book news

New Distributor!

Posted in book news on November 28th, 2018 by admin – Be the first to comment

The University of Massachusetts Press is poised to become sole distributor for Maid as Muse. The news has just been released by the provost of the University of New Hampshire, publisher of Maid as Muse.

UMass Press selected Maid as Muse upon the closure of the University Press of New England which had been sole distributor.

Books will ship to UMass Press by the end of 2018 and will be available once inventory is complete.

In the meantime Indiebound will fulfill orders until UMass is ready to ship Maid as Muse to your door!

Two Butterflies went out at Noon to CCA

Posted in book news on April 3rd, 2017 by admin – Be the first to comment

Bound Friday noon to the industrial-scape between the Mission and Potrero Hill and somewhere else less defined –perhaps the millworks on the far side of the Dickinson meadow?– to visit the California College of Arts writers studying Emily Dickinson with Gloria Frym.

We’ll be thinking about maids and laborers, often unseen in the poet’s story, and what to make of these women and men in terms of their own lives — and Emily Dickinson’s life and craft and works of art.

… related to my book Maid as Muse.

Not sure yet where else we’ll go but if any seminar participants want to pose a question in advance, happy to ponder.

Wish I could bring Emily’s mute confederate to class. But with luck: butterflies

Have Black Cake & Eat It Too

Posted in Media, book news on January 15th, 2017 by admin – Be the first to comment

Emily Dickinson’s hidden kitchen & those unseen folks with whom she spent time in the domestic arena are the subject of a blog post and podcast – Episode #62 — by The Kitchen Sisters! Links for the podcast — to itunes, stitcher RSS — from this page.

Who’s Your Family?

Posted in book news on April 18th, 2013 by admin – Be the first to comment

My essay – A Yankee Poet’s Irish Headwaters – appears in the newly published Extended Family: Essays on Being Irish American from Dufour.

The Cork poet Thomas McCarthy calls it “brilliant” and a “marvel”:

Isn’t Aífe Murray’s study of Emily Dickinson and Margaret Maher just brilliant;it really is a contribution to world literature, layered with a whole series of implications for creative histories at several levels, Irish-American, WASP-Yankee, authority and servitude, and women’s studies. It’s a marvel of an essay.

Essayist and novelist Peter Quinn finds Extended Family to be an “achievement” and a “gem”:

A milestone in the long day’s journey of Irish America from cliché, caricature, and scholarly neglect to a true accounting of its important role in the making of our country’s multicultural identity. Each of the pieces in this collection—whether poetry, history, or memoir—is a gem.

Get the paperback here


Food-Lit Book Club Pick!

Posted in book news on October 23rd, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

Maid as Muse is the November pick for the 18 Reasons Food Lit Book Club

I’ll make a guest appearance at the Club on Sunday, Nov 11 at 6:30 p.m.

This is a ticketed event so get more details here

We’ll talk:

- Foodie Emily Dickinson

- Emily Dickinson’s biggest family holiday: Thanksgiving

- Best writing & cooking practices (dished up as guest blogger on Four Pounds Flour with Bon Appetit commenting )

- Someone’s in the Kitchen with Emily

Join the Food-Lit Book Club for a look inside:

the poet’s pantry

& kitchen garden

& scullery

Losaida Emily

Posted in book news on October 12th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

credit: Aífe Murray

Emily Dickinson “dwelled in Lower East Side possiblity” this September.

Listen to the recent Tenement Talk - held 9/18/12 at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum – where Aífe Murray & Kathleen Hill discuss the braided lives of Margaret Maher and Emily Dickinson. Co-sponsor: Glucksman Ireland House.

See photos of the world premiere of An Emily Dickinson Sensorium that was part of LitCrawl NYC on 9/15/12. Co-sponsor: Emily Dickinson International Society.

Aífe Murray touched on Emily Dickinson’s baking and writing processes in a guest blog on Four Pounds Flour, the historic gastronomy site & happenings by Sarah Lohman.

Bon Appetit couldn’t resist weighing in!

“Good times,” claimed the Divine Ms. D.

Newest twist on image of Emily Dickinson

Posted in book news on September 17th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

Poet Emily Dickinson & Maid Margaret Maher c.1870

Here’s our take on the brand new photo of Emily Dickinson!

It’s of Emily at about age 28 with her immigrant maid Margaret Maher at about age 30.

Theses two shared the Dickinson kitchen for 17 years. What did they talk about when they made a loaf cake together? What else passed between them as Margaret washed a plate and handed it to Emily to dry?

Find out in Maid as Muse.

Kitchen Improv Artist – ED x2 NYC

Posted in book news, cooking on August 7th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

Two Manhattan events spotlight Emily Dickinson’s daily domestic life.

Saturday, Sept 15 at 8:15 p.m.  (ArtStar
195 Chrystie Street #700C) as part of the NYC Lit Crawl:

An Emily Dickinson Sense-Surround

Meet the Poet as Gardener, Baker & Musician on her Homestead Farm. What did Emily Dickinson see, smell, taste, touch, and hear in the act of creation? Experience the poet’s world by listening to music she played & poems she wrote — with aroma, touch & tastes from kitchen and garden.

With horticulturist Marta McDowell, historical musician David Giovacchini, the Emily Dickinson Museum director of interpretation Cindy Dickinson, and writer-baker Aífe Murray. Co-sponsored by the Emily Dickinson International Society.

Tuesday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m. (103 Orchard Street) for a  Tenement Talk where the Tenement Museum meets Downton Abbey.

A writer-to-writer investigation of the creative process and its interplay with domesticity and intimacy using Yankee poet Emily Dickinson and Irish immigrant maid, Margaret Maher, as signature figures.

We’ll meet these two women in the kitchen where together they cook, wash dishes, and write. In the rarely seen female zones, voices and culture press one upon the other to astonishing effect.

How does the figure of an immigrant maid in Emily Dickinson’s story alter our notion of the poet at work?

With award-winning novelist Kathleen Hill in conversation with writer-baker Aífe Murray. Co-sponsored by Glucksman Ireland House.

Media social:    Twitter LinkedIn Facebook

Readers: 1-2-3 Discount

Posted in book news on February 7th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

This is a great time to order a deeply discounted copy of Maid as Muse!

This 35% off deal is available directly from publisher University Press of New England.

It’s easy as 1-2-3 to save $12.25!

1. Go to the UPNE Maid as Muse page

2. Click “Add hardcover to cart”

3. Provide Discount Code WW 34 & Click “Apply coupon”

Your cost: $22.75 (plus shipping)

Not only does your purchase aid me in working off my advance but it will help speed Maid as Muse to paperback!

Become a Maid as Muse Facebook friend to keep in touch about this and upcoming gigs -

Including details on the Emily Dickinson Poetry Reading Marathon

coming to San Francisco!

Stunningly Original – A Landmark

Posted in book news on October 28th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Wow -

New endorsement of Maid as Muse by Peter Quinn – novelist, political historian, and foremost chronicler of New York City:

Maid as Muse is a landmark work of historical revelation that unearths truths so glaringly significant it seems improbable they could have been ignored — yet ignored they were.

Generations of Emily Dickinson scholars and devoted admirers (myself included)  reveled in every facet of her life, studied every nuance, and savored every detail. But somehow the web of domestic relationships that sustained the Dickinson household and was so integral to the poet’s achievement was barely noticed and rarely remarked on.

Aífe Murray’s book changes all that. More than a breathtakingly original investigation that alters our perception of Dickinson’s everyday existence, Maid as Muse restores to the historical record the lives of those most often forgotten or passed over”—immigrants, women, the working class.

Murray opens our eyes (and our hearts and minds) to the complex interaction of gender, class, race, and ethnicity in the Dickinson home in Amherst as well as in the wider context of 19th-century New England.

She gives voice to the voiceless, and enriches and deepens our understanding of Emily Dickinson and the world of which she was part.

Maid as Muse is a rare, wonderful, and stunningly original book.

I am in awe of what Aífe Murray has done.”

Thank you Peter!

Peter is the author of Looking for Jimmy, Banished Children of Eve, Hour of the Cat, and the newly released The Man Who Never Returned.

Read his essay review – published in  Commonweal - of Maid as Muse, Brenda Wineapple’s White Heat, and Kim Nielsen’s Beyond the Miracle Worker.