“If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.”
Place is not just where we hang our hats, or where we go for the holidays—place shapes our identity; it’s a language that lives outside us. In this workshop, we’ll spend the morning exploring Salem through writing prompts. We’ll slow down and notice things we rush by on our way to the train. Take time to think about history and our place within it. You’ll have a chance to write in parks, by the water, in a museum. Maybe we’ll make up stories for the statues, or write odes to the secret lives of the people you pass on the street every day. We’ll make a map of the sounds, and smells, and sights of Salem, by doing what writers do best: paying attention.
Is your mobility limited? There will be a number of writing prompts at the Salem Athenaeum for those who would like to participate in the workshop but are unable to make the walk around town.
Danielle Jones holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and is assistant director of the Writers House at Merrimack College. Her work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets, Incessant Pipe, Memorious, and elsewhere. She’s a recipient of a 2014 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award.
209th Annual Meeting of the Proprietors of the Salem Athenaeum and election of officers and new trustees. All members in good standing are welcome to attend.
Discussion group meets on the second Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m.
Susanna Ogata, Guy Fishman, and Ian Watson return to Salem to present a program of German and Italian 17th-century baroque music on period instruments.
Works by German composers Buxtehude, Biber, and Schmelzer evince the allegorical and philosophical nature of virtuosity. This is juxtaposed with the fantasy and abandon of Italian works by Castello, Marini, and Corelli, as well as the very first works for cello solo by Gabrielli and Jacchini.
The Monday Evening Conversations Group meets on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM. All members and other interested parties are invited.
It may be of interest to know that the The Social Library, predecessor of the Salem Athenæum, was founded by a similar discussion group, called the Monday Evening Club. Edward Augustus Holyoke, Rev. Thomas Barnard, Rev. Thomas Gilchrist, Benjamin Lynde, Nathaniel Ropes and others were among the Monday Evening Club founders, who gathered to discuss current events and topics of mutual interest.
Topics for discussion are wide open, but must be amenable to good conversation. Examples include:
- The long ranging effects of the Civil War
- The courage to be vulnerable
- European architecture
- The importance/non importance of art
- Why have friends
Meetings will start with something to help frame the discussion for the evening, such as a:
- brief talk
- reading of prose or poetry
We look forward to talking with you!
In honor of his bicentennial, join us for a marathon reading of Walt Whitman’s poetic celebration of life and central work of American poetry, Leaves of Grass.
Reappraisal Reading Circle is an open meeting discussing the works of a prolific, popular author of the past whose works are held in quantity by the Athenaeum. Participants are encouraged to read any work by the selected author to contribute to the discussion. Even if you haven’t read any of the books you are welcome to attend. Meetings are usually held on the 3rd Monday every other month but occasionally are held on Fridays in the event of a Monday holiday.
Rafael Sabatini ( 1875-1950)
Son of Italian father and an English mother, both opera singers, Sabatini was a prolific author of history, historical fiction and adventure novels.
When Emily Dickinson died in 1886, she was unknown outside the small circle of her family and friends. Her sister, Lavinia, promised she would burn all of Emily’s papers once she was gone. But Lavinia could not bring herself to destroy the remarkable cache of nearly 1,800 poems she discovered after Emily’s death. Instead she sought an editor, a person who knew and loved Emily, who could decipher the confusing manuscripts and put them into publishable form. Mabel Loomis Todd was that person. Though Emily and Mabel never met face-to-face, the friendship they had built through correspondence afforded Mabel the insight she would need as she and her daughter Millicent Todd Bingham built Emily’s literary legacy.
Julie Dobrow, a journalist and a professor at Tufts University and author of AFTER EMILY, a new biography that weaves together the stories of Emily, Mabel, and Millicent using hundreds of primary source materials, many of which have never before been quoted in published works. Dobrow pored over hidden diaries, long-lost letters, and rarely seen documents. Her work allows readers to hear the thoughts, hopes, and sorrows of these women in their own words—from the unforgettable feuds between Mabel and members of the Dickinson family, to Millicent’s struggles growing up steeped in her mother’s obsession with editing Dickinson’s works, to their own close but complicated connection.