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Homer’s The Odyssey, Translated by Emily Wilson

The Odyssey by Homer bookjacket created for Birstol BookFest 2023

“Tell me about a complicated man.
Muse, tell me how he wondered and was lost
when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy”

Emily Wilson, The Odyssey, Book 1, Lines 1-3

The first 3 lines of this book plunge us into the long, winding tale of a man who takes a decade to return from one of the most famous wars in history. The poem is filled with fantastic creatures, ruthless gods, and epic storms. It is a story about a family torn apart by war and how they overcome the many obstacles to their reunion. Enjoy the beauty of this famous tale, still fresh after 3,000 years.

Join us for conversations, crafts, and programs that bring our own community together around this classic, masterfully translated by Emily Wilson, the first woman to ever translate this epic poem.

Calendar of Events

Every Thursday
Starting January 12 through February 16
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Odyssey Reading Group

Join us weekly for 90 minutes to read through & discuss Emily Wilson’s modern translation of Homer’s The Odyssey. Humanities scholar Charles Calhoun offers a guided tour of this 3,000-year-old epic, in Emily Wilson’s brilliant new translation, to help readers prepare for Bristol BookFest (March 31-April 1, 2023).

Please click on each week to register.

Week 1 (1/12/23 in the Upstairs Conference Room): Setting the Stage: An introduction to Homer and close reading of Book 1
Week 2 (1/19/23 in the Herreshoff Community Room): The Travels of Telemachus (Books 2-3-4-5)
Week 3 (1/26/23 in the Upstairs Conference Room): Odysseus’s “Odyssey” (Books 6-7-8-9)
Week 4 (2/2/23 in the Upstairs Conference Room): Is He a “Hero”? (Books 10-11-12-13)
Week 5 (2/9/23 in the Upstairs Conference Room): Home at Last (Books 14-15-16-17-18-19)
Week 6 (2/16/23 in the Herreshoff Community Room): The Patience of Penelope (Books 20-21-22-23-24) 

Saturday, February 11
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Greek Alphabet Class

Learn the Greek Alphabet with Professor Anthony Hollingsworth!

In this class Professor Hollingsworth will illustrate how to write and pronounce each letter in the Greek alphabet, both upper and lower case. He will also offer fun facts about each of the letters, – their origins, how they are used today, why they look the way they do – as aids for remembering the alphabet. By the end of the class, participants will be able to  pronounce words in Greek!

Register here:

Saturday, March 25
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Readers’ Theatre of The Odyssey

The Odyssey was part of the oral-telling tradition in ancient Greece. Homer’s stories were first told from memory, only later becoming a part of the written literary canon. Ancient bards would often augment their storytelling with music and props, to help audience members better understand the meaning of complicated plots.

Join us for a live readers’ theater of one book of the Odyssey, performed by local teens. 

This project is hosted and led by RWU Secondary Education/English pre-service teachers enrolled in Professor Susan Pasquarelli’s education course.

Wednesday, April 5
5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Bestiary Workshop I

A bestiary workshop will be led by RWU Secondary Education/English pre-service teachers and Professor Susan Pasquarelli. While hand-building representations of fearsome beasts of the Odyssey, participants will take pleasure in a relaxed discussion of the archetypes suggested by Homer’s beasts. Create Charybdis, the monster whirlpool, who snagged and swallowed whole ships- or Scylla- the nymph, whom Circe turned into a man-eating monster. Air drying clay, workshop space, and pizza will be provided. 

Recommended for ages 12+

Register here:

Bristol BookFest is a public humanities program supported by the generosity of their founders, sponsors, and various private donors.

Logos of the Bristol BookFest Sponsors. From left to right: Arts in Common, , Rogers Free Library, Friends of Rogers Free Library, Roger Williams University, Linden Place, St. Michel's Episcopal Church.
Chess Club is cancelled on Wednesday, February 1 & Saturday, February 4. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.