These hills have a long history of novelists, poets, journalists and visionaries, and a rich harvest of contemporary ones. Come hear them speak and visit the places where they have lived and worked.
In the photo at the top, Edith Wharton’s books range over the desk in her library at the Mount in Lenox. Photo by Susan Geller.
Arrowhead — Historic house where Herman Melville wrote “Moby-Dick.” House tours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, Memorial Day to Columbus Day. Writer-in-residence program. Grounds open free with walking trails, summer art exhibits, Michael Melle straw sculptures and nature trail. Fun on the Farm summer Mondays for preschool children. Home of the Berkshire Historical Society. 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield. 413-442-1793. mobydick.org
Bennington College — Bennington MFA in writing: readings with students, faculty and visiting writers in June. Schedule bennington.edu/MFAWriting
Bryant Homestead — Boyhood home and later summer retreat of American poet, abolitionist, conservationist and editor William Cullen Bryant. House open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for tours. Rivulet Trail to old-growth trees, fields and sugarbush and stream in Bryant’s 1823 poem. Grounds open free year-round. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington. National Historic Landmark. Trustees of Reservations, 413-532-1631 ext. 3110, thetrustees.org.
The Mastheads — Fiction and non-fiction writer Mariam Rahmani; National Poetry Series awardwinner Justin Boening; poet Greg Allendorf; Jamaican-American fiction writer and novelist Maria Pinto; and fiction writer and novelist John Babbott in new writers’ residency program founded on the history of Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Henry David Thoreau and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., American Renaissance authors who wrote here in the mid-19th century, with studios for a month-long residency, city-wide public programming and events. Pittsfield
Millay Colony for the Arts — Summer writing residencies and master class retreat July 29 to Aug. 5, week-long intensive including workshops with Jonny Diamond, editor-in-hhief of Literary Hub, critic and essayist Naomi Huffman of FSG and sound artist Samita Sinha. 454 East Hill Road, Austerlitz, N.Y. millaycolony.org/workshops.
The Mount — Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Edith Wharton’s house, gardens and grounds with ”Wharton on Wednesdays,” professional actors perform Wharton’s short stories. Music after Hours free concerts on the terrace Fridays and Saturdays in July and August. Talks with storytellers, nonfiction writers and poets, June to August; Monday series starts in July. Touchstone series with Kate Bolick. Ghost tours. Wednesdays and French conversation on the terrace Thursdays, Books and Blooms children’s story hour in the garden, 10 a.m. Tuesdays, July and August. Exhibits on Wharton’s writing and life. House and grounds open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with tours through Oct. 31. 2 Plunkett St., Lenox. 413-551-5111, edithwharton.org.
Merck Forest and Farmland center — Henry David Thoreau
Northshire Books — Fiction, nonfiction and poetry readings weekly all summer. Dorset Theatre Festival talks before each play opens. 4869 Main St., Manchester, Vt. 802-362-2200, northshire.com.
Robert Frost Stone House — “Sunday Afternoons with Frost” free talks at the house where Frost lived and wrote “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Museum open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., to May 1 to October 29. 121 Historic Route 7A, South Shaftsbury, Vt. 802-447-6200, frostfriends.org/stonehouse.html
Shirley Jackson Day — Celebration of 100th birthday of novelist and short story writer Shirley Jackson on the day when one of her best-known stories, “The Lottery,” is set. Live readings and performances with two of her children, J.S. Holly and Barry Hyman. Left Bank, 1 Bank St., North Bennington. 802-681-7161
Spencertown Academy — “Festival of Books— A Celebration of Books and Reading,” September, annual extravaganza of all things literary, free readings and book signings by nationally known and local authors, a giant used book sale and children’s events. 790 State Route 203, Spencertown, N.Y. 518-392-3693, spencertownacademy.org.
Steepletop — Home of Pulitzer prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Open through to Oct. Friday to Monday, house tours 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 and 3:15, gardens and exhibits. Nature trail marked with lines from Millay poems. 436 East Hill Road off Route 22, Austerlitz, N.Y. 518- 392-3362.
W.E.B. DuBois Center — Museum of Civil Rights Pioneers at North Stare Rare Bookstore. Hours: weekends, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 684 Main St., Great Barrington; DuBoisCenterGB.org.
W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite — National Historic Site, Boyhood home of the internationally acclaimed Civil Rights leader, scholar, activist and writer known for “Souls of Black Folk” and other works, who was born and raised in Great Barrington and returned there frequently over the course of his long life. Periodic free one-hour guided tours. Half-mile long interpretive trail with wayside exhibits open daily from dawn to dusk, leads to the foundation of his boyhood home and tells the story of his life and legacy. Route 23, just west of Route 71. duboishomesite.org.
WordXWord Festival— Week-long festival in the downtown Upstreet Cultural District in August, words spoken, written and sung around town. Poetry readings, workshops, story and poetry slams, teen events, free writing workshops with festival poets and writers. Local artists and nationally recognized authors and performers. Poetry and story slams throughout the summer. Pittsfield. wXw365.org
Writers OMI — Writers and translators in residence at OMI International Arts Center give readings. 1405 County Route 22, Ghent, N.Y., 518-392-4747, omiartscenter.org
Writers at the borders
Emily Dickinson Museum — Emily Dickinson’s family home, tours and poetry. Summer hours Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 280 Main St. Amherst, 413-542-8429, emilydickinsonmuseum.org.
Mark Twain House — Conversations with writers. Writing workshops, book groups, storytelling evenings. Ghost tours and history talks. 351 Farmington Avenue Hartford, Conn. marktwainhouse.org
Columbia County Historical Society — Historic properties include the Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse c. 1850, whose schoolmaster may have inspired the character in Washington Irving’s story; Irving was a friend of Martin Van Buren and lived at the Van Ness home in Kinderhook for about eight weeks in 1809 after the death of his fiancée. He wrote portions of “A History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty” here. 2589 Route 9, Kinderhook, N.Y. cchsny.org