About Us

Welcome fellow travelers of Middle-earth!

On July 10th, 2017 it was announced that the 3rd annual New York Tolkien Conference would not be taking place. This decision was based on extenuating, and unfortunate family circumstances. The details of which can be found in this post.

However, for the 2018 Tolkien Reading Day we held a single guest speaker event in March.  We are currently coordinating with The Morgan Library and Museum for their Tolkien Symposium, and our own 2019 NY Tolkien Conference.

Please refer to our Events page for the aforementioned 2019 Events

The Conference images used for this site were illustrated by Luke Spooner of Carrion House

For all Inquiries Please Email Anthony at Mythinkbooks@gmail.com

Conference History:

The first NYC Tolkien Conference was held at Baruch College, Saturday June 13th 2015.  For many years, the organizers of this conference– Anthony Burdge and Jessica Burke– were also the co-founders and organizers of a local Tolkien Society, Heren Istarion: The Northeast Tolkien Society (originally the NY Tolkien Society).  During their tenure with Heren Istarion, Burdge and Burke organized successful local events, were members of organizing committees for several international conferences, and published a quarterly journal.
After putting Heren Istarion on hiatus while Burke and Burdge worked on their own publications and launched a micro-press, Burke and Burdge decided to once again organize a local event..  Throughout the Heren Istarion years they met Librarian Christopher Tuthill and stayed in touch.  What started as a simple “moot,” or small-scale meeting of like-minded Tolkien enthusiasts at a pub or similar venue, evolved into a full-fledged academic conference with presentations by Tolkien scholars, which was hosted by Christopher Tuthill at Baruch College.

2015 Guests of Honor:
Friends and Fellowship

Keynote Academic Speaker: Janet Brennan Croft

Janet Brennan Croft is the Head of Access and Delivery Services and Assistant Professor at Rutgers University Libraries.   She is the author of War in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien (Praeger, 2004; winner, Mythopoeic Society Award for Inklings Studies). She has also written on the Peter Jackson films, J.K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Lois McMaster Bujold, and other authors, and is editor or co-editor of five collections of literary essays.  She edits the refereed scholarly journal Mythlore and serves on the board of the Mythopoeic Press. Her current project is the edited collection Baptism of Fire: The Birth of British Fantasy in World War I.

Minstrel  Guest of Honor: John DiBartolo

“Losing your imagination and wonder of creation is the opposite of growing up, to me it is stunted growth. I think that is why I identify with Tolkien & Lewis so much. They kept that priceless part of their childhood and turned it into a life’s passion and profession.”  John has made part of his life goal to keep the road well traversed that leads to the cottage of lost play.

Writing & recording hundreds of songs, honing his audio production skills and performing in national touring Celtic Rock bands Fathom & KING KELTIC, which has culminated in the Lonely Mountain Band music project. Lonely Mountain Band focuses on a self-styled genre called “Folk Fantasy”; songs built with an acoustic skeleton, digital flesh, and in the spirit of Tolkien & Lewis.

Beyond the Western Seas is an album inspired by the epic literary world of J.R.R. Tolkien, and the debut album for The Lonely Mountain Band, created by minstrel John Di Bartolo. The scope of Beyond the Western Seas covers the early days of Tolkien’s world, however, giving its intricately detailed history a unique musical life. As a lay Tolkien scholar in his own right, an acoustic and independent body of work in tribute to Tolkien’s lore began to grow in John’s songbook, he decided to consolidate these new songs into a new sub-creative entity.

John has played a founding role in many of the exciting endeavors and concepts that have grown out of the fertile ‘chance-meeting’ grounds of the fantasy & related scholarly community; including but not limited to Legendarium Radio, SwordSong Records, Legendarium News & Media, MyMiddle-earth and the Mythgard Institute.


2016 Guests of Honor:
The Inklings and Science

Dr. Jared Lobdell turned 21 the day C. S. Lewis turned 60 and was a long-time correspondent and friend of Professor Tolkien and  his son Christopher. Lobell, published papers from the 1st and 2nd Conferences on Middle-earth with Professor Tolkien’s “Notes on the Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings,” in 1975 as A Tolkien Compass. He published England and Always: Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings in 1981 (reprinted with an additional chapter as The World of the Rings in 2004). His Rise of Tolkienian Fantasy came out in 2005. He contributed more than twenty pieces to the J R R Tolkien Encyclopedia (2006)



Dr. Kristine Larsen is Professor of Astronomy and Faculty Coordinator of the Copernican Planetarium at Central Connecticut State University. Her teaching and research focus on the intersections between science and society, including science and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Her work on Tolkien has appeared in Tolkien Studies, Mallorn, Amon Hen, Silver Leaves, Lembas Extra, The Classroom Astronomer, Mercury, and a number of book-length collections of essays.


2018 Guest of Honor:
A Great Burden Without Guidance: The Six Mortal Ringbearers

Nicholas Birns first read The Lord of the Rings in the early months of 1975, finishing very near to the memorable day of March 25. He has published on Tolkien in Tolkien Studies, Mythlore, and The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. He is also the author of Understanding Anthony Powell (University of South Carolina Press, 2004), Theory After Theory (Broadview, 2010) Barbarian Memory (Palgrave, 2013), and Contemporary Australian Literature: A World Not Yet Dead  (Sydney University Press, 2015),  as well as many other books and journal articles. including contributions to Exemplaria, Science-Fiction StudiesLeviathan, Victorians Institute Journal, and Extrapolation. He currently is Associate Professor at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts, New York University.

2 thoughts on “About Us

  1. I am interested in learning more of your Society activities.

    I am a member of the New York and Los Angeles Wagner Societies.

    I study and give talks on Richard Wagner’s Ring.

    I would like to explore the commonality and differences with the Hobbit and LOTR.

    I believe it would be good to have workshops, talks exploring this.

    If you would like to know more of my activities please go to my website

    I live in Los Angeles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Greetings! Thank you for your message, we have met members of the NY Wagner Society and are interested in the exploration between Wagner & Tolkien’s Ring. Will check out your website and email you privately. Perhaps we can do something jointly. Cheers! Anthony Burdge


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