Local scholar and author Aife Murray says Maid as Muse came about because of a visit to the Library. She recalls "I was standing in this reading room of the main library in San Francisco one afternoon wondering how Emily Dickinson – prize-winning baker and astonishing poet – managed to turn out so many poems (and breads and cakes). 'Did she have help?' I asked myself. I pulled a popular Dickinson biography from the shelves situated in the far back of the reading room. The book naturally opened at a photographic plate labeled 'the Dickinson domestics, circa 1870.' Three Irish faces stared out just as the photographer depressed the bulb. He let a little light leak into the studio so that a side of Margaret Maher’s beautiful face is bleached out. The man in the center looked a lot like my grandfather.... Seeing that image changed my life."
Join us for an exciting reading and discussion of this below-stairs, bottom-up portrait of the artist and her family. The kitchen pantry where Dickinson spent a good portion of each day was headquarters for people mostly lost from the public record - and it was her interactions with them that changed and helped define who Emily Dickinson was as a person and a poet.
Wednesday, October 27th @ 7 p.m.