Books & Brews

Books and Brews, a collaboration between Pale Fire Brewing Company in Harrisonburg and WMRA, is a series of talks with authors from around our area and the world.

The events are free and free-to-all, whether you're a member of WMRA or not.  If you do have a WMRA MemberCard, present it to the bartenders and you'll receive a certificate for a complimentary beer  (please consider tipping them as though you'd paid for it, though.)

Authors whose work we've celebrated and discussed have included acclaimed music journalist Preston Lauterbach, Pulitzer Prize winning historian Alan Taylor, and former Poet Laureate Rita Dove.

Books and Brews series is the second Tuesday of every month. We hope to see you there!

Books & Brews, May 2017

Apr 25, 2017

On May 9th, 2017 at 7pm, at Pale Fire Brewing Co. in Harrisonburg, our Books & Brews series featured author Beth Macy, discussing her book, "Truevine," which tells the true story of George and Willie Muse, two African American brothers who were kidnapped and displayed as circus freaks, and whose mother embarked on an epic, decades-long struggle to get them back — and to get justice for her family. 

The evening was sponsored by E-N Computers, with offices in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg.

On April 11, 2017 at 7pm, at Pale Fire Brewing Co. in Harrisonburg, our Books & Brews series featured author, and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Glenn Frankel discussing the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings in the early 1950's, the Hollywood Blacklist, and the making of the film High Noon. 

The evening was co-sponsored by the Massanutten Regional Library.

On March  14, 2017 at 7pm, at Pale Fire Brewing Co. in Harrisonburg, our Books & Brews series featured author Ben Montgomery discussing the inspiring story of Emma Gatewood, and her thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. 

The evening was co-sponsored by The Myrias Group.

On February 14, 2017 at Pale Fire Brewing Co. in Harrisonburg, our Valentine Books & Brews featured author Paul Bogard. He discussed our love of a starry night and its potential for guiding and inspiring us. Mr. Bogard also discussed his latest research about the ground beneath our feet and what we lose when we disconnect from the natural world.

On January 10th, 2017, we welcomed author and philosopher Marietta McCarty  to Pale Fire Brewing Company to kick off our 2017 Books & Brews series.

Marietta McCarty discussed, "Clear Thinking for the New Year," and highlighted key aspects of philosophy that can help you order your priorities and stay focused on your goals.

On December 6th, we ended the 2016 Books & Brews  series with former poet laureate Rita Dove.

WMRA and the Furious Flower Poetry Center at JMU, co-sponsored the evening with author, playwright and poet Rita Dove, reading from her works and answering audience questions.

On November 1st, the Tuesday before the election, we welcomed author Chuck McCutcheon to Pale Fire Brewing Company for our Books & Brews series.

Author and political reporter Chuck McCutcheon shared stories and insights into the jargon, slang and bluster of our American politics. 

Our October 2016 Books & Brews featured Rebecca Kauffman discussing her debut novel, "Another Place You've Never Been."

Season two of Books & Brews, the collaboration between WMRA Public Radio and Pale Fire Brewing Company kicked off on Tuesday, September 6th, with Alan Taylor, Pulitzer Prize winning historian, talking with us about his new book, "American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804."

Our May 2016 Books & Brews featured journalist and visiting senior research scholar at the University of Richmond, Stephen Nash. Nash is also the author of Virginia Climate Fever: How Global Warming Will Transform our Cities, Shorelines and Forests, a very readable book that brings the timely subject of global warming home to our own Virginia backyards. He explored both the science and the economics of climate change in our state, as well as introducing us to the people actively involved in formulating the discussion about it. 

Our April 5th Books and Brews featured Music journalist Preston Lauterbach, author of Beale Street Dynasty and The Chitlin' Circuit. About 75 people came out to hear Preston speak at Pale Fire Brewing Company in Harrisonburg. Many also stayed to hear blues musician Austin Shifflett.

On Tuesday, March 1st, roughly 100 people attended our Books and Brews discussion with Beth Macy, author of Factory Man

The evening was hosted by WMRA's Martha Woodroof.

On Tuesday, February 2nd, author Michael Signer discussed his book, "Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father." An estimated 130 people came out to hear him speak.

Christopher Louderbeck

Thanks to everyone who came out to our second Books and Brews, making it a great success!  It was standing-room-only at Pale Fire Brewing Company as over a hundred WMRA members were treated to a complimentary beer and a fascinating talk by Gary Noesner.