This winter’s Reading Circle will focus on Louisa May Alcott’s ” Transcendental Wild Oats, A Chapter from an Unwritten Romance,” originally published in The Independent, December 1873. 

Join Executive Director of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House Jan Turnquist, The WWP Education Coordinator Sarah Walker, The WWP Curator of Collections and Thoreau Scholar Jeffrey S. Cramer, in discussing Alcott’s prose “Transcendental Wild Oats, A Chapter from an Unwritten Romance.” We will also discuss Alcott’s life in relation to Thoreau and Transcendentalism, and of course, we will leave time for questions!

Thursday, January 21, 7:00-8:00 PM EST via zoom.

“Transcendental Wild Oats, A Chapter from an Unwritten Romance” is available to read on our website:

Thoreau and The Miracle of Poetry 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Event Details & Registration

Wednesday, February 24, 7:00-8:15 PM EST via zoom.

“A poem is one undivided, unimpeded expression fallen ripe into literature,” Thoreau wrote in A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. “Much verse,” he also said, “fails of being poetry because it was not written exactly at the right crisis, though it may have been inconceivably near to it. It is only by a miracle that poetry is written at all.”  Join The WWP and four contemporary poets who will read from their work that echoes Thoreau’s, often about nature, social reform, and living deliberately. A discussion with the featured poets about how Thoreau, among others, have inspired their writing will follow the readings. 

Featured poets:

Quintin Collins: Quintin Collins (he/him) is a writer, editor, and Solstice MFA Program assistant director. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Sidereal MagazineSuperstition ReviewGlass Poetry, and elsewhere. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Quintin’s other accolades include Best of the Net nominations as well as semifinalist and finalist positions for writing prizes. His first full-length collection of poems, The Dandelion Speaks of Survival, is forthcoming from Cherry Castle Publishing in 2021. See more of his work on 

Ernesto Estrella Cózar: Ernesto Estrella Cózar is an educator, poet, and musician born in Granada. He completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University, and between 2007 and 2011 he was assistant professor of Contemporary Poetry at Yale University’s Spanish and Portuguese department. As a musician, he concentrates on the voice’s potential to explore the poetic process through sound. In this vein, he has created a wide array of performances that have been presented at international festivals in Argentina, Uruguay, Austria, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Russia, Finland, Latvia and the U.S. Most recently, his work in cultural management and civic education has led to the creation of the Nomadic School of the Senses. 

David Leff: David Leff is an award-winning poet and essayist, poet laureate of Canton, Connecticut, and the author of six nonfiction books, three volumes of poetry, and two novels in verse.  He is a former deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.  By appointment of the National Park Service, David served as poet-in-residence for the New England National Scenic Trail (NET) during 2016-17.  He is deputy town historian and town meeting moderator in his hometown, and also served 26 years as a volunteer firefighter.  David recently coedited New England Nature, an anthology of early nature and environmental writing, and is in the process of editing A Gathering of Poets on Henry David Thoreau: Verse Inspired by His Life and Work, scheduled for publication early in 2022. View his work at

Catherine Staples: Catherine Staples is the author of The Rattling Window (Ashland Poetry Press, 2013), nominated by Eamon Grennan, winner of the McGovern Prize, and Never a Note Forfeit, (Seven Kitchens Press, 2011), winner of the Keystone Chapbook Prize, selected by Betsy Sholl. Her poetry has appeared in Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, Yale Review, and the Academy of American Poets. Honors include a Dakin Fellowship from the Sewanee Writer’s Conference and Southern Poetry Review’s Guy Owen Prize.  She teaches in the Honors and English programs at Villanova University. See her work at

If you are able to do so, we ask you to make a donation to help us continue our critical work in offering free virtual events. For this event, all donations will be split among our fabulous featured poets. Donate here.