Renaissance House in Martha’s Vineyard Hosts Reading by MacArthur Fellow Patricia Williams June 24

Patricia Williams, Noted Author, Columbia University Law Professor, MacArthur Fellow and Nation Magazine Columnist at Free Reception & Reading from Her Book-- Open House: Of Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons, and a Search for a Room of My Own
By: Renaissance House
Patricia Williams
Patricia Williams
MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass. - June 23, 2014 - PRLog -- Renaissance House: A Retreat for Writers Salon Series will host an evening with Patricia Williams, award-winning writer, Nation Magazine columnist, Columbia University Law School professor and MacArthur Fellow on Tuesday, June 24 at 7:30pm at Renaissance House, 31 Pennacook Avenue in Oak Bluffs.

The Renaissance House Salon Series is FREE to the public and is sponsored by the Helene Johnson and Dorothy West Foundation For Artists In Need. Dessert is served after each salon.

Williams’ writing ranges from non-fiction to fiction. She has written scores of articles for scholarly journals, popular magazines and newspapers, in addition to her books The Alchemy of Race and Rights, published in 1991,Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race, 1997, and her newest book, Open House: Of Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons, and a Search for a Room of My Own, a collection of personal stories, essays and antedotes.  She is the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University School of Law in New York and a graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Law School. In addition, she has garnered experience as a consumer advocate, staff attorney, and deputy city attorney. Williams has been honored as the recipient of several awards, including the Alumnae Achievement Award from Wellesley College, the Graduate Society Medal from Harvard University, and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

“Patricia Williams’ witty and humorous writing has insightful observations into the mechanics of race, gender, war, terrorism, civil rights and social justice,” said Abigail McGrath, founder, Helene Johnson and Dorothy West Foundation and Renaissance House. “This Tuesday, she will be reading from her work in progress. And she even lives in Oak Bluffs.”

Each of the speakers lives in Martha’s Vineyard, each has a history with the Vineyard and each speaks in a language tailored to the uniqueness of the island.

The 2014 Salon schedule is:

7:30 PM, Tuesday, June 17, John Hough,Jr., author of novel Little Bighorn

7:30 PM, Tuesday, June 24-- MacArthur Fellow Patricia Williams, Columbia Law professor and Diary of a Mad Law Professor columnist for The Nation magazine, reads from her recent work.

7:30PM, Tuesday, July 1-- Jan Pogue, founder of Vineyard Stories book publishing, former reporter and editor for Philadelphia Inquirer and USA Today and president of Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Network, a business group.

1:00 PM, Friday, July 4 -- Frederick Douglass speech “What Does the Fourth of July Mean to A Negro?” This event will be at the Inkwell Beach in Oak Bluffs. It’s a pot luck dinner and attendees are invited to participate in the reading.

7:30 PM, Tuesday, July 8 -- You've heard of The Three Tenors? There’s the Three Good Lookin’ Poets: Dan Waters, Mike West and Justin Ahern. These three island poets work in harmony, joy and cheerfulness. Each will read from current works.

7:30PM, Tuesday, July 15-- Jessica B. Harris, PhD, a food anthropologist, cultural culinary historian and cookbook author of "High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey From Africa to America" will explore how foods can teach history

The Renaissance House Salon Series is a special highlight of the Renaissance House Retreat, which provides writers and artists with a subsidized retreat away from life's responsibilities and the space in which to create new works of art.  Renaissance House is one of the few retreats designed for issue-oriented writers, writers of color and writers of social justice.

Renaissance House is an annual writers retreat sponsored by the Helene Johnson and Dorothy West Foundation, both of whom were women writers of the Harlem Renaissance. West was the author of the award-winning novel and film The Wedding.  Both West and her poet cousin Johnson (Mc Grath’s mother) were writers during the Harlem Renaissance.

Renaissance House provides artists with a subsidized retreat away from life's responsibilities and the space in which to create new works of art. Renaissance House Fellows for 2014 include Afaa Michael Weaver, Pushcart Award-winning poet, playwright and director of the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center at Simmons College. He was recently profiled in Time Magazine for winning the prestigious Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

The Renaissance House Salon Series programs are free and open to the public. Please RSVP for a reservation. For more information call Renaissance House at 917-747-0367 or email

Visit Renaissance House at the website at

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Abigail McGrath
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Page Updated Last on: Jun 23, 2014
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