2020 Past Events 

Classical Guitar Performance, 16th-20th Centuries

December 9, 2020

The Great Escape: Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure with Mark Jordan

PART ONE: October 21, 2020 

PART TWO: October 22, 2020 

Summer Fun with Historical Fiction

July 20, 2020 

In Conversation with Mary Ladd, Author of The Wig Diaries

June 24, 2020 

Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era 

March 2, 2020

The Life of Robert Noble Burgess

February 12, 2020


Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library

January 15, 2020


2019 Past Events 

Mount Diablo Book Launch with Stephen Joseph

November 16, 2019



D. Leah Steinberg, Author of “Raised in the Shadow of the Bomb: Children of the Manhattan Project”

October 16, 2019

1969: One Giant Year

June 12, 2019


Adventures in Produce: The Rewards of Growing and Cooking Weird Fruit and Veggies with authors Emily Murphy and Laura McLively

March 13, 2019


Elise Hooper, Author of “Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange, The Woman Who Revealed the Real America”

February 13, 2019


Brave Little Nell—The Eleanor Roosevelt Story

January 16, 2019


WWI Armistice Centennial: A Commemoration in Poetry & Song

November 6, 2018 – Walnut Creek Library




Gregory Crouch, Author of “The Bonanza King”

October 10, 2018 ~ Walnut Creek Library


Festival Opera – For Singing Out Loud!

June 20, 2018 ~ Walnut Creek Library


Little Women: The 150th Anniversary of an American Classic

May 23, 2018 ~ Walnut Creek Library


FRESH INK: New Music

May 2, 2018 ~ Walnut Creek Library


Divided We Stand: Testing the Resilience of Our Democracy

March 14, 2018 ~ Walnut Creek Library


In Conversation with Donia Bijan, author of The Last Days of Cafe Leila

January 10, 2018 ~ Walnut Creek Library


Imagining Jane: Commemorating 200 Years of Jane Austen with Dr. Kirsten T. Saxton

July 19, 2017 ~ Walnut Creek Library


The Lewis & Clark Expedition: Key Decision Points with Mark Jordan

June 14, 2017 ~ Walnut Creek Library


Live! with Kevin Smokler, Author of “Brat Pack America”

May 10, 2017 ~ Walnut Creek Library

“Fresh Ink: New Music”

May 3, 2017 ~ Walnut Creek Library

“Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich and The Power of Fame” with C.W. Gortner

Feb. 8, 2017 ~ Walnut Creek Library

 “Urban Farming: One Woman’s Adventures” with Novella Carpenter

Sept. 26, 2016 ~ Walnut Creek Library

A Conversation with T.J. Stiles, author of “Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America”

November 16, 2015  ~ Walnut Creek Library

A Conversation with Annie Barrows, author of “The Truth According to Us”

January 13, 2016 ~ Walnut Creek Library 

Book Talk with Mary Street Alinder, author of “GROUP f.64: Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and the Community of Artists Who Revolutionized American Photography”

August 19, 2015 ~ Walnut Creek Library

Book Release ~ “The Setup: A True Story of Dirty Cops, Soccer Moms, and Reality TV”

February 2015: Diablo Magazine Senior Editor Pete Crooks discussed his stranger than fiction story about reality show wannabes, duplicitous soccer moms, and a conspiracy involving corrupt cops and a sociopath private investigator received national acclaim, inspiring episodes of the award-winning radio program This American Life and 48 Hours on CBS news, for which Crooks served as an official consultant.

Behind the Scenes of “The Book Club Play” with Michael Butler

January 2015: Center REP Creative Director Michael Butler discusses their production and the process of getting shows to the theater.

A Creative Perspective on the Middle East Conflict

October 2014: Poets Marilyn Hacker and Deema K. Shehabi discuss their collaborative book “Diaspo/Renga.” Following the Israeli siege of Gaza in 2009, Jewish-American poet Marilyn Hacker, in Paris, and Palestian-American poet Deema Shehabi, in California, began a correspondence, with each responding to the other’s poems by email until 2012. The result was a sequence of renga, a Japanese poetic form, where each poet picked up a word, phrase or image from the preceding poem. The result is “Diaspo/Renga,” in which their two poetic voices are meshed together to read as one long poem.

Poetry Live! with Ellen Bass and Tess Taylor

April 2014: In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Walnut Creek Library Foundation presented two acclaimed Northern California poets, Ellen Bass and Tess Taylor, for an evening of poetry reading and discussion, moderated by Walnut Creek poet and author Cheryl Dumesnil. Poetry Live! with Tess Taylor and Ellen Bass from Walnut Creek Library Foundation on Vimeo.

Behind the Scenes of: “The Real Housewives of Walnut Creek: The Musical”

April 2014: Playwright and actor Molly Bell and Center REPertory Artistic Director Michael Butler, offer an up-close look—with a “backstage perspective”—at their newest production Live! from the Library: Behind the Scenes of “The Real Housewives of Walnut Creek: The Musical” from Walnut Creek Library Foundation on Vimeo.

Marc Holmes, The Bay Institute ~ San Francisco Bay and the Delta: The Big Picture

January 2014: Bay Area water from the Sierras to the sea

Donato Cabrera: Music Director of the California Symphony

December 2013: Mr. Cabrera in discussion with Bay Area Arts Writer Georgia Rowe at the Walnut Creek Library.

Tamim Ansary ~ “Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan”

November 2013: Afghan American author Tamim Ansary discussed the tragi-comic history of modern Afghanistan and his book, “Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan.”

Tell It Like It Is: An Evening of Memoirs and Mayhem

April 2013: Cheryl Dumesnil and Marilyn Abildskov were at the Walnut Creek Library for an evening of boundary-bending stories – poignant and hilarious – as they share and expand upon their adventures and misadventures as told in their memoirs, Dumesnil’s “Love Song for Baby X: How I Stayed (Almost) Sane on the Rocky Road to Parenthood,” and Abildskov’s “The Men in My Country.”

Vikram Amar: A Nation Divided

January 2013: In conjunction with the traveling exhibit, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” UC Davis Constitutional Law Professor Vikram Amar presented Lincoln’s views on partisanship, states’ rights, and the institutional role of the Supreme Court and explored what lessons Lincoln’s approach might have for the modern era.

Songs and Poetry of the Civil War

January 2013: As part of the series of Civil War-based programs, this moving event at the Walnut Creek Library highlighted the personal stories of the Civil War through popular wartime anthems and the poetry of some of the most prolific and profound Civil War-era writers.

The Remarkable Return of Ambrose Bierce

June 2012: As part of the year-long commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Walnut Creek Library Foundation presented a discussion and reading by the playwright and lead actor of a new play, “The Remarkable Return of Ambrose Bierce,” at the Walnut Creek Library. Bay Area playwright Bart Schneider and veteran actor Felix Justice collaborate in a tribute to one of America’s greatest 19th century satirists and storywriters. The Remarkable Return of Ambrose Bierce from Walnut Creek Library Foundation on Vimeo.


Poetry Live! with Camille Dungy

April 2012: Award-winning poet Camille Dungy read from and discussed her book “Suck On the Marrow” (Red Hen Press, 2010), a powerful collection of poems written in the voices of Virginia slaves in the 1840s. The program was supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from The James Irvine Foundation. Poetry Live 2012 – Camille Dungy from Walnut Creek Library Foundation on Vimeo.


North Korea: Fact and Fiction

March 2012: “The Orphan Master’s Son,” San Francisco author Adam Johnson’s searing fictionalized account of life in North Korea, has been called the “1984” of our era. This daring and remarkable novel, published January 2012 by Random House, is garnering critical raves and moving quickly up the best-seller list. Johnson appeared at the Walnut Creek Library.

Transformation of China

February 2012: Dr. Vincent Yip shares the history of China and the changes over the past 30 years at the Walnut Creek Library.


Digging Into Your Past – Tips and Clues on How to Pursue Your Ancestry

December 2011: Experts Bill Slocum, Martha Whittaker, Jane Lindsey and Diane DeGolia discussed the myriad of resources for tracking down family history including online databases, where to search for vital records, genealogy libraries, and how to overcome brick walls. Digging Into Your Past – Genealogy Discussion from Walnut Creek Library Foundation on Vimeo.

Eric Sanderson: The Mannahatta Project

October, 2011: Sanderson, graduate of Las Lomas High School now living in New York, is founder of The Mannahatta Project, a digital recreation of the original ecology of Manhattan Island, circa 1609, at the time of European discovery, when Henry Hudson first set eyes on the land that would become Manhattan. It’s difficult to imagine what Hudson saw, but for more than a decade, Sanderson did just that. Mannahatta is the astounding result of those efforts.

Gray Matters: Challenges of an Aging Society

June 2011: Local experts Elaine Welch, Executive Director of Senior Helpline Services, Linda Fodrini Johnson, Executive Director of Elder Care Services, and Shirley Krohn, member of the California Senior Legislature, discussed the issues facing the elderly and their families. Gray Matters: The Challenges of an Aging Society from Walnut Creek Library Foundation on Vimeo.

To Kill A Mockingbird: From Page to Stage

April 2011: Center REP, the resident, professional theater company of the Lesher Center for the Arts, will present Harper Lee’s classic story, “To Kill A Mockingbird.” The Library Foundation gathered the director and main actors in the play for a Live! from the Library program at the Walnut Creek Library. Director Michael Butler, Dan Hiatt (Atticus), Olivia Lowe (Scout) and Joseph Ingram (Tom Robinson) discussed the issues with bringing the well-known novel to the stage. Educator Meg Honey moderated and placed the novel in the context of Alabama in the 1930s when the story takes place. Live! from the Library: To Kill A Mockingbird – From Page to Stage from Walnut Creek Library Foundation on Vimeo.

Who Is Mark Twain?

December 2010: Robert Hirst, editor of the “Mark Twain Project and Papers,” answered that question and more at the Walnut Creek Library. The first volume of Twain’s autobiography was released in the fall of 2010 and quickly rose to the top of bestseller lists. Live! from the Library – Who is Mark Twain? from Walnut Creek Library Foundation on Vimeo.

Michael Krasny

September 2010:Krasny, host of the KQED Radio Forum program, discussed his latest book, Spiritual Envy: An Agnostics Quest, with Lisa Wrenn from the Contra Costa Times at the new Walnut Creek Library.

Poetry Live! – Becoming a Poet

April 2010: Walnut Creek prize-winning poet Cheryl Dumesnil was joined by poets G. E. Patterson and Deema K. Shehabi at a panel discussion about poems and poetry at the third annual Poetry Live! program sponsored by the Walnut Creek Library Foundation.

Candor and Pearls:

An Evening of Social Satire from the Comic Pages

November 2009: Fans of the comics pages were entertained by Stephan Pastis, “Pearls Before Swine,” and Darrin Bell, “Candorville,” nationally syndicated cartoonists who discussed their work and inspiration with Lisa Wrenn, Features Editor for the Contra Costa Times, at the Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek.

Poetry Live! The Voice That is Great Within Us

April 2009: Brenda Hillman, Matthew Zapruder and Graham Foust discussed the rich and thriving community of poets in 21st Century America at Poetry Live! event at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek.

Water, the Next Oil?

February 2009: Sunne Wright McPeak, member of the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force, environmental scientist Booker Holton, and Contra Costa Times environmental reporter Mike Taugher discuss the global, regional and local water crisis.

Ying Chang Compestine: A Writer in Two Worlds

October 2008: Ying Chang Compestine, author of “Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party,” discussed growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, CA. The program was presented by the Walnut Creek Library Foundation as part of their “Live! From the Library,” their speaker series that is free to the public.

An Evening with Robert Hass – A Celebration of National Poetry Month

April 2008: Pulitzer Prize Winner Robert Hass read from his latest book, Time and Materials, at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Hass was awarded the prize days before the program for Time and Materials, which also won the 2007 National Book award.

Politics in the Age of YouTube

November 2007: San Francisco Chronicle Senior Political Writer Carla Marinucci and Contra Costa Times political writer and columnist Lisa Vorderbrueggen discussed the changes in political coverage and an in-depth look at the upcoming elections.

Beyond Gridlock: Urban Design and Sustainable Growth

September 2007: San Francisco Chronicle architecture reporter John King,  Ron Brown of Save Mount Diablo, and Valerie Barone, Director of Community Development for the city of Walnut Creek, discussed how communities are adapting to growth while maintaining open space and addressing traffic issues.

The Changing Face of Bay Area Media

April 2007: Panelists John Armstrong, Publisher of the Contra Costa Times, Jessica Aguirre, evening anchor at KGO News, and Al Hart, former KCBS radio anchor, discussed the quickly evolving media landscape and the effects of the internet. Presented by the Walnut Creek Library Foundation and aired on Contra Costa Television.

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