Antique Diary Presentation February 22

Writer's Voice

If you’ve read The Diary of Esther Small or any of my posts about this diary and have been interested in the topic of antique diaries, now’s your chance to get an earful, and ask questions too! I haven’t spoken on the topic, besides a mention at poetry readings, for several years, but I was invited to give a presentation at the Amherst Woman’s Club on Monday, February 22nd. My talk is approximately 30 minutes long, followed by Q & A and book sales/signing. I begin speaking at about 2 O’clock and the event is open to the public, but plan on arriving at 1:30 as the club holds a short meeting first and the seats will fill up. I’m calling this my Diary TED Talk, except I don’t have it committed to memory, so won’t be walking around with a headset and a clicker. Would love to see some of you there, to share Esther’s story, and talk about the coolness of old diaries.

Where: Amherst Woman’s Club, Amity Street, Amherst MA (heading out of Amherst, it’s the house set back on its lawn, on the left  just after Emily Dickinson’s house)

When: February 22nd at 1:30 pm

6 thoughts on “Antique Diary Presentation February 22

  1. I would so love to be there. My imagination was filled when I read Esther’s diary. It really did remind me of my grandfather’s war diary. Minimalist, yet exceptionally moving as each word is powerful.

    My best friend’s little girl Fiona was diagnosed with cancer when she was just 15 months old. During the time that she was exceptionally ill, all through her relapse and when it looked as though Fiona had only a 10% chance of survival my friend and I communicated entirely through text messages. When I read Esther Small’s diary it reminded me a lot of those messages. They were absolutely riddled with almost imperceptible emotion and intensity that was being protected by the distance of the medium. It was too much for us to speak face to face or even over the phone as the emotion would have brought us both to our knees, but with the distance provided by the text messaging, we could just get through everything that needed to be said without compromising our sanity. This in part is what I think Esther was doing. It made it all real and validated what she was experiencing, but not so real that she could not pick herself up and keep going.

    Have a great time at your talk. I have never been to MA, so will have to plan a family trip out that way. It really is not too far and there seems to be so much there to explore.

    • I’m glad Esther’s diary resonated with you. Good point about the brevity of text messages, they are really similar to the diary in constraints. A personal diary in text messages would be interesting. I’m sorry about your friend’s daughter. I hope she was in the 10%. The nice thing about Mass is that it’s centrally located and you can be in rural or urban environments in a couple hours.

      • So far Fiona is still in the 10% recovering from a bone marrow transplant etc. She is fierce and determined and doing amazingly well – thank you.

        I am excited to read Church of Needles and to see how your imagination has brought history to life. I do it all the time in my own head, but do not have the skill to turn the thoughts into art of any sort.

      • I have heard that children deal with cancer with strength and grace. Poor little thing. I’m sending hugs her way. You should take my Found Poetry Workshop some time. All the students from my workshop last year were first time poets. They wrote some amazing poems.

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