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Virginia Woolf at Haskell Public Gardens

It’s been almost six months since the New Bedford Feminist Reading Group convened for the first time. Launched in January at the initiative of performance artist Andy Anello, the group has turned the pages of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi; Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich; M Train by Patti Smith; and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Groundwork! has been happy to host the group on the second Saturday of the month since January. It’s been a fun discussion each time and it’s been great to meet new people and hear new voices.

But now, it’s time to go outside as well as think outside the box.

Taking it to Haskell Public Gardens

The next meeting of the New Bedford Feminist Reading Group will take place on Saturday, June 10 under the trees at Haskell Public Gardens, 787 Shawmut Avenue, the group decided this past week.

Regular readers of this blog know that we consider Haskell a very special space. Last summer, I curated Maps & Legends at the park, featuring the work of almost a dozen area artists including myself and Groundwork! co-founder, Dean Haden. This summer, I’m happy to be back at it with Maps & Legends Two: If By Sea – slated to open Friday, July 14.

Haskell is a gem of a space – a true urban oasis. It’s open to the public from sunrise to sunset every day. It’s a perfect spot for discussing literature and weighty topics in the warm sunshine in a relaxed atmosphere.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

In June, the group will be tackling their weightiest edition yet – Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. Like all books being read, it was chosen by a member of the group. Orlando is, “a high-spirited romp inspired by the tumultuous family history of Woolf’s lover and close friend, the aristocratic poet and novelist Vita Sackville-West, it is arguably one of Woolf’s most popular novels: a history of English literature in satiric form,” according to Wikipedia

Also weighty are the discussions each month at the book group meetings. Given the political climate, the state of the nation has tended to dominate – but not overwhelm. Literature, learning and the examination of cultural identities around the world are frequent topics.

So, too, is the examination of…each other! Most members of the New Bedford Feminist Reading Group are visitors to Groundwork! It’s been fun to have new people pass through the doors and discover this great co-working space as well as each other.

So, we’ll look forward to bringing it back inside in the fall, but for the summer, it’s time to go outside.

New Bedford Feminist Reading Group organizer Andy Anello kicks back in the Groundwork! hammock.

You’re Invited…

And, you’re invited. If you’d like to join in on the discussion, feel free to join the reading group at Haskell Public Gardens on Saturday, June 10th at 3:00 p.m. under the Cedar trees. Contact group organizer Andy Anello at to let him know you’re coming and then find out…

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Steven Froias