The Joyce S. Ahern Summer Speaker Series 


Featuring Deborah Royce

in conversation with Luanne Rice 


Thursday, June 24, 2021 @ 5:00 PM

Ocean House, 1 Bluff Avenue, Watch Hill, RI

Tickets: $125 

includes reception and a copy of Ruby Falls 

Our 2021 Winter Speaker Series featured Ted Widmer in conversation with Frank J. Williams. 

Widmer Graphic (1).jpeg

This live-streamed event on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. featured Ted Widmer, award-winning author of the book Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington, in conversation with Lincoln scholar Frank J. Williams, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. Watch this event on the LVWC YouTube channel. 


About Lincoln on the Verge

As a divided nation plunges into the deepest crisis in its history, Lincoln boards a train for Washington and his inauguration—an inauguration Southerners have vowed to prevent by any means necessary. Drawing on new research, Ted Widmer reveals President-elect Abraham Lincoln as a work in progress, showing him on the verge of greatness, foiling an assassination attempt, and forging an unbreakable bond with the American people. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow described Lincoln on the Verge as “loaded with high drama, danger, and plentiful suspense,” and The Wall Street Journal described it as “Magisterial...Wholly original, gorgeously crafted…The story of Lincoln’s inaugural journey has never been told in such rich detail.”


About Ted Widmer

Ted Widmer is a historian and former presidential adviser who writes widely on history, politics, and their intersection. He is a Distinguished Lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York. He has also directed research centers and libraries, notably at the Library of Congress, Brown University, and Washington College. Widmer holds an BA in the history and literature of France and the US, an MA in history, and PhD in the history of American civilization, all from Harvard University.


About Frank J. Williams

Frank J. Williams served as Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court from February 2001 to December 2008, and before that spent five years as the Associate Justice of the Superior Court. He is one of the nation’s leading authorities on the life and times of Abraham Lincoln and one of the country’s most renowned Lincoln collectors, having amassed an unsurpassed private library and archive that ranks among the nation’s largest and finest. Since 2019, he has been emeritus founder of the Lincoln Forum, a national assembly of Lincoln and Civil War devotees. He is also an adjunct professor at Roger Williams University School of Law and the US Naval War College in Newport, RI.

Here are some scenes from our 2019 Summer Speaker Series event at the Ocean House featuring Deborah Royce's first book, Finding Mrs. Ford

Deborah Royce

About Joyce S. Ahern

Joyce S. Ahern brought her considerable experience as a mother of five and dedicated elementary school teacher to Literacy Volunteers. A long-term Board Member, Joyce spent many years helping people learn to read. She had single-mindedness when she was onto something, and Literacy Volunteers was a direct beneficiary of her persistence.

Joyce was passionate about Literacy Volunteers. She could always be counted on for her strong and immediate focus, her willingness to raise funds and to work long hours.   She also had an uncanny ability to recruit volunteers. Her children were not exempt from her passion. Reading time was always a priority in her family’s home.