Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau

A reading and nature walk with author Ben Shattuck

Thursday, August 3, 2023

6 pm reading, followed by a nature walk

At Thoreau Farm

Free Event, registration required

This local program is offered in collaboration with the Massachusetts Center for the Book on the occasion of the 2023 National Book Festival. 




On an autumn morning in 1849, Henry David Thoreau stepped out his front door to walk the beaches of Cape Cod. Over a century and a half later, Ben Shattuck does the same, retracing six of Thoreau’s journeys. These walks take him from the Massachusetts coastline to the banks of the Allagash River, and the peaks of Mount Katahdin and Mount Wachusett.

Along the way Shattuck encounters unexpected characters, landscapes, and stories, seeing for himself the restorative effects that walking can have on a dampened spirit. Over years of following Thoreau, he finds himself uncovering new insights about family, love, friendship, and fatherhood, and coming to understand more deeply the lessons walking can offer through life’s changing seasons.

Shattuck will read from his debut book, Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau and join attendees for a ramble across the woodlands and meadows that Thoreau once called home.

Click here to Register for the in-person event

Ben Shattuck, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, is a recipient of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize and a 2019 Pushcart Prize. He lives with his wife and daughter on the coast of Massachusetts, where he owns and operates a general store built in 1793. His book, Six Walks, was selected as a Must-Read Title in the Massachusetts Book Awards and will be featured at this year’s National Book Festival in Washington, DC.