Fiction

May 8th – May 13th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Hello and yes! We’re back! This is again a live feed of everything interesting that we can remember to tell you about in the area that we define as the Pioneer Valley which roughly conforms to the common physical locations named as such.

We’d like to call specific attention this week to the newly formed Western MA Film Makers Group! Per their description: “Western MA Filmmakers Group is a chance for people making film to network, attend events, and build community.”

Are you interested in creating film, or just a big fan of film in general? Meet up with fellow “filmeophans” as everyone agrees we should call them and share, discuss, question, brainstorm, and in general get some support, feedback, and community!

The first event they’re all headed to this week is the Focus Locus Presents: Selected Shorts by Kramer, Perry, & Sanders! Check it out in their inimitable company this Tuesday, May 9th, at 7:00 PM at the Parlor Room at Signature Sounds [32 Masonic St., Northampton, MA 01060]. Afterward they’ll do a Producers Group, during which they’ll give a rundown of the sort of supportive feedback they’re hoping to provide at these meetups!

Also of note this week: On May 9th, A.E.G.I.S: Combining Robot Strategy Game will be relaunching their Kickstarter! They’ve got a slightly lower goal, a slightly prettier game, and the same excellent basic gameplay that we so enjoyed when we played it last year! You should definitely check it out when it goes live and see the Facebook Launch Party group!

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!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, May 8th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Animal Rocks!
Make some cute animal rocks to spruce up anywhere that needs sprucing! You can even just place them around town if you want. Paint them so they look cute and make you happy! Sign up in advance at the library if you can by calling 413-665-2642.
Wednesday, May 10th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Forbes Library Zine Club
ZINES! Zines for teens! Zines for fiends! Zines for beans! Bean zines for green teen machines! There’s never enough! Talk, create, have a good time!
Friday, May 12th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Opening Reception for “Laws Change. People Die. The Land Remains” curated by Sally Curcio and Anna LaPrade Seuthe
“An exhibition of paintings and sculpture by five Western Massachusetts artists who reflect on how our actions impact the landscape. The five artists are Jesse Connor, Sally Curcio, Karen Evans, Anne LaPrade Seuthe and Jenny Tibbetts.” – Sounds like a wondeful opportunity to expand your mind, get to know the area beter, and eat small cheeses.
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Free artwork! Free culture! Generally being immersed in the wonder of an excellent local museum!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Arts Night Out Reception for Northampton High School Student Art Exhibition
“Student artwork from the Foundations of Art, Drawing & Painting 1 & 2 , Ceramics 1 , Sculpture and Honors Art 1-4 classes at Northampton High School will be exhibited. The selection of artwork is curated by teachers Lisa Leary and Sheryl Jaffe, who collectively teach approximately 200 students each year.”
Saturday, May 13th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Poetry Walk
“The Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk marks the anniversary of the poet’s death (on May 15, 1886) with readings of her poetry at historic sites in Amherst. This spring’s Walk will feature Dickinson’s works inspired by the natural world and the plants she grew in her conservatory at the Homestead, which has been restored this spring.” Conduct the rites that keep Dickinson contained! Seal her grave anew!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:45 PM
Weaving Social and Political Issues into your Writing
“Join authors Naila Moreira and Ellen Meeropol for a two hour writing workshop. We’ll focus on ways to weave thorny issues – climate change, racism, war – into our fiction and nonfiction. Come prepared to imagine, to hope, and to write. Ellen Meeropol is the author of the political and environmentally-themed novels House Arrest, On Hurricane Island, and Kinship of Clover. Naila Moreira, author of poetry chapbooks Gorgeous Infidelities and Water Street, has written nonfiction for The Boston Globe, Seattle Times, Daily Hampshire Gazette and other publications.”

Board Games:

Friday, May 12th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Tabletop Game Night
“Bring a game that you’d like to share, if you have one. Beginners are welcome. We most often play Euro strategy games, but you are welcome to bring any game you’d like to share. Some of the games we’ve played in the past include: Pandemic, 7 Wonders, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, Dominion. The Community Room is all the way in the back. If you come in the side entrance, the room is directly to your right. If you come in the main entrance, just head to your right, then straight back. “
Saturday, May 13th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
Four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, round one starts at 10am on the dot! There’s a four-round swiss system and tropies to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each category! Entry is free, and you should bring a chess set and clock if you have them and a bagged lunch! For a power play just bring an edible chess set for lunch, that’s intimidating.

Books:

Wednesday, May 10th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Samuel E. Abrams talks about “Education and the Commercial Mindset”
“Drawing on his book, Education 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.” Understand why you were educated in the manner you were educated! Get a clear picture of what it is that US education policy prioritizes and what you can do about it!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM
Writers as Climate Activists
“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, threatening the very fabric of our society. Here, three writers use fiction, young adult fiction, and memoir to explore this thorny problem.” Ellen Meeropol, Brian Adams, and Jennifer Browdy will read at this event.
Thursday, May 11th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Hala Alyan, Salt Houses
“Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses is a remarkable debut novel that challenges and humanizes an age-old conflict we might think we understand—one that asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can’t go home again.” We actually have found that we’ve been able to go home again. You’re just generally not allowed back in the the door so you just need to critique the new family’s garden from the other side of the street.
Saturday, May 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM
Water Street Book Launch
“Author reading and signing with Naila Moriera, Forbes Library’s Writer in Residence. Set at an old converted farmhouse apartment by the Mill River, the poems of Water Street explore the tension between freedom and domesticity as reflected in the natural world: the minks, bats, frogs, spiders, and wasps, as well as the plants and trees and the river itself. “

Community:

Monday, May 8th
Westhampton Public Library [Town of Westhampton, One South Road Westhampton, MA 01027] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Women, Crime, and Justice: Mass Incarceration and Mothering
“Nicole Hendricks of HCC will present. The number of women behind bars or under some form of correctional control has risen significantly in the last four decades, where now, no country incarcerates more women than the United States. At the intersections of this crisis, we find disproportionate numbers of women of color, and poor women, many of whom leave behind children, and are more likely to be locked up thousands of miles away from those children. What are the collateral consequences for our communities when parenting takes place behind bars?”
Tuesday, May 9th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
“The Future of Hate” with Ilan Stavans
“Anti-Semitism remains an inextricable part of contemporary life. In today’s America, it finds partners in unlikely places, from the government to college campuses to rural communities. In this series of three talks, each with a different focus, author and Amherst College Professor Ilan Stavans considers the “new normal” in today’s United States and the ways anti-Semitism manifests in regions as diverse as Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.”
Thursday, May 11th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Plant Swap
“This monthly plant swap is free and open to the public to encourage the exchange of plants and other garden related items. You many bring as few or as many of the following items as you like: perennials, annuals, edibles, seeds, garden produce, tools or any other garden related items.”
Friday, May 12th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
SNAP Help
A lot of people don’t apply for supplemental nutrition assistance because they don’t know they’re eligible! You should check it out even if you own a home or a car or make a wage. It’s important to make sure you’ve got all the food you can get!
Saturday, May 13th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 2:00 PM to 5:30 PM
League of Women Voters Event
Unspecified event for the League of Women Voters! But you can trust that whatever it winds up being it will be useful and pertinent. Contact Nicole Moore at nicolemmoore [at] hotmail [dot] com for more information!
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Represent US Meetup
“Introductory Meeting: Learn about http://www.Represent.US and how you can help fight corruption and get Big Money out of politics.” Fight the forces that are likely causing you real and immediate harm every day of your life!

Computers:

Wednesday, May 10th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Meet up and discuss the Agile methodology! Get your dev team on track to use the hip new management technique, but also learn from sensible people how to actually do the thing. Plus they’re nice and you’ll probably make friends!
Thursday, May 11th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Hack for Western Mass Meetup
Meet and dicuss your ongoing projects for the community! Or if you’ve never been, lend your expertise to an existing project or propose a new useful way to give back to the community we all so love!

Entertainment:

Thursday, May 11th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Watch anime with people! We’ve been playing Persona 5 lately so we can say with confidence that anime is good.
Saturday, May 13th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Tea and Chocolate: A pleasant Pairing
Well. That’s kind of driect. We suppose so! They are pleasant alone and better together! Sample tea and chocolate pairings, learn what pairs best, and they say learn the “health benefits” but let’s be real people the benefits in both cases are the same: these foods taste good and it makes you feel nice to eat them.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Doctor Who Club
Free and open to all! Discuss what exactly this doctor is, why he’s doing what he’s doing, and which way he’s going next!

History:

Saturday, May 13th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Wildlife Changes in Northampton: From Nonotuck to Now by Laurie Sanders
“During the last 500 years, major changes have occurred in Northampton’s wildlife. Wolves and passenger pigeons and mountain lions are gone, while beaver, bear and turkeys, which had disappeared for decades, are now back in abundance. In this presentation, Laurie Sanders will highlight some of the major trends and changes that explain the mix of animal species that we now encounter in Northampton, from its urbanized center to its wilder spaces.” Learn about where you live! Learn why all the deer in the Valley have a sort of subtle red glow to their eyes and you never see them move, you just see them appear near your windows late in the evening.

Movies:

Monday, May 8th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Far Out Film Discussion: Eraserhead
“Far Out Film Discussion is formatted like a book club: check out the film, watch it at home, and attend the meeting to discuss it. (We will not be screening the film at the program.) Our next movie is Eraserhead – a black and white surrealist film from 1977 which was written, produced and directed by David Lynch. Copies of the film will be available in the Reference Dept. and the Arts and Music Dept. You can also watch the film via Kanopy.com – sign up for a free account with your Forbes library card and stream it online : https://forbes.kanopystreaming.com/video/eraserhead
Wednesday, May 10th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Film: The National Bird
“This 2016 documentary follows the dramatic journey of three whistleblowers who are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. At the center of the film are three U.S. military veterans. Plagued by guilt over participating in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries, they decide to speak out publicly, despite the possible consequences.”
Friday, May 12th
Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel at 11:30 AM to 6:30 PM
DAY-2-PLAY: 4th Western MA Film and Media Exchange
“Join filmmakers, television and other industry professionals for a day of technical seminars and hands on-demonstrations with the latest lighting, camera and broadcast equipment. The Exchange also includes lunch, keynote speaker, and networking opportunities with others in the industry. Vitec Videocom brings their Roadshow to Springfield. You don’t want to miss it!” This sounds kind of amazing and we’re really appreciative of the new Western MA Film Makers Group for bringing it to our attention!

RPGs:

Thursday, May 11th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play RPGs with some people! They’re going to be great and so are you!

Science:

Monday, May 8th
World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Nerd Nite May: Korean Comic Books and the Roma
Learn about the fascinating world of Korean Comic Books from Nathan Chung, who read a lot of them while growing up in South Korea! We’ve been big fans of American comic books for a while and it’s going to be exciting to learn more about a style from which we’ve read only a few works! Then we’re going to find out about the history of the Roma, a people whose complex history and tense current relationship with Europe will be explained to us by Christine Hurst, who’s currently working on her MSW at Rutgers.
Thursday, May 11th
Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
OEB Science Cafe: Laura Doubleday presents Dangerous Liasons: Pollinators, Herbivores, and the Quirky Sex Lives of Plants
Plants are at a very basic level absolutely odd and the way they reproduce is a big part of it. Flowers, pollen, bees, seeds, there are so many moving parts and so many physical transfigurations involved! Learn more from the spectacular Laura Doubleday!

April 3rd – April 9th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Hello friends! Hope you’re having a lovely start of spring.

Remember to come out to Nerd Nite NoHo next Monday! It’s going to be a very nice time where two excellent people will present about two excellent topics. We’ll have nature guide Kery Emma Ellis discussing the scourge of “Greenwashing” by people attempting to pretend their products and services are “good for nature” despite being “basically just lying and using green and teal on the packaging a lot”! That’s going to be followed up with Greg Dennis, Research Director for Voter Choice Massachusetts, talking about ranked choice voting!

We’d also like to specifically point out the 2017 Pioneer Valley Zine Fest! Zines are fun and neat and there are a ton of folks who are going to be there with really cool artwork so you should go see them and say “Wow, nice job! Here is the amount of money you’ve indicated this zine or other piece of artwork costs!”

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!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Tuesday, April 4th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:45
Slate Press Poetry Reading
Anna M. Warrock and Cindy Snow will present readings from their new works! Anna M. Warrock has had a poem installed permanently in the Boston subway which means she’s going to probably eventually inspire some kind of post-apocalyptic cult eventually. Cindy Snow has been featured in a bunch of poetry reviews and she does peer tutoring at Greenfield Community College. Both of them have chapbooks out for your reading pleasure!
Wednesday, April 5th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Kota Ezawa: Gardner Museum Revisited
Converse with artist Kota Ezawa as he discusses his installation! It’s currently on display and by chatting with the artist you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the art presented!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
The 13th Annual Palmer Public Library Poetry Pageant
The theme this year is friendship! Donate $25 to the library and bring a poem about friendship to share! Listen to your friends talk about friends!
Thursday, April 6th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Amherst Arts Night Plus: Poetry Night and Art Exhibition
Drop into the museum for an open mic, poetry reading, and one-night art exchange in the museum! Open mic begins at 6pm and the featured readers follow: Jenna Baillargeon is a second year at Hampshire, and is the featured Open Mic reader, and students of The Literacy Project will be reading original memoirs and poems afterward, accompanied by Judith Willams on the keyboard.
Saturday, April 8th
Flywheel Arts Collective [43 Main St., Easthampton, MA 01027]
2017 Pioneer Valley Zine Fest
Zines! Zines for miles! Join zine creators and fans from around New England! It’s a great chance to see amazing artwork and give the people who produce it a few bucks! Zines are keen!

Board Games:

Wednesday, April 5th
Brass Cat [65 Cottage St #101, Easthampton, MA 01027] at 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM
Brass Cat Wednesday Game Night
Games! Beautiful board games! Have a great time playing games and enjoying a friendly community! Have a drink at a nice bar and hang out with people who are nice also. This wee, Forbidden Island and Innovation are the featured games!
Saturday, April 8th
Off The Wall Game Shop [41 Russell St., Hadley, MA 01035] at 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Malifaux Tournament
See http://www.the131.com/forum for details! This tournament will test your ability to command the forces of weird grossness in the game Malifaux, which is distinct from other tabletop games in a manner we are not qualified to comment upon. Mostly we notice that there are a lot of Frankenstein monster looking things.
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Tabletop Gaming Day
Game! At a table! With tops! Play with tops, is what we’re saying. Play with the bet game of all: tabletops. The game of kings! Beyblade we just realized our joke game is also Beyblade. But for actual this meetup usually goes for Euro-games like Settlers/Carcassone etc, but they’re open to whatever you’re interested in!

Books:

Wednesday, April 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Ellen Meeropol, Kinship of Clover
How do you stay true to the folks you care about while trying to change the world? That’s what botany major Jeremy has to struggle with when he gets wrapped up with a group of eco-terrorists trying to save the plants he loves, and is inextricably bound to.
Friday, April 7th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
John Scalzi, The Collapsing Empire with Scott Lynch and Elizabeth Bear
The Odyssey Bookshop is hosting a big ol’ sci-fi hootenanny! John Scalzi will talk about his latest book, and he’ll be joined by fellow wonderful authors Scott Lynch and Elizabeth Bear! The book’s about a far future where humanity finds a sort of hyperspace river that allows FTL travel, but then finds that it’s slowly moving around and soon the quick travel that maintains an interstellar empire will no longer be where it needs to be! It sounds neat!
Saturday, April 8th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
YA Panel Featuring Kim Savage, Kady Cross, and Eva Darrows
Three excellent YA authors on a panel talking about their three recent books that are all about tragic circumstances and young women dealing with difficult issues.
Hooker Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman
Lindy West will speak and read from her memoir! Hilarious tales of how to handle just generally the unfortunate bits of being alive. Lindy West is a prolific writer and generally regarded as “wicked good at writing and also wicked funny”.

Community:

Thursday, April 6th
Sacred Heart Church [395 Chestnut St., Springfield, MA] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
End Mass Incarceration in Massachusetts
Pioneer Valley Project invites you to join them in the fight to end mass incarceration in Massachusetts! If you’re into the idea of repealing mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses, changing some felony thresholds, increasing funding for re-entry programs and education during incarceration then you should help them fight for these reforms!

Computers:

Tuesday, April 4th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A regular meetup of coders and web developers that heads to the Foundry and hangs out and just generally chats and has a good time. You can join them to have a nice time as well!

Entertainment:

Monday, April 3rd
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Staged Reading of Getting Out
A staged read by the Holyoke Community College theater department of the play Getting Out, a play by the Pulitzer-winning author of ‘Night Mother. The play is the story of Arlene, a woman struggling to survive on the outside after being incarcerated for eight years in a Kentucky Prison.
Tuesday, April 4th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
The Wonderful World of Model Railroading
Have you ever wanted to make a tiny world that’s entirely comprised of people frozen in time save for the trains? Are the trains the masters of this world, or do they merely exist in some other state of being? Well two railroad enthusiasts, George Reneris and Harry Ruddock, will help answer questions about how you can put together a sweet model railroad!
Wednesday, April 5th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
First Wednesday Speaker Series: Clutter Control 101
Figure out how to get your stuff to stop being a gigantic terrible pile of nonsense that you don’t need or want! Dave Downs will offer some upbeat tips for getting all your various junk into a place where it can no loner bother you!
Friday, April 7th
UMass Center at Springfield [1500 Main St., Springfield, MA 01115] at 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Less Medicine, More Health
Dr. Gilbery Welch, author of “Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions that Drive Too Much Medical Care” will present in a free public forum! He’s a general internist with an interest in the issues created by overzealous efforts to detect early disease, mostly over-screening for cancer. It’s worth taking a look, maybe you’ll be less inclined to freak out over your own health!
Saturday, April 8th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Community Building as Resistance: The Northampton Association at 175 years.
Commemorate the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Northampton Association of Education and Industry! First you’ll get a walking tour of the Northampton Association Lands, and then you’ll see two lectures and a panel, about Abolition and Community in Northampton in the 1840s and construction of the progressive industrial village of Florence. And finally, a panel about the meaning of the Northampton Association Experiment!

History:

Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Free Community Day
This is a huge day! There’s a bunch to learn about ancient Rome! Inspired by the exhibition of the Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii that’s currently ongoing at the museum, there are a ton of things going on! Make your own fresco! Tour with a docent! Watch seventh-graders perform skits about ancient Rome! Stroll through a recreated Roman Garden!

Kids:

Monday, April 3rd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Mucho Gusto Spanish Free Sample Classes
A free bilingual Spanish/English story hour with Laurie Davidson of Mucho Gusto Spanish! It’s for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers!
Saturday, April 8th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Explore Music and Sound! Presented by UMass Music Educators
Students ages 9-12 are invited to try instruments and see demos performed by students from the UMass School of Education. Thinking about learning to play? Give it a shot today!

Movies:

Tuesday, April 4th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Finding Babel
Finding Babel chronicles a grandson’s search for the legacy of the greatest prose writer of the Russian Jewish community, and whose subversive work led t his tragic end. Isaac Babel is best known for his short story collections Odessa Stories and Red Cavalry, he challenged the ideology of the early Soviet Union and that challenging writing resulted in his execution in 1940 by the Soviet Regime. This movie tracks his grandson’s journeys through Ukraine, France, and Russian to confront the relevance of his ancestor’s work.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
GPL Teen Pizza and Movie Night
Pizza and a movie: the ultimate chance to have pizza and also watch a movie. Teens, don’t let this slip by! This is your chance to have pizza and watch a film! It’s a hoot to do so with pals!

RPGs:

Sunday, April 9th
Camp Timber Trails [1266 East Otis Road, Tolland, MA] at 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
Magestry LARP Spring Game #1
Magestry is looking for anyone interested in being an orc, a monster, a brigand, a barbarian, a general-purpose rough customer! They need a lot of NPCs to take care of an increasing number of PCs! You can play for free and even get food! You don’t even need to stay the whole weekend, a couple of hours would be a big help! Find out more by contacting NPC@Magestry.com or checking out the meetup at https://www.meetup.com/larping/events/238838016/

October 24th – October 30th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


The Spooky Month comes to a close this week! Well, almost. Make the most of it! Watch scary movies! Tell scary stories! Play a lot of Dread with your friends, because it’s by a local creator!

This week we called on our lovely readers to head to Comics N’ More to help them out through a trying time and we’d like to reiterate that! Basically they got double-charged, that’s a huge deal when you’re a small business, and it’d help them to have some people go buy things from them. Well. It would always help them if you bought stuff from them, but the point is it would be a particularly welcome bit of help right now.

Also! We just got to play two new games we’d like to talk about: Captain Sonar and 80 Days, they share very little in common.

Captain Sonar is a game for up to 8 players and is basically real-time battleship with some extra twists and a job for each player? We kind of liked it but kind of found it to be like… we thought it might be a talky excitement game and because of the fact that it’s important to deny information to the other team, it winds up being more quiet and serious than other games of that sort we’ve played. It was neat and we want to try again

80 Days is a choose-your-own-adventure style game about travelling around the world in 80 days and it’s awesome! It’s been out for a while but we hadn’t given it a shot yet and it’s just really really danged interesting. The little stories are always intriguing and the constant forward momentum provides a neat backdrop for not just constantly exploring until you’ve exhausted all of the writing.

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!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Wednesday, October 26th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 12:15 PM to 1:00 PM
When in Rome Gallery Talk
Anna Lee, Postdoctoral Fellow & Lecturer in History of Photography, Smith College; Explore how different approaches in depicting monuments affect viewer experience of works of art in the exhibition, and the ways photography in the 19th century created particular conditions for image-making and interpretation. It’s always interesting how photographic methods influence photographic interpretation!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Closing Reception for Animation Art by Sachio Cook
Sachio Cook is an animator from Yamagata, Japan and Queens, NY who is currently based in Northampton. She earned her BFA in Traditional Animation from the School of Visual Arts in 2011 and has since been working in the animation industry. Notable credits as an animator include Disney XD’s Motorcity and Adult Swim’s Superjail! and China IL, see her work and have a nice reception at the same time!

Board Games:

Sunday, October 30th
Comics N’ More at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix
This week, we recommend that you create a team entirely of people whose power requires a specific passphrase to activate!

Books:

Wednesday, October 26th
Holyoke Community College in the Leslie Phillips Forum at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Ilan Stavans, author of Words in Transit: Stories of Immigrants
Words in Transit collects the personal stories of almost thirty people who’ve made the Happy Valley their home! They were recorded by New England Pulbic Radio, and the lovely book showcases photographic portraits by Beth Reynolds.
Yiddish Book Center at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Jonathan Safran Foer, Here I Am
A novel about a family in Washington D.C. dealing with their own crises and personal problems as a war in the Middle East escalates. It’s one of those dramatic novels about marriages that people seem to dig.
Thursday, October 27th
Packards at 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Book Discussion + Dinner
A classic of science fiction by legendary author Philip K. Dick, about what it means to be human as well as what it means to be a person. It’s probably the most straightforwardly effective of Dick’s books in our opinion. Less vibrantly psychedelic than a lot of his works, but really interesting and forward-thinking.
Friday, October 28th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
The Common at the Mead
The Common literary magazine welcomes parents, students and the general public for a cocktail hour reception. Join them for wine, snacks and brief readings from newly released Issue 12 as well as Issue 11: Tajdeed, The Common’s special issue of translated Arabic fiction. All readings will be in English. Pick up a copy of Issue 12, with artwork by Rico Gatson.
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Toad and Snake, Mushrooms and Bats: A Halloween Walk and Evergreens Tarot Readings
A Halloween walk followed by Tarot readings from the Emily Dickinson Tarot deck! Emily Dickinson was always into toads, snakes, mushrooms, bats, winter, and all that spooky jazz! You can share in her celebration of otherworldly weirdness! Tickets are $13 per person, $7 for Museum members. Reserve your ticket here. 
Saturday, October 29th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Middle-Grade Halloween Panel with Erin Petti (The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee) and Natasha Lowe (The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel
Witches, ghosts, magic, awesome novels, and a COSTUME CONTEST! Best witch and best ghost each get a reward! Each author will be there to talk about their books and just about the magic of Halloween in general!

Community:

Tuesday, October 25th AND Wednesday, October 26th
Robert Crown Center, Hampshire College at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
19th Annual Eqbal Ahmad Symposium
Hampshire has asked panelists to address the kinds of activism that have surged in response to the constant confrontation with police violence and the racialized system of injustice, how the communities they work with are experiencing and responding to this moment, and how they view its significance. Seems like a worthwhile way to get some important perspectives!

Entertainment:

Monday, October 24th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
An Introduction to American Indian Music
Craig Harris, author of Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music, presents an exciting multimedia journey into North America’s soundscape! Should be interesting music!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
An Introduction to American Indian Music
Craig Harris, author of Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music, presents an exciting multimedia journey into North America’s soundscape! Should be interesting music!
Tuesday, October 25th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Introduction to American Indian Music
Craig Harris, author of Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music, presents an exciting multimedia journey into North America’s soundscape, again!
Springfield Public Forum at 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Farnoosh Torabi
The host of CNBC’s Follow the Leader and monthly financial contributor to O, The Oprah Magazine, as well as the host of the daily podcast So Money will be in town to talk to you about financial management strategies that will give you the comforting illusion that you’re in charge despite the fact that most financially relevant events will be out of your control.
Wednesday, October 26th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Fandom Club
Fans! Are you a fan of anything? Any particular property, object, color, concept, vague sense of identity? Join a Fandom meetup where you can talk about all your favorite things with other people who are big fans of either those or other things!
Thursday, October 27th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Ghost Story Open Mic
Do you have a spine-chilling ghost tale to tell? Do you want to spookify a whole group of folks? They’re going to dim the lights and share stories of the paranormal and unexplained! If you’re actually a ghost, this is like PRIME time for you to scare a ton of people wicked easily.
Sunday, October 30th
Yiddish Book Center at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Breath in a Ram’s Horn: The Jewish Spirit in Classical Music, with Daniel Asia
Composer, conductor, professor, and activist Daniel Asia talks about the origins of Yiddish song in Eastern European culture, its continuation on the American scene in the music of Yiddish composer Lazar Weiner, and its influence on Asia’s own award-winning music. The admission cost is $8 for a student, $10 for a member, and $12 for general admission.

History:

Tuesday, October 25th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Dear Florrie… Letters to N. Perry, Maine
In 2014 the Historical Society of Pembroke, Maine received a stash of nearly 900 letters “discovered” in a nearby garage.  Sent to Florence Lyman during the summer months between 1898 and 1932 primarily from Northampton family and friends, the letters offer unusual insight into local lives in transition. Ask them the story of the person who … stole and stashed hundreds of letters? What the heck?
Wednesday, October 26th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Paying the Price for Peace: the Story of S. Brian Wilson
Paying the Price for Peace: the Story of S. Brian Wilson :  Vietnam veteran S. Brian Willson was run over and nearly killed by a military train during a non-violent protest in 1987. Since then, he has not stopped protesting the US government’s continual decisions to wage war. This is a free film screening followed by a discussion, hosted by Northampton Peace and Social Justice.

Kids:

Tuesday, October 25th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Cat in the Hat for President

Join the Odyssey Bookshop and Jenny Powers of the Springfield Museums in a night of art, politics, and seussical rhyme! This program is aimed at grades K-3, or anyone who needs to work through their emotion about the election which at this point we think is everyone?

Thursday, October 27th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Here They Come: A Halloween Visit with David Hyde Costello

David Hyde Costello brings a range of skills to the stage in a one-man variety show. With ukulele accompaniment, Costello opens with an original song. He gives a spirited reading of his book and then draws a new monster on the spot, created entirely by taking ideas from the audience. To close, David introduces us to a character from his book ­ a young hobgoblin who emerges tentatively from a box to answer kids’ questions (answers are given in Hobgoblin language and translated by David). This all sounds pretty adorable!

Saturday, October 29th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Passport to Chemistry
Kids will learn how to shrink things with heating! Plastic art designs will go into toaster ovens, which will make them shrink! It’ll be a great opportunity to understand a bit of chemistry and also seriously make it clear to them that they can’t ever put plastic in a toaster at HOME or wow jeez that’s going to be an issue. For ages 6-10 and adult caregivers! Please pre-register in the Kids’ Room or at 413-259-3091/kids@joneslibrary.org
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Scientific Kids Club
Join Ralph and Steven in this interactive program as they explore their surroundings and cultivate curiosity for the natural world. For October’s program, in keeping with the season, they will look into the rustic life of the pumpkin, culminating in a pumpkin dissection! This program is for ages 8-11 (give or take). Please register online here, as space is limited. It’s pretty horrifying that first they’re going to introduce you to the idyllic life of the noble pumpkin before cutting one open in front of you!
Sunday, October 30th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Special Storytime: Jonathan Bean
In Real Cowboys, Kate Hoefler’s realistic and poetic picture book debut about the wide open West, the myth of rowdy, rough-riding cowboys and cowgirls is remade. Working in layers of stenciled four-color imagery, artist Jonathan Bean beautifully echoes the allusive, musical quality of the text while nodding to the archetypes of the Old West. Book signing to follow program. 

Science:

Monday, October 24th
Union Station [125 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Gravitational Waves: Measuring Ripples in Space from a Billion Years Ago
How can you detect a collision that happened over a billion years ago? How can you measure something that changes a two-mile long building by less than the width of an atom? Why do scientists think this new technology will teach us things about our universe we could never have learned before? Gary Felder will bring you answers to all these questions and more! He will expand your understanding of the universe to a degree you can’t imagine!
Wednesday, October 26th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Climate Change and the Connecticut River
This talk will give you an introduction to what sort of changes we can expect in the Connecticut River basin as we move into the 21st century. Spoiler: it’s not going to be great! Hopefully we’ll still have water. Speaker Dr. Richard N. Palmer is Department Head and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts.

Support Local Creators Via Patreon!

Patreon is a service that allows you to regularly give money to people for stuff that they do. Mostly art and writing stuff! We’ve tried to gather together people right here in the Valley that you can support and keep in rent and food and such.

It might not seem like much to pitch in a few bucks a month, but for artists who might have variable pay schedules for almost all of the work they do, having a source of steady income is a really big deal. Plus this cash goes straight to the artist which is kind of what you want, right? And, because they’re local artists, they’re going to put that money back into the community! It is a process which will bring you nothing but joy.

Just click a name and you’ll be taken to the Patreon page of these spectacular folks!

So, who can you support locally via this particular service? In alphabetical order:

Meguey Baker

  • What is created?
    • “Wishing Games”
    • They’re like folk RPGs? They seem to split the difference between a sit-down RPG and like… tag. The’re really interesting!
    • You can check out a preview of one of the games here: The Holly and the Ivy!
  • How often do you pay?
    • Per item created, a total of eight. Not sure if this is still relevant now that the year is up, actually!
  • What do you receive for supporting?
    • Thanks ($1 or more)
    • All previous tiers plus copies of the Games ($3 or more)
    • All previous tiers plus play with Meguey at a con! ($15 or more)

Vincent Baker

  • What Is created?
    • A window into game design.
    • Basically, each installment of this series will give patrons the chance to watch Vincent work on games from concept to creation.
    • You can see an example here – Apocalypse World: Nightmare City!
  • How often do you pay?
    • Per each installment.
    • 0-2 installments per month.
  • What do you receive for supporting?
    • Full access to Patron-only game sketches, drafts, and analysis ($1 or more)
    • All previous tiers plus invitations to monthly private discussions ($3 or more)
    • All previous tiers plus membership to a private discussion forum and the ability to make futile suggestions to a capricious creator ($10 or more)

Emily Care Boss

  • What Is created?
    • Hacks and mods to the Romance Trilogy of games!
    • Hacks and mods mean like, taking the basic rule-set of the originals but altering things to make for a new experience. So for instance, a sequel to Under the Skin using the same ruleset.
  • How often do you pay?
    • Per Hack or Mod.
    • Looks like about once per month.
  • What do you receive for supporting?
    • The plain-text hack or mod of the month plus a discount coupon for the final Romance Trilogy PDF ($1 or more)
    • All previous tiers plus a PDF of the hack or mod of the month plus the discount coupon ($2 or more)
    • All previous tiers plus a bonus hack or mod PDF and sneak previews of games in progress ($5 or more)

KC Green

  • What Is created?
  • How often do you pay?
    • Once a month.
  • What do you receive for supporting?
    • Access to a Backer Blog that has sketches, unfinished pages, unposted pages, secret stuff! Cool stuff. Things no one will believe you’ve ever seen, but you’ll know. ($1 or more)

Joshua A.C. Newman

  • What Is created?
    • Aliens! Essays about aliens! Languages! Ecosystems! Art! So much neat stuff.
    • Like, all the neat high-concept stuff that we love about big interesting space opera writing, distilled.
  • How often do you pay?
    • Just about once every two weeks.
  • What do you receive for supporting?
    • Hey, thanks! ($1 or more)
    • All previous tiers plus an update so you know what’s coming, plus access to high-res files and process photos! Plus, you can ask leading questions to be answered with future art! ($2 or more)
    • All previous tiers plus all the content in eReader-friendly formats! Plus collections of serialized stories and full process series when they’re complete. PLUS you’ll get a PDF of Shock: Social Science Fiction and Shock: Human Contact. ($3 or more)
    • All previous tiers plus worldbuilding advice! Anyone at this tier can get a chat for one hour a month to talk about how to build interesting worlds for your roleplaying games, novels, comics, whatever you like. ($10 or more)
    • All previous tiers plus mutual creator support! Subject to editorial discretion, your project will get posted on the blog and on a page in each eBook. Joshua is particularly excited to help out other independent creators! ($20 or more)

Epidiah Ravochol

  • What Is created?
    • Worlds Without Master
    • An adventure fiction and gaming magazine featuring short fiction and games from Epidiah and many other great creators! Each issue has two illustrated stories, a comic, an illustrated game or article, and a bunch of interesting miscellaneous stuff!
    • It’s like one of those old glossy RPG magazines, only much better. It has entire RPGs resting within it!
  • How often do you pay?
    • Per Issue, one a month.
  • What do you receive for supporting?
    • A PDF of the fiction only, no comics games or illustrations. BUT a coupon code to get the rest of the issue for $1.99, meaning you can basically pick if you want to pay patron price for the rest. ($1 or more)
    • A PDF of the issue when the electronic version is released, and within a little bit a print version shipped to you at cost if you like. ($2.99 or more)
    • Higher pledge levels allow you to share patronage with friends!
    • You also get free ad space at the website and within the pages of the magazine!

Wow! So many awesome local creators! You can get comics, games, fiction, why you can get almost anything you desire! Not even a need for a sinister compact with an elder being in order to gain this boon, which is a big old plus in our book.

Have we missed anyone? Is there a local Patreon out there you’d like us to feature? Let us know!