Steinbeck In Search of America series

Join us as we travel through a few of the works by Sag Harbor’s Nobel Prize winning writer, John Steinbeck. Hear world renowned experts discuss his works. See films made from his books. Spend time with Steinbeck fans. Let’s all have some fun! More details soon.

FEB. Susan Shillinglaw on Steinbeck & the Importance of Home. Nada Barry, John’s friend, joined us. One of our BEST ever events! Watch it HERE.

MAY 1, 4pm Sag Cinema Projections series: a conversation on preserving Steinbeck’s home with Town Councilman TJ Sciavoni, SH Partnership rep, Steinbeck expert Bret Johnston, and Kathryn Szoka, Canio’s Books. Afterwards, The Forgotten Village documentary will be screened.

Thurs. May 19, 6pm in the Rotunda at John Jermain Library. Special guest speaker Donald V. Coers on John Steinbeck’s World War II novel, The Moon is Down discussing the relevance of this powerful resistance story today. This is part of Canio’s series, Steinbeck In Search of America.

Donald V. Coers is professor of English at Sam Houston State University in Texas. He is author of John Steinbeck as Propagandist: “The Moon Is Down” Goes to War and After The Grapes of Wrath: Essays on John SteinbeckThe Moon is Down tells the story of a military occupation in a small town by an unnamed nation at war with England. A French language translation of the book was published illegally in Nazi-occupied France by a French Resistance publishing house. Numerous other editions were also secretly published across all of occupied Europe, including Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, and Italian versions (as well as a Swedish version); it was the best known work of U.S. literature in the Soviet Union during the war. Written with the purpose of motivating resistance movements in occupied countries, the book has appeared in at least 92 editions across the world.

Weds. May 25, 6pm at the Sag Cinema, film screening of Steinbeck’s The Moon Is Down with Q & A following.

Sat. Sept. 10 – TBA:  Forum on Travels with Charley at The Church with Steinbeck scholar, Susan Shillinglaw. Shillinglaw is English professor at San Jose State University and former Director of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California.

Sun. Sept. 11 – TBA:  Dramatic Readings from Steinbeck’s work, with music & celebration at Canio’s Lawn. Silent Auction fundraiser for Canio’s Cultural Cafe, an educational non-profit.

* Sag Harbor Cinema Steinbeck films: The Cinema will screen East of Eden (1955); Grapes of Wrath (1940); Viva Zapata! (1952) and The Pearl (1947). Schedule TBA.

To help support this series, a donation can be made to: Canio’s Cultural Cafe

The mission of Canio’s Cultural Cafe (CCC) is to support and engender community interest in the cultural arts, with an emphasis on literature, visual arts, and current events. The CCC will accomplish this by hosting lectures, workshops, seminars and other public forums that will include a diversity of artists, writers, educators, independent scholars, students, and community members who might not otherwise be heard.  Canio’s Cultural Cafe is a 501 (c)(3).


Please help support this series with a donation to:

Canio’s Cultural Cafe

Thank you!

John Steinbeck Winter of Our Discontent, May 18-20, 2018

John Steinbeck Winter of Our Discontent, May 18-20, 2018

Steinbeck with cigarette 2

Join us to read The Winter of Our Discontent on Saturday & Sunday, May 19 & 20.  John Steinbeck wrote the book while living in Sag Harbor and the fictionalzed New Baytown bears a strong resemblance to Sag Harbor.   On Friday, May 18, 5p.m. we will have a Steinbeck scholar and aficionado speak about the work with a simple reception.  The Marathon starts Saturday, 11 a.m. and concludes on Sunday with an After PARTY with Silent Auction to benefit Canio’s Cultural Cafe.  Check out some of the items on our Marathon Silent Auction page. Please call to read! 631.725.4926 or email caniosculturalcafe at


Walt Whitman Marathon, May 21, 2016

“Starting from fish-shape Paumanok where I was born,
… I strike up for a New World.”
 – Walt Whitman


Join us to celebrate Long Island’s great American poet, Walt Whitman. Canio’s Cultural Cafe’s marathon reading of Leaves of Grass honors Whitman’s birthday, May 31 (born 1819). Community poets, actors and others will read a selection of Whitman’s most loved poems from Leaves of Grass.

We invite you to come listen, read and celebrate. Support the Marathon and our not-for-profit Canio’s Cultural Cafe by sponsoring a poem. You can even have your photograph taken with “Walt” outside the shop!

Friday, May 20 at 6 p.m. Pre-Marathon Event, “Whitman on Long Island” with William T. Walter, President, Walt Whitman Birthplace

Saturday, May 21, 10 – 6 p.m. MARATHON Reading at Canio’s Books

Saturday, May 21, 6 to 7:30pm  After PARTY at Canio’s

Poetry is meant to be heard. It speaks to the ears and heart, so don’t miss this marvelous way to experience Whitman’s words live. Register to read a poem. Please email or call 631.725.4926.

Reserve a seat at our Pre-Marathon scholar’s talk Friday, May 20, 5 p.m. with Karen Karbiener, Whitman expert who leads a Marathon read at the Brooklyn Bridge in June.

You can sponsor a poem with a donation at the following levels with our heartfelt thanks. The list of poems is below for your selection.

$50 – listing in our program
$100 – listing in our program and commemorative button
$200 – listing in our program, commemorative button, Leaves of Grass book
$500 – all of the above, plus Canio’s canvas bag

We look forward to seeing you at Canio’s Cultural Cafe’s Walt Whitman Marathon Reading, the weekend of May 20/21.


One’s-Self I Sing
To Foreign Lands
Beginning My Studies
To the States
I Hear America Singing
Poets to Come
To You
Thou Reader
Starting from Paumanok

Song of Myself

I Sing the Body Electric

Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
Song of the Answerer
A Song for Occupation

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
As I Ebb’d with the Ocean of Life

A Boston Ballad
Europe the 72nd and 73rd Years of These States
When I Heard the Learned Astronomer

Come Up from the Fields, Father
The Wound-Dresser

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d
O Captain! My Captain!

There was a Child Went Forth
Old Ireland
This Compost
Who Learns My Lesson Complete?
The Sleepers
To Think of Time

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A Paumanok Picture

To a Locomotive in Winter
A Clear Midnight

From Montauk Point

So Long!


Moby Dick Marathon Reading at Canio’s June 12 through 14

In celebration of  35 years of Canio’s Books, we’re bringing back the beloved marathon reading of Melville’s Moby Dick. Set for Friday, June 12 through Sunday, June 14 the event will celebrate the great American novel by Herman Melville. We’re also focusing on Sag Harbor’s literary traditions as well as the seafaring history of Southampton Town in honor of its 375th anniversary.

Canio Pavone, founder of Canio’s Books, began the tradition many years ago when participants read around the clock, some wearing pajamas. Back by popular demand, this year’s event includes a few changes. We won’t be staying up past midnight, and the reading will travel to different venues within Sag Harbor’s cultural district. The event begins and ends at Canio’s with stops at the Whaling Museum, Library, Customs House, Bay Street and other fun spots to be announced.  Plans are now underway for a whale of a celebration, with a closing party on Sunday. The event is also a fundraiser for Canio’s Cultural Cafe our 501c3 educational non-profit. Sign up to sponsor a chapter ($100. each) or to read. Contact the shop to be part of this historic event!

Climate Change course cooks!

Grandparents concerned what future their grandchildren will inherit. A landscape photographer; a green builder; a micro-farmer and nature publisher; an ecology-minded poet; bird-lovers; activists and caregivers. We met every Thursday evening at Canio’s Books to discuss climate change. The course, designed by the Northwest Earth Institute (check out:, provided thought-provoking readings and stimulating questions. We didn’t agree on every point, but all twelve of us feel passionately about the fate of our Earth, and our little corner of paradise on the east end of Long Island.
After working through thought-provoking articles on Global Warming and Powering a Bright Future, we met for a potluck supper at the net-zero home of one of our members. The great room was warm and toasty when we arrived, heated by the sun that very cold February evening, the house a quiet testament to the technology at hand that can help make a difference. The food was healthy and delicious. Some good cooks in this group! What’s more, we seem to have staying power, a “renewable” energy source, sustained by our being together.
We’ve begun a letter-writing campaign. Several members will join with Citizens Climate Action to lobby our representatives in Washington in June. Others are planning a regional climate summit, and a conference devoted to Long Island nature. Check out (  Our individual efforts seem to increase in community. We look forward to doing more, and to hosting another Northwest Earth Institute course soon. Won’t you join us?

Thomas Merton’s birthday and beyond

An enthusiastic group celebrated the 99th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s birth, January 31, with interesting discussion from all and helpful commentary from our facilitator, Eda Lorello, RCWP. Our focus on “Firewatch” was  enriched by audio remarks of Anthony Padovano.  After our meeting, we headed to  Conca D’Oro for pizza and conversation.
   This February, as we celebrate African American history, we might re-read Merton’s writings on race. His “Fourth & Walnut” experience from Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander stands out as an ecstatic moment of unity with all humanity. 
    Our next meeting on March 28 will consider the following works: Vows of Conversation, Thoughts in Solitude, New Seeds of Contemplation and Hagia Sofia. These excerpts are all found in Laurence Cunningham’s Thomas Merton: Spiritual Master. Will you be joining us?

Help Heal Earth

Need a great way to combat overwhelm? You’ve been agonizing over the heartbreaking images from the Philippines reeling after the disastrous typhoon. What to do? Take action. Join our next community discussion course on the environment. We won’t fix huge global problems in one meeting, but we can create change locally. So locally, change happens within our own, sometimes broken heart. 
“Climate Change: Changing Course” offers us four sessions in which to share thoughts, concerns; raise questions and take action about climate change. There’s a lot we can do. Readings include essays by Andrew Revkin, Elizabeth Kolbert, Michael Pollan and Bill McKibben and more. The course, designed by The Northwest Earth Institute is the third in a series offered by the Cultural Cafe.
We’ll meet Thursday evenings, 4:30 to 6 p.m.  January 9 through 30. A materials fee of $25. is requested. Will you join us? To register, call 631- 725-4926, or email:  Make your New Year’s resolution to help heal Earth. It can happen!

Sag Harbor Merton Circle book group

Yes, Thomas Merton continues to attract and inspire folks from many paths, believers, non-believers and the rest of us in betweeners. After our sold-out screening of Thomas Merton: a film biography, the idea to form a reading group evolved. On Friday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. the book group will meet to discuss excerpts from Thomas Merton: Spiritual Master, The Essential Writings. All interested are welcome. We’ll work our way through this comprehensive anthology. Eda Lorello is our discussion facilitator. We plan to meet three more times in the coming year. Will you be joining us?

Master Artists Studio Series

Thursday Afternoons in the Studio
with Sag Harbor Artists

The Master Artists Series expands the intimate experience of Canio’s events, moving from its traditional locale on Main Street right into the studios of prominent local artists. The triple-header features Sheila Isham, Whitney Hansen, and James McMullan. A special package price of $75 is available for these three studio visits. A single visit is $30. Space is limited. Call Canio’s to reserve. 631.725.4926.

Three artists pr

Each visit includes an afternoon studio tour,
an opportunity to meet and talk with the artist,
enjoy a discussion of his or her work,
and a closing reception with light refreshments.

WHITNEY HANSEN Thursday, August 1, 4:00 p.m.
JAMES MCMULLAN Thursday, August 15, 4:00 p.m.
SHEILA ISHAM Thursday, September 5, 4:00 p.m.

Sag Harbor Merton Circle

All fired up after attending the 13th conference of the International Thomas Merton Society, we’re contemplating a local gathering of those interested in learning more about this fascinating 20th century Christian monk. Held at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield , CT, the conference brought together some 240 attendees. Presentations focused on Merton’s poetry, social conscience, ecumenism, philosophy, contemplative practice and more.
The idea to start a local study group came as we considered the wide interest in Merton’s life and work. Canio’s has already presented several workshops and programs on Merton which were all very well attended.
As 2015 marks the centenary of Merton’s birth, we’ve joined a campaign proposed by the ITMS to develop 100 new local chapters. We’ll meet periodically to read, question and discuss Merton’s work in a convivial atmosphere. Interested in learning more? Contact us for further details.

Canio’s Cafe Celebrates Earth Day

Canio’s Cultural Cafe will celebrate Earth Day a few days early on Saturday, April 20 at 5
p.m. We’re calling for friends of the Earth to come read a short selection
of poetry or prose that expresses concern for the Earth. Read a work of
your own, or of some wonderful nature writer you greatly admire. If you
need ideas, pick up a copy of Orion magazine’s current issue in stock at
the shop.
At our Earth Day read-in, we’ll announce an essay contest on a theme of
environmental awareness. Perhaps you’d like to participate in that, and we
hope you’ll tell others about it. One of the prizes will be a one-year gift subscription to the excellent nature and culture magazine, Orion, now in its 30th year.