AÍFE MURRAY uncovers stories that have been erased in via artists books; writing; installation; talks; performance & map making to true places that don’t have them.

Aífe is the author of Maid as Muse: how servants changed Emily Dickinson’s life and language which was a finalist for the 2011 Northern California Book Award in General Nonfiction.

Maid as Muse is the final piece of a multi-form project, Kitchen Table Poetics, for which Aífe conceived and has led public walking tours of Amherst from the Dickinson servants’ perspective. She created a mixed media installation and public art for The Mead Museum’s Word As Object: Emily Dickinson & Contemporary Art, for which she collaborated with the Dickinson Museum’s house cleaners and gardeners on the artists’ book Art of Service.

Aífe [EE-fah] is adapting her Maid as Muse research into curricular materials for K-12 classrooms.

Aífe has been in-residence at the Emily Dickinson Museum; was an affiliated scholar with Stanford University’s Institute for Research on Gender; the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation Fellow at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program; and named the 2007 Scholar in Amherst by the Emily Dickinson International Society.

Previous transdisciplinary works include a woman scratched on ivory exhibited in solo and group installations / readings at Small Press Traffic Literary Arts Center. “tracking” – one of seven pieces in the book Everything Is Real Except the Obvious (Em Press, Mill Valley, CA 1990) – is a part of this work.

Aífe is currently working on a project about her grandmother going toe to toe with the Ku Klux Klan.

For this work she was awarded a research fellowship by the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History and writing fellowships at the Millay Colony, where she was the Corrine Steel & Synnova Bay Hayes Fellow, and at the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers.



Maid as Muse