Home » Talks


Book a Talk

This year, Walt Woodward’s public talks will focus on his new book, Creating Connecticut: Critical Stories That Shaped a Great State (Globe Pequot Press).  The publisher describes this highly readable and fascinating collection of Connecticut history stories this way:


“Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward helps us understand how people and events in Connecticut’s past played crucial roles in forming the culture and character of Connecticut today. Woodward, a gifted story-teller, brings even the history we thought we knew to life in new ways, from the nearly forgotten early presence of the Dutch, to the time when Connecticut was New England’s fiercest prosecutor of witches, the decades when Connecticans were rapidly leaving the state, and the years when Irish immigrants were hurrying into it. Whether it’s his investigation into the unusually rough justice meted out to Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale, or a peek into Mark Twain’s smoking habits, Creating Connecticut will leave you thinking about our state’s past––and its future––in a whole new way.

If you’d like to host Walt for a book talk, signing, and/or book discussion, please contact Kathy Foley at (959) 200-3793 or email walt@uconn.edu. Book talks will be a top priority for 2020 and Walt would love to come share some of Connecticut’s great stories with you.

 To attend one of Walt’s upcoming talks, check the Current Talk Schedule to see if there’s an event near you.

Some recent additions to the lecture list include presentations based on stories in Creating Connecticut and performances that combine lectures, images, and live music Walt presents with his  Band of Steady Habits. (Many people don’t know this, but in his younger years Woodward was a hit country music songwriter.)

How to Book a Talk:

  1. Choose a talk topic from the list below.
  2. Choose a few possible dates for the talk. (We recommend checking the Current Talk Schedule online before selecting your dates.)
  3. Review the requirements (including expenses and technical needs) for hosting a talk below.
  4. Contact the Office of the State Historian to confirm availability.

Requirements for Hosting a Talk

Most State Historian lectures last from 45 to 60 minutes and are richly illustrated through an accompanying Power Point slide show. Walt will bring his own computer and LCD projector.  Organizations should provide the following for the day of the lecture:

  • A stand or small table for Walt’s laptop and projector
  • A podium or lectern
  • A projection screen
  • Extension cords and/or power strips sufficient for two 3-prong plugs
  • A signed check for speaker expenses

State Historian lectures selected from the Current Talk List only require reimbursement for travel-related expenses (usually only mileage). Please contact the Office of the State Historian for details. Musical programs and lectures requiring specialized research will require additional reimbursement. Please visit the Band of Steady Habits website for details and requirements for musical bookings.

To explore the list of currently available talks, use the website’s header menu or click on any of the links below.

Current Talk List:

  • Creating Connecticut: Critical Moments That Shaped a Great State (Priority in 2020) The italicized sub-topics are a few of the possible focus-points for a Creating Connecticut book talk.
    • Sweet Democracy –– the Amazing History of the Connecticut Election Cake 
    • Rooted in Place: The Centuries-Long Story of Lyman Orchards 
    • Governor John Dempsey, Son of Cahir
    • Mark Twain and the Historic House Problem 

List of Presentations with Live Music:

All of the talks listed below feature historical lectures with live music played by the Band of Steady Habits. For information on how to book one of the talks listed below, please visit the Band of Steady Habits website.

%d bloggers like this: