Every year the Houghton Library throws a birthday party for Emily Dickinson, featuring her famous 20lb black cake, the autograph recipe of which can be found in the collection. Sadly, we cannot gather in person this year to party and eat cake, so this fall we encouraged intrepid bakers and Dickinson fans from around the world to join us, together at home, in baking her black cake. Our collective efforts will culminate in a live Zoom birthday party on December 10. (You don’t have to bake the cake to attend, but you still have time to try it if you want!)
We’ll be joined by a distinguished roster of poets, food writers, librarians, scholars, students, and literati who will read their favorite Dickinson poems, share what the poet means to them, and generally wax eloquent on America’s cherished poet and her kitchen prowess. Word has it that we’ll be favored with a newly-composed poem or two, and a dash of Hollywood to boot!