Emily Dickinson: A conversation between Martha Ackmann and Julie Dobrow

Cary Library in Lexington is hosting an online "Friends of Cary Library BookLover's Brunch" with authors Martha Ackmann and Julie Dobrow.

The zoom webinar - Saturday, November 14 at 10am - will allow time for Q&A with the audience.

This virtual event, sponsored by the Friends of Cary Library, spotlights one of America’s foremost poets. Enjoy your favorite tea or coffee at home while hearing from authors Martha Ackmann and Julie Dobrow, whose newly released books, These Fevered Days and After Emily, examine Dickinson’s life and work in original, radically different ways.

Please register to get the Zoom link and password in your confirmation email and a reminder message the day before the event. Email caryprograms@minlib.net with any questions.

Purchase your copies of their books below. Books can be picked up at our shop (65 Main Street in Concord), or sent to you via Media Mail ($2.99 flat rate).

Please indicate in the Comments section if you would like your book signed by Ms Ackmann and Ms Dobrow.


Martha Ackmann, also the author of Curveball, and The Mercury 13, writes about women who have changed America. The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, Ackmann taught a popular seminar on Dickinson at Mount Holyoke College and lives in western Massachusetts.







Julie Dobrow is a professor and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Tufts University. Her writing has appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine and the Huffington Post, among others. She lives outside of Boston.







These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393609301
Availability: usually available in 5-10 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 25th, 2020

An engaging, intimate portrait of Emily Dickinson, one of America’s greatest and most-mythologized poets, that sheds new light on her groundbreaking poetry.

In These Fevered Days, Martha Ackmann unravels the mysteries of Dickinson’s life through ten decisive episodes that distill her evolution as a poet. Ackmann follows Dickinson through her religious crisis while a student at Mount Holyoke, which prefigured her lifelong ambivalence toward organized religion and her deep, private spirituality. We see the poet through her exhilarating frenzy of composition, through which we come to understand her fiercely self-critical eye and her relationship with sister-in-law and first reader, Susan Dickinson. Contrary to her reputation as a recluse, Dickinson makes the startling decision to ask a famous editor for advice, writes anguished letters to an unidentified “Master,” and keeps up a lifelong friendship with writer Helen Hunt Jackson. At the peak of her literary productivity, she is seized with despair in confronting possible blindness.

Utilizing thousands of archival letters and poems as well as never-before-seen photos, These Fevered Days constructs a remarkable map of Emily Dickinson’s inner life. Together, these ten days provide new insights into her wildly original poetry and render a concise and vivid portrait of American literature’s most enigmatic figure.

After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393357493
Availability: usually available in 5-10 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - December 10th, 2019

“Scandal and pathos abound” (The New Yorker) in this riveting account of the mother and daughter who brought Emily Dickinson’s genius to light.

Despite Emily Dickinson’s renown, the story of the two women most responsible for her initial posthumous publication - Mabel Loomis Todd and her daughter, Millicent Todd Bingham - has remained in the shadows of the archives. Utilizing hundreds of overlooked letters and diaries to weave together three unstoppable women, Julie Dobrow reveals the intrigue of Dickinson’s literary beginnings, including Mabel’s tumultuous affair with Emily’s brother, Austin Dickinson, controversial editorial decisions, and a battle over the right to define the so-called Belle of Amherst.