We are delighted that A. M. Dolan’s play This Verse Business — a one-man play about Robert Frost — will be performed in Amherst’s Kirby Theater at 8:00 on Thursday and Friday this week. Dolan conducted much of his research for the play in the Archives & Special Collections at Amherst College and made extensive use of our holdings of audio and video recordings of Robert Frost. At 4:00 PM on Thursday, November 28, I will be on a panel discussion “Robert Frost: From Page to Platform” with playwright A. M. Dolan and actor Gordon Clapp who plays the part of Robert Frost. In preparing for this event, I spent a little time looking into our audio-visual holdings in the Frost Collection.
Archive for November, 2012
Last week, for Halloween, we posted pictures of some of the “scary” books in our collection. One of them was in the shape of a skull, but if you look closely, the letters “TOAST” create the eyes and nose. What does toast have to do with skulls? Is toast scary? Well, maybe if it’s burnt…
Toast Book was published in 1905, and is an illustrated compilation of drinking toasts. The skull connection comes from the poem “Lines inscribed upon a cup formed from a skull” by Lord Byron, which is included, in an abridged version,¹ at the beginning of the book (see first picture below). None of the 250 other toasts in the book are attributed to specific authors, although I definitely spotted at least one which is usually attributed to Robert Burns (see right-hand page in second picture below).
After holding multiple open meetings with students, President Biddy Martin has announced that on Friday, November 2, all classes will be cancelled and all offices closed in order to properly address the recent events surrounding sexual respect on campus. On this day, the whole campus community will come together for “Speaking to Silence: Conversations on Community and Individual Responsibility,” a day of dialogue and reflection.
Though the closing of a campus is a rare occasion, this is not the first time Amherst College has been closed in order to engage in all-campus dialogue. In the spring of 1969, student grievances over College governance and coeducation, race relations, and responses to the Vietnam War led to plans to take over a College building. In response, an Ad Hoc committee of students and faculty requested a two-day suspension of classes they called a “Moratorium.”