Community Read

The Simmons Community/First Year Read is designed to engage the campus community, generate robust discussions, and foster the exchange of different ideas and perspectives. The program takes place during the fall semester. Incoming first-year undergraduates receive a digital copy of the book and discuss it during their first-year seminar course, Simmons Explore. The Community Read program typically includes a book club, thematic panels, classroom discussions, and an author keynote and Q&A. For more information, email [email protected].

Lynn Perry Wooten reading Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be an Antiracist"
President Wooten reading How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Community Read Nominations

If you are interested in recommending a book for the Community Read, fill out the Community Read Book Nomination Form. Nominations should meet the following criteria:

  • May be fiction, nonfiction, or memoir
  • Has the potential to engage students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i from different disciplines and backgrounds
  • Explores themes and topics that may be relevant to first year undergraduates
  • Illuminates broad social, environmental, and/or cultural topics
  • Encourages reflection and discussion in a variety of courses and contexts
  • Invites readers to consider topics from diverse perspectives

Books written by women-identified or non-binary authors of color and/or otherwise underrepresented authors are strongly encouraged. We will not consider books with heavy partisan politics.

Submit a book nomination or the Fall 2022 Community Read! Nominations will be accepted until November 29, 2021.

Past Community Reads

  • Transcendent Kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi (Fall 2021)
  • How to be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi (Spring 2021)
  • What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, by Mona Hanna-Attisha (Fall 2020)
  • Make Your Home Among Strangers, by Jennine Capó Crucet (Fall 2019)
  • Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue (Fall 2018)
  • The Boston Girl, by Anita Diamant (Fall 2017)

The Fall Community Read is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, the Office of Advancement, and the Office of Student Affairs, and made possible by a generous donation from Eileen Friars ‘72.

For more information, email [email protected].

Photo of Yaa Gyasi and screenshot of her book, Trancendent Kingdom

Campus & Community

Centered around the exploration of important themes and issues, the fall Community Read is designed to engage the campus community, generate robust discussions, and foster the exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives.