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The Library offers free public classes, programs, and exhibitions at its 10 locations throughout the city of Hartford. Below is a selection of upcoming events.

Jump to: Programs / Adult LearningExhibits

To submit a public program or exhibition proposal, click here.

April is Poetry Month!

Take a poetry break from 1 to 5 pm, Tuesdays through Thursdays in the Hartford History Center. Browse our poetry collection.

On Thursdays in April at 1:15 pm we will read a poem from our collection over the Library intercom.

On April 27, between 1 and 5 pm, visit our Pop Up Maker Space in the Hartford History Center and make a poem to carry in your pocket.  We suggest one by Hartford community activist Lucy Cooper Summers, author of 99 Patches, her book of poetry published in 1969. The book was revised and reprinted in 1995. In 1997 graduates of Hartford High School received a copy as a memento.

Printmaking Class
with Master Artist Robert Charles Hudson

ALBANY BRANCH, 1250 Albany Avenue
Tuesdays, 10 am - 12 noon, April 4 - May 9

Lifelong learning classes in the arts for older adults.

Class is progressive; please plan on attending all six workshops. Space is limited; pre-registration is required. Priority given to Hartford residents.
Call 860-695-7381 or email to register.
Support made possible by Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.
Image: LINOCUT, 13x19 cm, 1947, Elizabeth Catlett

Round Table Discussion: Expressions of War
(World I & America Program)

Thursday, April 27, 5:30pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

Join military veterans, students, and active duty personnel in reading and discussing selections from the World War I and America reader edited by A. Scott Berg. Discussion will be led by veterans: Marcus Lawson of Capitol Community College; Dr. Carlita Cotton of Goodwin College, and Dave Ionno, City of Hartford Veterans Committee. It is encouraged, but not required to read through readings that are located here:

To register, please email or call 860-695-6367 with your name and contact information. 

This program was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the Library of America.

Encounters: U.S. Constitution

Saturday, April 29, 2-4pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd Fl. (Downtown)

Join community members in critical small group discussions about the U.S. Constitution.

The Encounters series is a public discussion program created by a partnership with the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library, UConn's Humanities Institute, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. The partners will provide discussion leaders to engage in topics aimed at strengthening our ability to know ourselves and one another through respectful and challenging dialogue.

Please read the U.S. Constitution prior to the event.
To register, email: or call: (860) 695-6367

MY FELLOW SOLDIERS: Gen. John Pershing
and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War

Tuesday, May 2, 5:30pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

Military historian and author, Andrew Carroll, who founded The Center for American War Letters, will give a talk on his new book, My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War. The book is a comprehensive telling of the American experience in the war based on eyewitness accounts by General Pershing and other senior officers, as well as the troops, aviators, and nurses who risked—and often gave—their lives during this conflict. Many of their letters and diaries will be published for the first time.

For more information on all of our WWI & America programs:

This program was made possible in part by the Connecticut State Library and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

El Caso de Oscar López Rivera “En Tertulia” with Jorge Limeres

Tuesday, May 2, 6-7:30 PM
Park Branch

Oscar Lopez Rivera prison sentence will end on May 17 2017.  Join us for a discussion led by Professor Jorge Limeres on Oscar Lopez Rivera case and topic of seditious conspiracy.

El tiempo en prisión de Oscar López Rivera terminará el 17 de mayo de 2017. Únase a nosotros en un dialogo con el profesor Jorge Limeres sobre el caso de Oscar y el tema de la conspiración sediciosa.

Gleason Film Screening & Discussion

Wednesday, May 10
Center for Contemporary Culture
Doors 5:30 pm
Film 6 pm
Discussion 8-8:30 pm

The hit documentary from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival goes inside the life of Steve Gleason, the former New Orleans Saints defensive back who, at the age of 34, was diagnosed with ALS and given a life expectancy of two to five years. Weeks later, Gleason found out his wife, Michel, was expecting their first child. A video journal that began as a gift for his unborn son expands to chronicle Steve's determination to get his relationships in order, build a foundation to provide other ALS patients with purpose, and adapt to his declining physical condition-utilizing medical technologies that offer the means to live as fully as possible.

May is ALS Awareness Month. This program is presented in partnership with The Susie Foundation and The ALS Association- Connecticut Chapter.

Hartford in WWI (Author Talk) 

Thursday, May 11, 5:30pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

Local historian and journalist David Drury is the author of Hartford in World War I. He will deliver a presentation on the activities of the Hartford community during the period, accompanied by a slideshow of images provided by the Connecticut State Library, in advance of CSLIB’s forthcoming programming and exhibits on World War I in Connecticut.

For more information on all of our WWI & America programs:

This program was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the Library of America.

“La Promesa” for Puerto Rico Part II. En Tertulia

Tuesday, May 16, 6-7:30 pm
Park Branch

Join us for follow-up discussion on the latest events on how the United States Control Fiscal Board (“Promesa”) affects the island. 

Únase para continuar el dialogo de los recientes acontecimientos sobre la Junta de Control Fiscal, (“Promesa”) y sus efectos en la isla.

Poetry as Memoir

GOODWIN BRANCH, 460 New Britain Avenue
Wednesday, May 24, 10 am-12 pm

Join us as we write to capture moments of everyday life! No previous writing experience necessary. Class is designed for adults 18 and up.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Born in Cuba and raised in Panama, Bessy Reyna is a graduate of Mt Holyoke College and earned her Masters and Law degrees from the University of Connecticut. She is the author of two bilingual books of poetry, The Battlefield of Your Body and Memoirs of the Unfaithful Lover/ Memorias de la amante infiel.

Pre-registration is required – space is limited!
Call 860-695-7480 to reserve your space today!

Collage Remix: Art Workshop
with master artist Andres Chaparro

DWIGHT BRANCH, 7 New Park Avenue
Wednesdays, 10 am-12 noon, May 24-June 28

We will be creating collages. All materials will be provided. Class is progressive; please plan on attending all six workshops.

Space is limited; pre-registration is required.
Call 860-695-7460 to register.

Priority given to Hartford residents.

Lifelong Learning: Classes in the Arts at HPL are designed for older adults ages 55+

Support made possible by Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

Why Preserve? Digitizing Stories:
CT Latinos in the Military

Thursday, June 1, 5:30pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd Fl (Downtown)

Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera of Bloomfield College, New Jersey, will discuss opportunities for CT-based Latino veterans and their families to bring memorabilia, photographs, and their oral stories to be collected, digitized, and interviews recorded at the Hartford History Center for incorporation into the Connecticut State Library’s digital collection. He will discuss why it is important to preserve this information and offer suggestions of what to bring to the digitization day that will take place at the Hartford History Center of Saturday, June 10. This program will be bilingual (English & Spanish).

¿Por qué preservar? La Digitalización de Historias
que Representan Latinos y Latinas de CT en el Ejército

jueves, el 1 de junio, 5:30
Hartford History Center, tercer piso (Downtown)

El Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera de Bloomfield College, Nueva Jersey, discutirá las oportunidades para que los veteranos latinos/as de CT y sus familias traigan objetos de recuerdo, fotografías y sus historias orales para ser recolectadas, digitalizadas con entrevistas grabadas en el Hartford History Center con el propósito de ser incorporadas en la colección digital de la Biblioteca Estatal de Connecticut. Él Dr. Franqui-Rivera discutirá por qué es importante preservar esta información y ofrecerá sugerencias de lo que traer al día de digitalización que tendrá lugar en el Centro de Historia de Hartford el sábado 10 de junio. Este programa será bilingüe.

For more information on all of our WWI & America programs:

This program was made possible in part by the Connecticut State Library and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Estadidad, Independencia, o Colonia
“En Tertulia” with Jorge Limeres

Tuesday, June 6, 6-7:30 pm
Park Branch

On June 11 Puerto Rico’s electorate will vote to bring “a solution” to the island’s colonial status. Join the discussion on the reality, the myth and consequences of this event.

El 11 de junio el electorado puertorriqueño ira a votar por “la solución” del estatus colonial de la Isla. Únase al dialogo sobre la realidad, el mito y las consecuencias de este evento.

Digitization Day: CT Latinos in the Military

Saturday, June 10, 11am-4pm
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

Trained digitization and recording specialists will digitize photographs, memorabilia, and record interviews of Connecticut-based Latino veterans for the digital collection of the Connecticut State Library. Spanish and English speakers will be available.

Día de la Digitalización: 
Latinos y Latinas de CT en el Ejército

sabado, el 10 de junio, 11h-16h
Hartford History Center, 3rd floor (Downtown)

Especialistas entrenados en digitalización y grabación digitalizarán objetos y fotografías y grabarán entrevistas de veteranos latinos/as residentes de Connecticut para la colección digital de la Biblioteca Estatal de Connecticut. Habrán asistentes que hablan español e ingles.

For more information on all of our WWI & America programs:

This program was made possible in part by the Connecticut State Library and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Art Appreciation 101

Saturdays, June 24-July 29
Downtown Library & field trips

Lifelong learning classes in the arts for older adults.

Let’s talk about art! In this introductory course, practice your close looking skills and visual vocabulary while exploring the role of art in our world today. Identify the elements of art and the principles of design, discuss the role of collectors and museums, write a poem or story inspired by a work of art, and more! Each session will include a hands-on art-making lesson, with all supplies provided.

The class will include walking field trips to some of Hartford’s artistic treasures; some walking is required.

Space is limited; pre-registration required. Call 860.695.6377 or email to register. Priority given to Hartford residents.

Support made possible by Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

National Disability Voter Registration Week

Tuesday, July 18, 6-7:45 pm
Hartford History Center

Program on new equipment now available presented in partnership with the Secretary of State's Office

Voter Education

Tuesday, September 26, 6-7:45 pm
Hartford History Center

Program on the popular vote and its impact presented in partnership with the Secretary of State's Office.

UConn Writing Center at HPL

Wallace Stevens Writing Room, 3rd floor
Noon to 4 pm

First-Come, First-Served: please sign up upon arrival for about an hour of attention

Students, Graduate Students, and Professors from UConn Hartford. We are people interested in writing in all its forms. We believe the best writing comes as part of a dialogue.

You bring your writing to us and we discuss it with you. Any Stage of Writing: Planning, Drafting, or Revising—it’s all Welcome. Any Kind of Writing: Academic: Essays/Writing for Classes. Professional: Resumes, Cover Letters, Applications. Creative: Stories Long & Short, Poetry, Non-Fiction. Personal: Letters, Memoirs. Multiple Levels of Attention. Conceptual: Content, Theme, & Organization. Mechanical: Sentence Structure, Clarity, & Grammar.

Hartford Public Library is pleased to offer the opportunity for local writers to showcase their latest publication and connect with library visitors. HPL will publicize your appearance and will make available your book in the circulating collection. Hartford authors will be given first consideration. Please contact 860.695.6320 for more information, or click here to submit.


Darryl Oates:
Ink & Blue Notes

Sunday, April 30, 2-5 pm
Main Floor, Downtown Library

This is a intriguing coloring book (20 pages to color) filled with drawings of dazzling depictions of musical performances recommended for ages 12 to 65 and over by seasoned artist Darryl Z. Oates drawn in an impressionistic style with pen and ink for coloring fun! Like great impressionist artists of the past it depicts the bursting social nightlife of a city, Hartford, Connecticut.

Deborah Ravenwood:

Monday, May 15, 11 am-1 pm
Main Floor, Downtown Library

I opened my very own Pandora's Box, simultaneously experiencing its contents through the eyes of a very frightened child and the strong woman I've become. The process of reclaiming my voice has opened the floodgates of my memory. I am convinced that my own sanity was left intact because of my soul's ability to cloak events with a lack of recall. It is from this paradox that I open myself to not only remembering and acknowledging my childhood but sharing it openly with others in the hopes that they, too, will one day be able to connect-the-dots of their childhood and embrace the strengths born from their circumstances. I sit here writing this story - my story - in awe of the soul's ability to shine no matter how tarnished one may believe they've become.

The Author's Table at Albany


Kenneth Passan: Monsters Among Us

Wednesday, May 3, 2-4 pm, Albany Branch

Taking an historical and philosophical view on man's inhumanity to man, this nonfiction book examines crimes and behaviours which seriously affect mainstream society by the monsters that live among us.

Kenneth Passan holds degrees in criminology and sociology as well as a master's in forensic science. He worked as a corrections officer for a number of years as well as a psychiactric nurse. His first published book was Forensics and the Violent Criminal Mind.


Melanie Vaverchak: There is Something to Learn From Everyone!

Wednesday, May 10, 2-4 pm, Albany Branch

There Is Something To Learn From Everyone is a fully illustrated, 20 page children's book targeted toward 3-8 year olds and families looking to share important values like empathy and inclusiveness.

Melanie Vaverchak is a mother and stand-up comedian from Burlington, CT. She loves to create books with positive messages that kids will love at first read.


Patrina Dixon: It'$ My Money...

Wednesday, May 24, 2-4 pm, Albany Branch

It’$ My Money is a guided journal designed to enrich teenagers with simple but smart financial information while providing inspiring quotes and guided questions. Financial scholars will be able to explore topics and increase their application of financial tools through specific action steps. 

Patrina Dixon holds a Financial Management Certificate from Cornell University operates a consulting to offer money management strategies to people of all ages.


Kathy Miranda: Max and Molly

Wednesday, May 31, 2-4 pm, Albany Branch

Max is a much-loved happy dog, until one day a new puppy joins his family. Max is reluctant at first to share his family with Molly, however, he soon realizes her friendship makes his life even more special!

Kathy Miranda is an early childhood educator with Hartford Public Schools and a first-time author.

Poets on Poetry Series

The Connecticut Poetry Society holds  its monthly poetry book group discussions on the fourth Saturday of the month in the Hartford History Center on the third floor of the downtown library from 10:15 am-12:15 pm.  Poets on Poetry is free and open to the public. For further information, visit

The Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, Part 2

Presented by John Stanizzi
Saturday, April 29, 10:15 am

Elizabeth Bishop was an American poet and short story writer who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1956, the National Book Award in 1970, and the Neustadt International Price for Literature in 1976.
John Stanizzi, poet, teaches at Manchester Community College and has published several collections of poetry.

The Poetry of Walt Whitman

Presented by Victor Altshul and Christine Beck
Saturday, May 20, 10:15 am

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

-from O Captain! My Captain!, 1865

The Poetry of William Carlos Williams

Presented by Mark Sheridan
Saturday, June 24 10:15 am

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

-The Red Wheelbarrow, 1923


To nominate a poet for discussion or volunteer to moderate, contact:

Christine Beck


Chief Teale's The Tools of Learning

Mark Twain Branch
West Middle Community School
927 Asylum Ave.

Classes run March 7 - April 13
Tuesdays & Thursdays 5-6pm
Wednesday tutorials available upon request

Join Charles S. Teale, former Chief of the Hartford Fire Dept. to learn strategies on how to learn, understand, and remember information for academic and professional success. Program is for beginning to advanced readers 18+.. Register: jeagosto@hplct,org or 860-695-6367.

Citizenship Test Prep

Tuesday and Thursday, 6-7:30 pm,
March 22-May 31

Mark Twain Branch, West Middle School
927 Asylum St.

Each class will focus on many of the 100 citizenship test civics questions. We encourage the community to join us for these lively interactive activities and discussions. The classes are open for U.S. citizens who want to improve their own knowledge of U.S. Civics or enhance their skills to tutor new arrivals on their paths to citizenship.

Information: 860-695-6316 and

Spanish for Beginners

Wednesday, 6-7:30 pm, March 22-May 17
Mark Twain Branch, West Middle School
927 Asylum St.

Hartford Public Library card holders can sign up for a beginner Spanish course, on Wednesday, March 15.
The classes cover basic Spanish grammar in a step-by-step approach. Classroom instruction will transition to an online program called “Transparent Language,” for continued studies. Classes will be taught by a native Spanish speaker. Class size will be limited to the first 20 registrants.

Information: 860-695-6316 and

Read to Succeed (R2S) Hartford

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 3:30-7:30 pm
Begins March 22
Mark Twain Branch, West Middle School
927 Asylum Ave.

The classes are a combination of one-on-one instruction with a teacher and computer-based reinforcement activities for adults new to reading.

Information: 860-695-6316 and





ArtWalk at Hartford Public Library offers one of the largest and most stunning exhibition spaces in greater Hartford and the opportunity for Hartford residents and others to view art in a magnificent setting in our city.

Michael Sweeney and Rafael Osés

March 17-April 30, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, March 17, 6 pm

Michael Sweeney’s body of work the books of things we do not know examines the book as a symbol and prompts consideration of a centuries-old technology that remains an elegant vehicle for exploring one's curiosity.

Rafael Osés's small word paintings — everyday or esoteric words and phrases, utilizing geometric shapes and simple color symbolism — encourage viewers to consider both the meaning and visual attributes of language.

Sweeney’s carved books cannot be opened and perused, and Osés’ punchy little paintings make their statements blankly. Books and the language they contain are picked apart, examined, and reformatted; this exhibition presents paintings to be pored over and books that cannot be read.



Draw a Hartford History-Maker:
A Black History Month Community Project

February-March 2017
3rd floor

Last year, our project So Much More Than a Month highlighted the lives of African-Americans who made a difference in our community. This year, we asked for artists, of all ages and working in all media, to create portraits of these black visionaries and changemakers in our city.

The resulting prints will be exhibited in the Hartford History Center throughout February 2017. Please join us on Thursday, February 2 at 6 pm for an opening reception in honor of these black Hartford history-makers and the artists who volunteered to take part in this exhibition.

Image: Warner Lawson by Joel Agosto

Call Me Ishmael

3rd floor

Visit the old-fashioned pay phone on the Library's third floor to listen to book reviews by community members. Just pick up the receiver and dial a number! For Women's History Month, you'll hear reflections on novels by Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume, and Sandra Cisneros, among other. 

Read more about the Call Me Ishmael phone here 

Hartford Public Library Art Tour

On view here

Join us on a tour of Hartford Public Library’s collection of visual art. The collection includes 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works in both indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces. You’ll learn the history behind the works of art among which you live and work every day.

The Road Not Taken:
A Do-It-Yourself Social Impact Project

On view at

The Road Not Taken was on view at the Hartford Public Library in the Fall of 2015. Exhibition co-producer Thea Montanez worked with her cousin, Eddie Delberto, who is serving 60 years at Cheshire Correctional Institution. He is a member of the Lifers Group. Childhood photos of lifers are accompanied by written descriptions or where and who they were when the photo was taken.

Hartford Times: Voices of Change

On view here

View the online exhibition documenting the Civil Rights movement in Hartford in the 1960s. Photos are from the Hartford Times, and include buses leaving Hartford in 1963 to attend Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream" speech in Washington DC, civil rights activists boarding a plane at Bradley Field to march in Selma and Montgomery, AL, and housing protests in the North End of Hartford in 1967.