a Deep dive into one incredible book
Readers Retreat is an annual event centered around MHC’s featured book. Every year, a committee of Maine readers and thinkers selects a book ballot, community members cast their vote, and the winning book is featured across our programming and explored together at Readers Retreat.
May 19-20, 2023
Southern Maine Community College
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism
With so many strange and horrifying things happening in the world, so many things changing quickly for better and for worse, and the future as uncertain as it always was, what if we could turn to Afrofuturist and Africanfuturist literature to show us a way forward?
Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism begins with the premise that there can be a future for Black and African-descended people that either begins with Black liberation or provides a clear pathway towards Black liberation. For all of us, the genre opens doorways to new ways to engage with natural environments, new ways to create community, and new ways to survive and thrive.
Raise-OP Housing Cooperative
Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
Lewiston Public Schools
Executive Director, H.O.M.E, Inc.
George Lincoln Skolfield, Jr. Professor of Religion, Bowdoin College
Professor of History, University of New England
Professor of Literature, University of Maine-Farmington
Coordinator, Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
What if we knew and shared more about shellfish reproduction, with less concern for money?
Founder and Director, Franco-American Women’s Institute
What if we could all really see who we are?
20th and 21st century African American Literature
President, Board of Directors Abyssinian Meeting House
Visiting Scholar, Brown University, Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice
Assistant Professor, School of Legal Studies, Husson University
What if we were all valued?
Staff Writer, Sun Journal
Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education, University of Southern Maine
Professor of History, University of Maine
Assistant Professor, Teacher Education University of Southern Maine
Poet, Writer, Organizer
Scholar of Cultural Narratives
Historian, scholar, independent museum professional
Assistant Professor of Media Studies, University of Maine
Associate Professor of Africana Studies
Storyteller and oral historian
Professor of Political Science, University of Maine at Farmington
Poet, Writer, Archivist
Community Support Coordinator, Lewiston Public Schools
Associate Professor, Professional Communication and Journalism
What if there were no gender?
Associate Professor of East Asian Studies, Colby College
Professor in Philosophy, Social Theory, and Peace Studies, College of the Atlantic
ETEP Coordinator, University of Southern Maine
Chair, Native American Programs and Director of Native American Research, University of Maine
Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Maine College of Art
Executive Director, Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Education, Bowdoin College
Occupational Therapist, Writer, Teacher
Cultural Historian, Penobscot Nation
Octavia E. Butler’s life and work
Speculative fiction and multimedia installation art
Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Colby College
Assistant Professor of Arts and Sciences, Maine Maritime Academy
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Maine
Educator, Community Interpreter
No Speaker for this Selection
Stay tuned for availability
We recommend this price for those who struggle to meet basic needs and have no expendable income. If the community price is prohibitive, please be in touch with Jan Bindas-Tenney.
We recommend this price for those who are able to meet basic needs and have expendable income.
We recommend this price for those who comfortably meet their basic needs and have ample expendable income.
Help fund this event! Your gracious additional donation will register you for the event and help us offer (more) accessible participation to everyone and fund associated programming.
Ballot Selection Committee
Dr. Lori Banks (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Biology and a member of the Africana program committee at Bates College. She holds a B.S. in Biology (Chemistry minor) from Prairie View A&M University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology and Microbiology from Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Banks’ scientific research has focused on drug discovery-related protein structure-function studies from a range of bacterial, viral, and cancer targets. Her current grant-funded research is focused on the development of novel antiviral compounds for the treatment of early childhood rotavirus infections.
Ayesha Hall (she/her) is currently serving as the District Social Emotional Learning and Equity Resource Coordinator for Lewiston Public Schools, Vice President of the Board of YWCA of Central Maine, and acts as a lead contributor to several local initiatives such as L/A Working Communities Challenge core Leader, L/A City Spirit Council’s Leadership Committee, and former chairwoman of the 2020 Mayoral Ad Hoc Committee on equity & diversity. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and achieved a Master of Science in School Psychology while assisting and directing youth programs in the nonprofit sector of New York City. Ayesha lives in Auburn Maine with her husband Coach Malik Hall, her son Malik Jr. and daughters Kayah and Asha.
Spencer Traylor (he/him) is a co-founder and social studies teacher at the Next STEP Program of Lewiston High School and serves on the board of directors for Maine Youth Led Justice. He was born in Yorba Linda, CA but has been living in Maine since he moved to the town of Brownville in 2005. Spencer graduated from Colby College with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Middle Eastern Studies and has been living and working in Lewiston ever since. When he’s not nerding out about fantastical Black folks doing magic, he can be found relaxing with his cat Pumpkin.
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