Let them eat cake, black cake, and hear Emily Dickinson’s poetry at her birthday celebration December 5 at DC’s Folger Shakespeare Library.
The award-winning poet Aracelis Girmay will read from her own works as well as from Dickinson’s at the annual birthday party featuring brandy-laced black cake from the Belle of Amherst’s own recipe. “I taste a liquor never brewed”.
Girmay, whose most recent poetry collection is “Kingdom Animalia”, also wrote the collage-based picture book “changing, changing”.
An Isabella Gardner Poetry Award recipient, Girmay is on the faculty of Drew University’s low-residency MFA program in Poetry, and also is an assistant professor of poetry at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, where Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830.
Throughout Dickinson’s life, she rarely left her home or had visitors. But she maintained many active correspondences, and often included poems.
She did not seek to publish during her lifetime. After her death in 1886, Dickinson’s family discovered 40 hand-bound volumes of almost 1,800 of her poems. The first volume of her work was published in 1890.
Forever after, fame was anything but a “fickle food upon a shifting plate”.
Dickinson’s stature touches the skies 181 years later.
So celebrate it on December 5 at 7:30 PM. It might not be a wild night, but it will be “Our luxury!”
For more info and tickets: Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC, 202-544-4600. For the Folger’s prior Dickinson birthday celebrants, click here. For her black cake recipe, click here. The ever-popular event is part of the Folger’s O.B. Hardison Poetry Series.