The Tannery Series

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Li-Young Lee, Martha Collins, Anne Easter Smith, Susan Rich, Rhina Espaillat and More

National Stars and Local Favorites Kick-Off Spring for The Tannery Series.

Join us in Newburyport and Salem for two amazing events this May.

Rich, Royal and Powerful
May 1, 2014 7pm @Jabberwocky Books, Newburyport, MA.

From Medieval longings to modern desire, three exciting writers take on the alchemy of the human heart with Anne Easter Smith, Susan Rich and Rhina Espaillat.

Parts Unknown: The Challenges of Writing Across Worlds
May 3, 2014 2:45pm @ Peabody Essex Museum, East India Marine Hall

The strategies, pitfalls and politics of representing one world to another with Li-Young Lee, Martha Collins, Kirun Kapur and Vivek Narayanan (this event is part of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival)

For more information email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


From Bullet Bras to Bra Burning

The Changing Lives of Women in the ’50s, ’60s and Beyond

The Tannery Series takes on fashion and feminism at PEM.

March 29, 2014 3:00 pm @ the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.

In the ’50s and early ’60s, the cone-shaped brassieres of Marilyn Monroe were all the rage and most women needed a husband’s permission to open a bank account or get a credit card. By the ’70s, feminists were protesting high-heels and bras, while women were finding their places in universities and courtrooms. Join The Tannery Series for a discussion of fashion, feminism and the way the home-front became a crucible of social change. Be part of the conversation as award-winning novelist Sigrid Nunez and sociologist Ashley Mears explore beauty, power and the changing lives of women in the era of Mad Men. Come hear why "Mid-Century Modern" is about more than great design.

On the program:

Sigrid Nunez(The Last of Her Kind), plunges us into the dark side of the countercultural idealism that swept the country in the 1960s. Exploring a friendship between two college roommates from vastly different backgrounds, her award-winning novel provides a remarkable and disconcerting vision of a troubled time in American history, and of its repercussions for national and individual identity.

Ashley Mears (Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model), takes us behind the brightly lit runways and glossy advertisements of the fashion industry to explore a largely hidden arena of cultural production— how the right “look” is discovered, developed, and packaged to become a prized commodity. Her rich, accessible analysis of the invisible ways in which gender, race, and class have shaped design and fashion reveals how the industry has impacted our sense of beauty, power and femininity across the decades.

This program will celebrate the opening of PEM’s latest exhibit, California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way. Come explore Mad Men and brilliant women.

For more information email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


La Vie Bohème: French Life, Light and Love

The Tannery Series Kicks Off Its Fifth Season With The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik.

January 16, 2014 6:30-9:30 PM @ the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

Shake off the storms and the cold! We are pleased to announce another year of exciting collaborations with the Peabody Essex Museum, starting with its January PEM/PM event.  Come immerse yourself in the gorgeous warmth of  PEM's new exhibit, "Impressionists on the Water." Listen to French singer-songwriter Marine Futin. Sample French pastries and enjoy a demonstration of absinthe, the drink made infamous by the artists in the gallery.

The Tannery Series will be in the thick of things with Adam Gopnik (Paris to the Moon) whose essays on French life have fed the American imagination. From Brillat-Savarin to Camus, Gopnik’s pen has translated the glamor, beauty, and profound achievement of French artistic life for a new generation. Join us for an intimate conversation with one of The New Yorker’s most loved voices as we discuss love, light, art and the bohemian sprit.

Reserve your tickets now. While the PEM/PM program can accommodate all walk-ins, The Tannery Series conversation with Adam Gopnik (which starts at 7:00 pm) will have limited seating in the East India Marine Hall. Call 978-745-9500 to grab a seat.

For more information email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Manga Nation: Japanese Design and American Pop Culture

The Tannery Series returns to PEM/PM to explore the Japanese art forms that have taken America by storm.

November 21, 2013 6:30-9:30pm @ the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.

Dig out your Astoboy and put on your Pokemon ears! Join us for a discussion of soulful robots, gender-bending plotlines, punk-haired heroines and heroes with stars in their eyes. We’ll go beyond the usual notions of cartoon and costume, fantasy and reality, to explore ideas about public and private selves and what the popularity of Manga in the United States reveals about the changes in American identity.

On the program:

Roland Kelts (JAPANAMERICA: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.), plunges into the American experience with Japanese pop phenomenon. Highlighting the shared conflicts as American and Japanese pop cultures dramatically collide in the here and now, his work is as literate as it is hip.

Robin Brenner (Understanding Manga and Anime), takes on cosplay, fanservice and everything in between. Her fresh, fascinating, exhaustive book, is perfect for serious fans, neophytes, as well as for anyone who wonders what their kids have been reading and talking about.

The evening will also include musician VJ Beyonder Domela, some hands-on instruction in drawing Manga and an opportunity to visit PEM’s latest exhibit, “Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion.”

There’s food, music, community and fun as we team up again with the wonderful folks at the Peabody Essex Museum.  Come dressed as your favorite Manga character!

For more information email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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From Bullet Bras to Bra Burning
@ Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA

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From Our Authors:

Cloud Pharmacy
by Susan Rich

How many apothecary drawers
could I fill with these deliberations?
The pharmacist’s paper cone
parsing out a quarter cup
of love’s resistant drug,
spoons measuring new prescriptions
for my uncertainty, hipsway, gesture.
Give me cobalt bottles
leftover from aunt iska’s cures,
albastrons of ointments, resins to resolve
the double-helix of desire inside of me.
Where is the votive, the vessel,
the slide rule calculation—
to know how much good love
alchemically speaking is
good enough?
I want spindrift nights on swimmer’s
thighs. I want an Egyptian
elevator inlaid in camphorwood and ivory;
a West African drumbeat, an eggnog, a god.
I want waves and summer all year long.
I want you. And I want more.

First published in City Arts