https://library.harvard.edu/events/happy-birthday-emily-dickinson Houghton Library, Online Only
Cambridge, MA 02138
Houghton Library is known for its holdings of papers of 19th-century American writers, and many would say that the jewel in that crown is the Emily Dickinson Collection, the largest collection of the poet’s autograph poems and letters in the world. Every year the library throws a birthday party for Emily, featuring her famous 20-lb black cake, the autograph recipe of which can be found in the collection.
Sadly, we cannot gather in person this year to party and eat cake, so this fall we encouraged intrepid bakers and Dickinson fans from around the world to join us, together at home, in baking her black cake. Our collective efforts will culminate in a live Zoom birthday party on the 10th. (You don’t have to bake the cake to attend, but you still have time to try it if you want!) We’ll be joined by a distinguished roster of poets, food writers, librarians, scholars, students, and literati who will read their favorite Dickinson poems, share what the poet means to them, and generally wax eloquent on America’s cherished poet and her kitchen prowess. Word has it that we’ll be favored with a newly-composed poem or two, and a dash of Hollywood to boot!
Allison Devers, Proprietor of the Second Shelf
Shayla Lawson, Poet, Author, and Professor at Amherst College
Alena Smith, Creator of Apple TV’s Dickinson
Rachel Syme, Staff Writer at The New Yorker
Nikki Silva, NPR, The Kitchen Sisters
Laura Shapiro, Food Writer, Author of What She Ate
Tracie Morris, Scholar, Poet, Author, and Former Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Fellow
Abigail Weil, Food Writer
Ann Kjellberg, Editor and founder of Book Post
Heather Cole, Librarian for Literary & Popular Culture Collections at Brown University
Emilie Hardman, Head of Distinctive Collections at MIT
Amanda Gorman, Poet and 2017 National Youth Poet Laureate
Margaret Rhee, Poet, New Media Artist, and Assistant Professor in Media Studies SUNY Buffalo
Kimberly Ramirez, Undergraduate Student at SUNY Buffalo
Mary Neguse, Undergraduate Student at Harvard University
We invite you to join the festivities as we celebrate both Emily the Poet and Emily the Baker!
All are welcome to this free program but registration is required. The formal program will begin at 3:00 and run for an hour and thirty minutes. Revelers may arrive as early as 2:45 to mingle and greet friends, and they are invited to stay after the formal program for Q&A, sharing of baking stories, and general camaraderie.
The event will not be recorded. “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.” (ED)
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