Associates of the Boston Public Library host Literary Lights Dinner

The Copley Plaza Hotel served as an elegant background for the Boston Public Library’s 34th Literary Lights Dinner on April 21

The Associates of the Boston Public Library hosted its 34th annual fundraiser, Literary Lights, on April 21st at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. This year, the dinner successfully raised over $425,000 in vital funds to support the preservation of the Boston Public Library’s Special Collections.

This black-tie optional event honored outstanding writers from the Northeast including graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel, crime and legal thriller novelist William Landay, sports journalist Dan Shaughnessy, and poet Kevin Young. The awards were presented by author Christopher Castellani, novelist Stephen McCauley, sports commentator Bill Littlefield, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith, and historian Heather Cox Richardson, respectively. Afterward, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff gave a keynote address focused on the importance of saving books, letters, and manuscripts that document our history.

Associates Board Chair, Alyce J. Lee, gave opening remarks, followed by the President of the Boston Public Library, David Leonard. The Dinner Co-Chairs were Lisa Pierpont and Christy Cashman; Honorary Chair, Thomas N. O’Brien, CEO of HYM; and Author Nominating Committee Chair, William Martin. Emcee Jared Bowen, GBH Executive Arts Editor and Host of The Culture Show engaged 350 guests from Boston’s business, literary, arts, and philanthropic communities. Notable guests included Congresswoman Katherine Clark; Chair of the BPL Trustees, Priscilla Douglas; MathWorks CFO and Senior Vice President, Jeanne O‘Keefe; Executive Vice President and Head of Wealth Management at Cambridge Trust, Jeffrey Smith; Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Trinity Financial, Patrick Lee; Co-Founder of Marble Harbor Investment Counsel, Paul Davis; and Peter R.V. Brown, Nutter partner and former Chair of the Associates’ Board of Directors.

The Associates is an independent non-profit that raises funds to preserve, digitize, and promote the Boston Public Library’s Special Collections and its historic, literary, and artistic treasures. Since its inception in 1972, the Associates has been the driving force and sponsor behind many programs, including the Writer-in-Residence program, the Pierce Performance Series, and the Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award. For more information, please visit or connect with them on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or X.

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