’s Workshop: Propagating from Cuttings & Field Trip to The Durfee Conservatory
“First, on a private conservatory tour, encounter UMass Amherst’s Durfee Conservatory’s stunningly diverse collection. Highlights include seven historic camellias from the 1867 Durfee Plant House, a glass palace which Dickinson’s niece described as “Aunt Emily’s conservatory multiplied ever so many times.” Special attention will be given to those plants beloved by nineteenth-century Americans, including scented geraniums.” Then get a hands-on workshop from the Museum’s Gardener-in-Residence, Marta McDowell Pre-registration required, as space is limited. Please email edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or call (413)-542-2034 to register. $15 adults/$12 Friends/$10 Garden Volunteers (June 8 & 9).
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
The 25th Northampton Garden Tour
“In advance: $15 at Forbes Library, Bay State Perennial Farm, Cooper’s Corner, Hadley Garden Center, North Country Landscapes & Garden Center and State Street Fruit Store. Day of the tour: $20 at Forbes Library only. Raffle: 2 tickets/$5 or 5 tickets/$10. Raffle display and tickets for sale at Forbes Library, from May 10 – June 8 & on the day of the tour, at one of the gardens. Win gift a beautiful quilt, on display at the Library. * All proceeds fund books, equipment, and programs for Forbes Library *” See beauty, help a library!


Saturday, June 9th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Victorians at Home: Holyoke’s Gilded Age Architecture
Holyoke! A city with a kind of wild number of literal mansions, just dotting around the place. That’s apparently due to a 19th-century building boom that created a ton of fine old Victorian homes. Eric Gradoia, Director of Historic Preservation at Historic Deerfield, will explore how Victorians became such a fixture of Holyoke. Lots of photos of lovely homes! Free and open to the public.


Tuesday, June 5th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Ages 5 and up can enjoy an afternoon playing with LEGOs!
Wednesday, June 6th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Music Storytime with Mr. Liam
Mr Liam is really going all-out with his photo here. Clown nose, kazoo, … snare brushes? Anyway he’s going to play music and tell stories! You know, for kids!
Friday, June 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Read to Toby!
Toby can’t read! You need to read to him! He’s so old and cute and he wants to listen to stories! He’s a good dog! Sign up to read to him by calling 587-1010!


Tuesday, June 5th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Sing Along Movie Night
“Bring the whole family for our special sing along movie nights. Grease is the word! whoa, oh oh those summer nights! Wear costumes, bring props and be ready to sing, sing, sing!” Word of caution: do not clarify anything about any song in Grease to your children!


Thursday, June 7th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play a game where you pretend to be another person! That covers a pretty wide range, so we don’t know exactly what’ll be up here but for some reason most of these games involves swords and dragons at some point. Even if someone tells you you’re going to be playing an RPG about minding a small convenience store, take a few levels in Longswords just in case.
Saturday, June 9th
Westfield Atheneum [6 Elm St, Westfield, MA 01085] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons? We have dungeons. Dragons? Eeeeessssh. Hmm. HMmHmHMMMph. Dragons. Real dragons? The big kind? Fire ones? We don’t have fire ones… Ice? No no no ice dragons. What’s that? Like a dead dragon? We could get you a dead dragon! Wait, but still moving? Oh UN-dead, no no none of those. SSsssss sss s s hm. Hm. We can do kobolds! Will those do?


Monday, June 4th
Union Station [125 Pleasant St, Northampton] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
SciTech Cafe: What Do Rocks Remember?
What is going on in the belly of a great mountain belt? How do geologists tell time? What does Ontario Canada have to do with the Himalayas? WHERE ARE THE DIAMONDS YOU FIEND? WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY FRIEND? ANSWER ME, YOU MONSTER! Michelle J Markley will answer some of these questions! She’s an Associate Professor of Geology at Mount Holyoke College!


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