The advent of another summer season always heralds the arrival of hundreds of young people coming to work at Chautauqua Institution. Most are on summer vacation from college or high school. Many come from Chautauqua County and western New York, drawn by a familiarity with the Institution or its proximity to family homes. A few come from faraway places to make their contribution to a smooth-running summer season on the grounds.Read more
Go to breakfast with Margaret Atwood, and forget she is a novelist. Imagine her to be a scholar of 19th-century English literature, or medieval art, or the emergence of print culture. Imagine her as an environmentalist, a women’s rights activist, a Twitter maven, a world traveler.Read more
They play vital roles in keeping Chautauqua Institution running. [SLIDESHOW]Read more
Chautauqua conversations: Watt, Boeckle discuss their long-term international relationship with Chautauqua
On Canada Day, as sunset approached with the promise of a cool, comfortable evening, three Canadians enjoyed their balcony setting. Roly Browning Watt, 68, is a Toronto trust and estate attorney, as well as a noted philanthropist. He has been visiting Chautauqua Institution for his entire life. Peter Boeckle, 72, is a Toronto trial lawyer. He and his wife, Mary, have been visiting the Institution on and off for 40 years, mostly with Watt, who introduced them to the Institution in the 1960s and began our conversation.Read more
Food has been the topic of countless books and writing workshops — Kevin Young’s upcoming Week Three Writers’ Center workshop, for example — but food inspired by writing is more unusual.Read more
On the afternoon of Friday, June 14, award-winning prose writer Ann Pancake sat in a rocking chair on the porch of the Athenaeum Hotel, looking out over Chautauqua Lake. Around the corner, novelist Anthony Doerr sat next to a student, holding a manuscript with handwritten notes. By the balcony, students Jack Lindy and C. Richele O’Connor talked about their writing.
It was one of the quiet moments during the 10th annual Chautauqua Writers’ Festival, which started last Thursday, June 13, and went through Sunday, June 16. By the second day, participants had already attended workshops, a faculty reading, a poetry panel and a publishing panel. The cast of characters on the porch enjoyed a breath of fresh air before the fiction panel later that evening.
“A lot of these people — all of us — we’re pretty isolated in the way that we don’t have writers all around us unless we’re in a program,” Pancake said. “It’s part of a culture that’s not very valued — writing literature — so to come to a place like this, where there are a lot of people who do value it, validates what they’re doing.”Read more
Two of the Athenaeum Hotel’s most visible positions will be filled in 2013 by newcomers with deep local roots. General Manager Bruce Stanton announced that Brittany Beckstrom will be front desk manager and Carly Mitchell will serve as special events administrator.Read more