and your circle
Ready for a New Season
1 month ago
"A week after Emily Dickinson died in 1886, her younger sister Lavinia opened drawers in the reclusive poet's bedroom and found a veritable treasure trove: nearly 1,800 poems, meticulously crafted by Dickinson during her lifetime.
But the discovery of the poems set off a multi-generational family feud within the Dickinson family over the poet's posthumous publication and her legacy. Writer Lyndall Gordon, a senior research fellow at St. Hilda's College, Oxford, describes the fight between Dickinson's sister-in-law Susan, and Susan's husband's mistress, Mabel Loomis Todd, in a new biography of Dickinson, Lives Like Loaded Guns."
I've been at Elko's annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering, also a music festival, for a few days now, but it's not until Delafose's set that I realise what is unusual about this week. Unlike most cultural festivals, this isn't a tourist attraction: my foreign accent has been a source of continuous excited curiosity. This is a festival actually for the people it's meant to be for, a point Delafose makes much better from the stage.
"I guess," he says, "that like us, you might not make a lot of money. But it's a way of life, and we wouldn't have it any other way."