Bookplate to present author lecture, tarot card readings on Valentine’s Day

CHESTERTOWN — The Bookplate is continuing its season of author lectures Wednesday, Feb. 14 with Elizabeth Foley O’Connor for a 6 p.m. event at Sultana’s Lawrence Wetlands Preserve. She will be joined by tarot readers Tara Holtse and Kacey Martin.

The event is free and open to the public.

The subject of O’Connor’s lecture is Pamela Colman Smith (1878-1951), nicknamed “Pixie,” a British artist, illustrator, writer, publisher and occultist.

Smith is best known for illustrating the Rider-Waite tarot deck (also called the Rider-Waite-Smith or Waite-Smith deck) for Arthur Edward Waite. This tarot deck became the standard among tarot card readers, and remains the most widely used today.

Smith also illustrated more than 20 books, wrote two collections of Jamaican folklore, edited two magazines and ran the Green Sheaf Press, a small press focused on women writers.

O’Connor, who is an associate professor of English and director of the Gender Studies program at Washington College, portrays Smith as a magical tour de force. “Though Colman Smith’s fortunes eluded her in life, through the eyes of Foley O’Connor, Pixie has a second chance to be appreciated for the thoroughly modern woman and artist she was,” a news release states.

O’Connor’s literary biography, “Pamela Colman Smith: Artist, Feminist & Mystic,” was published in September 2021 by Clemson University Press. She also was a co-author of the 2018 art book, “Pamela Colman Smith: The Untold Story.”

Also for this event, Tara Holste and Kacey Martin will be offering three-card readings; $20 for individual readings and $25 for a couple.

For more event information, call The Bookplate at 410-778-4167 or email

The Lawrence Wetlands Preserve is located at 301 South Mill St., Chestertown.



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