Virtual Event: Nina MacLaughlin


Summer Solstice:
An Essay

in conversation with BEN SHATTUCK


June 4, 2020
7:00 PM


Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.


Free - $3 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes NINA MACLAUGHLIN—author of the acclaimed collection Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung, and the memoir Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter—for a discussion of her latest book, Summer Solstice: An Essay. She will be joined in conversation by award-winning author and artist BEN SHATTUCK.

Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store

While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Summer Solstice from, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.

Click here to join!

About Summer Solstice

What is summer made of? The smell of cut grass behind the gasoline of a lawnmower. Ponds, lakes, and oceans. The first swim. A sunburn. A crown you’ve made of flowers. Blackberry bush prickers. Fat red tomatoes sliced thin and salted. First hot dog off the grill. Stargazing, spooning, and sleeping with the windows open. Two bodies, naked and entwined. Throbbing light from fireflies. Nina MacLaughlin's essay brims with a searching honesty and insight about what this season has meant in our pasts and what it might mean in our lives ahead. Release yourself into the sky and feel, for a moment: there's time.

Praise for Summer Solstice

"Maybe what I’m craving isn’t so much a change of season, but merely change itself. Even so, the quiet, accepted with varying degrees of resignation or resolve, can bring a peculiar kind of grace — something I’ve occasionally felt these past few evenings as I read Summer Solstice, Nina MacLaughlin’s contemplation of summer’s mysteries and joys that’s out this month in a slender chapbook. “What’s the start of summer for you,” she asks readers, “the signal that it’s here?" . . . No one knows what kind of summer awaits us. But in another restless week in an anxious spring, I figure it’s OK to dream." —Danny Heitman, The Advocate

Ben Shattuck
Ben Shattuck

Ben Shattuck

Ben Shattuck, a former Teaching-Writing Fellow of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, is the director of the Cuttyhunk Island Writers’ Residency and the curator of the Dedee Shattuck Gallery. He is the recipient of a PEN America Best Debut Short Story Award and 2019 Pushcart Prize. His writing can be found in the Harvard Review, The Common, the Paris Review Daily,, Lit Hub, Kinfolk Magazine, and other publications. His forthcoming book, Three Walks, will be published by Tin House in winter 2022.

Nina MacLaughlin
Nina MacLaughlin

Nina MacLaughlin

Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung, a re-telling of Ovid's Metamorphoses told from the perspective of the female figures transformed, published by FSG/FSG Originals in November, 2019. Her first book was the acclaimed memoir Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter. Formerly an editor at the Boston Phoenix, she worked for nine years as a carpenter, and is now a books columnist for the Boston Globe. Her work has appeared on or in The Paris Review Daily, The Believer, American Short Fiction, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, Meatpaper, and elsewhere. She carves spoons and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Photo credit: Kelly Davidson

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
General Info
(617) 661-1515

Media Inquiries

Accessibility Inquiries

Shipping & Curbside Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

Learn More »

New This Week

Shop this week's new arrivals, updated every Tuesday.

Learn More »

Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »