“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.
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.
On the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birth, we will celebrate the event by hosting a reading of the 1855 edition of his masterpiece, Leaves of Grass. The volume heralded the arrival of a genuinely American voice in poetry and would eventually be seen as the forerunner of American Modernist expression with its expansive free verse lines and courageous themes. Ralph Waldo Emerson excitedly wrote to the young Whitman, “I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed.” The poem continues to resonate with readers today because of its inspiring vision of America as the great melting pot of humanity, with its immense geographical and ethnic diversity, and its candid celebration of love in all its forms.
All are welcome to participate! Come and contribute a verse, if you wish, or sit, listen and enjoy with us!
Stay as long as you like–for the whole reading or just for a few minutes.
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)
Italian-English author Rafael Sabatini wrote 34 novels, eight short story collections, six non-fiction books, numerous uncollected short stories, and several plays. He is best known for his worldwide bestsellers: The Sea Hawk (1915), Scaramouche (1921), and Captain Blood (1922)–all major films.
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.
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