kennebunkport events



To help us celebrate Christmas Prelude in the perfect literary fashion, Maine Author Shannon Butler will be here at the Graves Library on Thursday, December 12 at 5:30 pm to sign copies of her book All is Calm: a Maine Christmas Reader.


When many people think of Christmas, they dream of snow-covered pine trees and a small cabin warmed by the wood fire on a cold December day. Since Maine was founded, people have written stories about the joys of Christmas in the state. In times of hardship and in times of wealth, Maine and her people have always put the value of Christmas in time shared with family and friends, connections with the natural world, rich traditions, and warm wood stoves. In a collection featuring essays, stories, and poetry, All Is Calm is a look at the lives of Mainers during the holidays from the mid-1800s, to the Great Depression, to modern day. Spanning nearly 200 years, these stories show that while Christmas traditions and trends may be changing, the warmth, gratitude, and humility of the Maine spirit is evergreen. [Islandport Press].  A perfect gift for the holidays or a special treat for yourself!

The Library is located at 18 Maine Street, Kennebunkport.  Please call for more information on this event and other Prelude festivities (967-2778).   Parking is available along Maine Street, the North Street Fire Station Parking Lot, and Consolidated School (Route 9).




Maine Author Irene Drago will be here at the Graves Library on Saturday, October 5 at 2:00 pm to talk about her passion for writing and the sea.

Born in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, Irene M. Drago developed a keen interest in every kind of watercraft at an early age. Before moving to Maine, she worked for the Defense Department as a Russian analyst, earned a Master of Arts degree in Spanish language and literature, and taught at the high school and college level. Her debut novel, Daughters of Long Reach, was a 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Winner, First Novel and led to a sequel, The Maine Point. More recently, Lavinia Wren and the Sailmakers is a 2023 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist, Regional Fiction. If Drago isn’t penning a story, you’re apt to find her giving a shipyard tour at Maine Maritime Museum or leading a creative writing workshop. But in fair weather, there’s a good chance you’ll find her piloting her Maritime Skiff on Casco Bay.

Copies of Ms. Drago’s books will be available for sale and signing after the discussion.

Light refreshments will be provided by the Graves Library Snack Team.  Please call the Library for more information on this event and the rest of the series (967-2778).   Parking is available along Maine Street, the North Street Fire Station Parking Lot, and Consolidated School (Route 9).

The Graves Library is located at 18 Maine Street, Kennebunkport, Maine.  Please enter through the white door in the Parking Lot.




Together with our Friends of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, we are very excited to be hosting members of the Wild Seed Project. In addition to helping to sustain vital pollinators, birds, and other wildlife, native plantings offer countless other benefits that are indispensable in the age of climate change. When created and maintained with ecologically attuned landscaping practices, they can minimize flooding and storm water runoff, shade and cool cities, survive droughts, and facilitate carbon storage more effectively than the landscapes dominated by turf and mulch that blanket so many of our communities.

Andrea Berry from the Wild Seed Project will talk about the actions you can take to make your corner of the world more biodiverse and resilient to the effects of climate change. Andrea joined Wild Seed Project as the organization’s Executive Director in 2021. She also serves on the Board of Directors at Momentum Conservation and Resources for Organizing and Social Change.

Colin McKevitt, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Biological Technician, will address habitat management and native species planting. This includes shrubland habitats, salt marsh field surveying and restoration, and monitoring and managing invasive species. Colin is a key member of the Refuge team and is the manager of the Refuge native plant greenhouse. He instructs interns as well as community volunteers.

Copies of the publication “Planting for Climate Resilience” will be available for sale.

The Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library is located at 18 Maine Street, Kennebunkport. For further information, please call 967-2778 or visit our website at




We are thrilled to welcome celebrated author Paul Hendrickson to our 13th annual Author Event on June 20 at 5:00 PM at the historic Kennebunk River Club Casino, 116 Ocean Avenue in Kennebunkport.

Paul Hendrickson is an American author, journalist, and professor. His eighth book, Fighting the Night, will be published on May 7, 2024. It is an account of his father flying Black Widow night fighters on Iwo Jima in the last part of World War II. The book will come out on the twenty-first anniversary of his father’s death.

He is the author of the 2011 New York Times best seller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and LostFor the 2004 book Bound for Glory: America in Color 1939-43, Hendrickson wrote the introduction and accompanying text. In 2003, he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Sons of Mississippi: A Story of Race and Its Legacy. His 1996 work about Vietnam, The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost Warwas a finalist for the National Book Award. He is the recipient of writing fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lyndhurst Foundation, and the Alicia Patterson Foundation. Before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, Hendrickson was a staff feature writer at the Washington Post from 1977 to 2001.

Hendrickson was born in California but grew up in the Midwest and in a Catholic seminary in the Deep South, where he studied for seven years for the missionary priesthood. This became the subject of his first book, published in 1983: Seminary: A Search. He is also the author of Looking for the Light: The Hidden Life and Art of Marion Post Wolcott, a finalist for the 1992 National Book Critics Circle Award.

In 2009, Hendrickson was a joint visiting professor of documentary practice at Duke University and of American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Hendrickson has degrees in English from St. Louis University and Pennsylvania State University. He is married and has two grown sons and lives with his wife, Cecilia, outside Philadelphia.

“We are honored to have Mr. Hendrickson join us this year,” said Graves Library Executive Director Mary-Lou Boucouvalas. “We are also extremely grateful for the wonderful community support provided by our event sponsors. One hundred percent of the funds raised will support the ongoing operations of the Library.”

This special fundraiser is being underwritten by Spinnaker Trust, along with the Kennebunk River Club, Lupine Books, Allyn and Norma Lamb, Mike and Denise Iafolla, Robert and Marjie Dennis, Mutasia, Billy and Rosemary Shore, John and Mary Mills, Tom and Sarah Vander Schaaff, Kitchen Chicks Catering, the Colony Hotel, Anne and Ken Raynor, Edison Press, Hurlbutt Designs, Schooner Eleanor, SoPo Wine Company, Maine & Vine, and The Wine House on Main.

The ticket price of $75 includes an autographed copy of Fighting the Night. Tickets can be purchased at Graves Library and online through Eventbrite. Call (207) 967-2778 or visit our website at for more information. Seating is limited.



5:50 PM – 6:00 PM                       WELCOME and THANK YOU TO SPONSORS


6:10 PM – 6:15 PM                       INTRODUCTION OF PAUL HENDRICKSON

6:15 PM – 7:00 PM                       INTERVIEW WITH PAUL HENDRICKSON

7:00 PM – 7:30 PM                       BOOK SIGNING

SECRET GARDENS OF THE KENNEBUNKS – JULY 13 – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

According to Cicero, “if you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”


Click here to purchase your tickets!

We are very pleased to announce that Graves Library’s Secret Gardens of the Kennebunks will be held again on Saturday, July 13, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (rain or shine). Six homeowners have agreed to open their private gardens for this one day only to help raise money for the Library. Tickets are $40 each, and they can be purchased in advance on Eventbrite via the link above or at the Library at 18 Maine Street. “Day-of” tickets will only be available for sale at Consolidated School.

On the day of the event, ticket holders should begin at Kennebunkport Consolidated School, 25 School Street, to pick up their map and any instructions.

A detailed map revealing the secret locations of the six participating properties will be provided to all ticket holders on the day of the tours. Visitors will be treated to a wide variety of garden styles and plant types amid lovely natural settings hidden from view behind stone walls, seaside cottages, and privacy hedges. Volunteers will be located at each garden to help with questions and where to park.

This year, we are also offering a special addition to the tour. If you are looking for a delicious option for lunch, our friends from Texas Grace will be here with their food truck. We encourage you to use the bathrooms and shop at our pop-up garden boutique. Other bathroom options are located behind Alisson’s Restaurant in Dock Square.

All proceeds for this event benefit the Graves Memorial Public Library. Please call us with any questions. (207) 967-2778.



How World War I and Its Aftermath Created the Modern Middle East with Lou Salome on Wednesday, April 10, 17 & 24, 12-2 PM

First and foremost, there is a series of secret, duplicitous, and contradictory agreements that couldn’t be untangled and create lasting distrust. Imperialists (Britain and France) groped for more as old empires (namely, Ottoman) died. Add to that international intrigue (The League of Nations mandates — to the victors belong the spoils) conflicting with the promised but denied self-determination of some peoples, all mixed in with American isolationism. In the ashes of this explosive mix were many Arab peoples whom the West incredibly robbed of the opportunity to create their democracies. All of this is from a time when oil was barely mentioned. Online registration is required; please visit or call South Coast Senior College at 274-3105.


The Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library is located at 18 Maine Street, Kennebunkport. For further information, please call 967-2778 or visit our website at



We are so excited to invite the very talented Maine Artist Wade Zahares to Graves Library on Saturday, September 14 at 2:00 pm

Wade works exclusively in pastel; he is drawn to the intimacy of the chalk and the ease with which he can blend colors. The magic happens in his studio, a converted shed just off his main house. The studio, equipped with 15-foot ceilings and a house gutter to catch all the pastel dust, is set on 5 1/2 acres of farmland in Lyman, Maine, just a few miles from the Kennebunk farm on which he grew up. When Wade needs a break, he goes for a drive to soak up the New England landscape—his biggest inspiration—or tends to his flowers, gardens, and fruit trees. Then he returns to his studio, refreshed and ready to make more magic.

Wade will be here to talk about his work, his passion, and demonstrate how he goes about his craft.

Light refreshments will be provided by the Graves Library Snack Team.  Please call the Library for more information on this event and the rest of the series (967-2778).

Parking is available along Maine Street, the North Street Fire Station Parking Lot, and Consolidated School (Route 9).

The Graves Library is located at 18 Maine Street, Kennebunkport, Maine.  Please enter through the white door in the Parking Lot.


We hope you will join us on Sunday, November 5 at  2:00 p.m. for a very special event.  Journalist Shannon Mullen will be here (with a special appearance by Governor Janet Mills) to talk about her book  In Other Words, Leadership:  How a Young Mother’s Weekly Letters to Her Governor Helped Both Women Brave the First Pandemic Year.


This trip to the “Vacationland” of Maine — where the state motto is I Lead — offers an inspiring tale of civility and purpose, of doing the right thing and not just surviving, but prevailing.

The first woman to serve as Governor of Maine, Janet Mills, had been in office a year when COVID-19 reached the United States. The recently-widowed 72-year-old wrote in her journal there is “no playbook for a pandemic” as she imposed unprecedented restrictions on her state.

When early support for the governor’s response curdled to rampant opposition, a young mother named Ashirah Knapp sent a letter of support from a remote homestead in the woods of Maine. Ashirah’s handwritten dispatch detailed how the public health emergency was upending her family’s life and livelihood, and she promised to keep writing “every week until we are through this time” to remind the governor how many Mainers supported her despite the disruption.

Ashirah’s letters, with their simple wisdom and striking penmanship, stood out in a flood of correspondence Governor Mills was receiving that ranged in tone from appreciative to furious. They helped keep her grounded as she made wrenching, often unpopular choices.

Shannon A. Mullen weaves from these two women’s letters and the governor’s journal, which were never intended for publication, an intimate and compelling true story that is a celebration of civility and compassion in the face of rancor and of resolve in the face of adversity.

Copies of the book will be for sale.  Light refreshments will be served.  Doors open at 1:30.    Parking available at the Village Fire Station (North Street) and Consolidated School (Route 9).  Please call (207) 967-2778 for more information.

Governor Janet Mills:

Janet Trafton Mills is the 75th Governor of Maine and the first woman elected to that office. She was sworn in for her second consecutive term in January 2023 after winning re-election, having earned more votes than any previous Maine governor. She was also the first governor since 1970 to be elected with a majority of the vote, in her case for both terms. Under her leadership during the global COVID-19 pandemic Maine had one of the highest vaccination rates and lowest death rates in the US, as well as one of the strongest economic recoveries among the states. Governor Mills previously served as Maine’s first female Attorney General and its first woman district attorney, as well as in the state’s House of Representatives. She is step-mother to her late husband’s five daughters and a grandmother of five.







Author Shannon Mullen:

Shannon A. Mullen is a journalist, author, screenwriter and film producer, playwright and podcast host. She grew up in the White Mountains and Lakes Region of New Hampshire and studied pre-veterinary medicine at UNH after misinterpreting her love of storytelling, inspired by James Herriot’s books, as an inclination toward animal husbandry. She then earned a graduate degree in broadcast journalism at Boston University. Shannon went on to report for national programs on public radio for two decades, including Marketplace, Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her print journalism has been published by The New Yorker, The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine, among other outletsShe is also developing multiple projects for the screen and stage through her production company Broad Reach.


Priest, Pastor, and Friend…We are delighted to share the news that Reverend Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr., will be here on Monday, June 26 @ 5:30 pm to talk about his personal relationship with George H.W. and Barbara Bush.  Witness to Dignity, recently published by Center Street Books, details Reverend Levenson’s intimate relationship with the former president and his wife. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing after the discussion.  Light refreshments will be served.  Parking is available at Consolidated School (Route 9), Maine Street, and the Village Fire Station (North Street).


“George and Barbara Bush belonged to and were active members of a Houston church for more than 50 years. The rector of that church, Reverend Russell Jones Levenson, Jr., believes he was invited into private moments with these public individuals so he could serve as a witness: a witness to observe, and a witness to tell.  With never-before shared correspondence, experiences, and personal stories, Levenson offers new insight into the Bushes’ wit and wisdom; their commitment to family and friends; their tireless desire to bless the lives of others; and their steadfast loyalty to their church, their faith, and their God. Before embarking on writing this book on faith, Levenson sought and received the blessing of all the Bush children, including the 43rd president.  This book is for readers who yearn for our public officials to serve with faith and integrity like the Bushes. But above all else, this book shows how powerful it is when world leaders are humbled before the power that rests above all powers.”

The Reverend Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr., and his wife Laura, live in Houston, Texas where he has served as Rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church since 2007.  With nearly 10,000 members, St. Martin’s is the largest Episcopal Church in North America.  Levenson co-officiated and offered a homily at the state funeral for President George H.W. Bush in Washington, D.C., and in Houston, and also officiated and preached at the funeral for First Lady Barbara Bush in Houston.  President and Mrs. Bush belonged to and were active members of St. Martin’s for more than 50 years.


The Trustees of the Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library are pleased to announce their Annual Author Event to be held at the Kennebunk River Club from 5:00 – 7:00 pm on Thursday, September 29, 2022.  This year’s fundraising event will feature award-winning author and journalist, David Maraniss. The evening will begin with a wine reception, followed by a discussion between David Maraniss and Peter Slen, Senior Executive Producer at C-SPAN. A book signing of David’s newest title, A Path Lit by Lighting, will follow the reception and discussion.  Tickets are $60/each (non-refundable), and are available for purchase at the Library (18 Maine Street), or online via Eventbrite. Ticket sales close the day before the event, on Wednesday, September 28th at 3:00 pm.

For tickets, click HERE.


David Maraniss is a New York Times bestselling author and associate editor at The Washington Post. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and was a finalist three other times. Among his bestselling books are biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Roberto Clemente, and Vince Lombardi, and a trilogy about the 1960s. He currently lives in Washington D.C. and Madison, Wisconsin.

For more information about David Maraniss, visit his website.

Here is what people are saying about David’s latest book, A Path Lit by Lightning

“In different hands I might be dubious, but David Maraniss revives the titanic Jim Thorpe for a new generation with a surgeon’s care, the diligence of a great researcher, and the poignance and humanity that is the signature of his writing. Path Lit By Lightning is a masterful look at this country’s first super-athlete, unflinching from what conquest did to his people, from the rousing and bittersweet journey of fame and identity, nor from an American century often far less heroic than the book’s protagonist. It’s simply brilliant.”

– Howard Bryant, author of The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron

“Goes beyond the myth and into the guts of Thorpe’s life, using extensive research, historical nuance and bittersweet honesty to tell the story of a gifted and complicated man. . . . Maraniss’ biography does justice to the struggles and triumphs of a truly great man.”

– Mary Ann Gwinn, Los Angeles Times

“A sensitive and compelling life of the great, ill-treated athlete Jim Thorpe. . . . Racism was a powerful element in Thorpe’s life, and Maraniss explores this topic with insight and nuance, just as he did in his biography of Roberto Clemente. . . . A tale that, though well known in outline, Maraniss enriches with his considerable skills as a writer and researcher.”

– Kirkus Reviews (starred review)






We are very grateful to our Sponsors Spinnaker Trust, Fine Print Booksellers, Kennebunk Beach Realty, Cider Mill Press, Mutasia, Inc., and Rosemary and Billy Shore, for helping to make this event possible!  We would also like to thank our In-Kind donors – The Kennebunk River Club, Kitchen Chicks Catering, Hurlbutt Designs, Schooner Eleanor, So-Po Wine Co., The Wine House on Main, Wallingford Farm, and Maine & Vine.


1 2