First Wednesdays Lecture Series

Free talks on the first Wednesday of the month, October through May.

Brattleboro First Wednesdays

Venue: Brooks Memorial Library

224 Main Street, Brattleboro
Library phone: (802) 254-5290
Library website
Directions to the library


Statewide Underwriters: The Institute of Museum & Library Services through the Vermont Department of Libraries.

Series Underwriter: Chroma Technology Corp.

Program Underwriters: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Pulitzer Prizes; Peter Gilbert Endowment Fund; The Samara Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation; The Vermont Country Store

Library Sponsors: Friends of the Brooks Memorial Library

Pre-Register for Talks

Please note: due to the Covid-19 crisis, the October, November, and December 2020 First Wednesdays talks will only be offered online, via Zoom. Advance registration is required for these events.

Wed 02

*DIGITAL* The Legacy of Nicholas Black Elk

December 2
7:00 pm
Historian Damian Costello explores the life of the man behind the famous book Black Elk Speaks. Nicholas Black Elk’s Lakota philosophy can help us see the natural world as a unified whole, and his continued hope amidst great tragedy can inform how we approach contemporary crises. (Pre-registration required.) Read More »
Wed 06

Meeting Men through Imagination

January 6, 2021
7:00 pm
In the post-#MeToo era, men need new interventions to help express their masculinity without causing harm. Josiah Rule Randazzo, creator of The Complete Dick podcast, will explore how we can transform our understanding of masculinity and manhood. Read More »
Wed 03

Female Husbands and Their Wives

February 3, 2021
7:00 pm
Some people, assigned female at birth, transcended gender and lived as men in the 18th and 19th centuries, despite tremendous risk of violence. Amherst history professor Jen Manion provides examples of such people and the women they married. Read More »
Wed 03

How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish

March 3, 2021
7:00 pm
Yiddish is imprinted in American English in terms like chutzpah, kosher, bagel, and schmooze. And the work of Jewish authors shows the deep impact of Jewish immigration on the United States. Amherst College professor Ilan Stavans surveys the journey. Read More »
Wed 07

Eating While Fat

April 7, 2021
7:00 pm
Comic Josie Leavitt shares her hilarious attempts at exercising and dieting, addresses fat shaming, and describes her struggle for body acceptance in a society that could do more to welcome different bodies. Read More »
Wed 05

This is Not That: A Brief Introduction to the Black Death

May 5, 2021
7:00 pm
The Black Death hit the Eurasian world in the 14th century and left long-term consequences. Dartmouth history professor Celia Gaposchkin presents an overview of the outbreak of the bubonic plague, and compares it to the current pandemic. Read More »

Printed Brattleboro First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2020-2021 Brattleboro Schedule (PDF).