Belle of Amherst or Bride of Salem?

Susan Snively, poet and director emeritus of the Writing Center at Amherst College and currently a guide at the Emily Dickinson Museum, gave a presentation at the Salem Athenaeum on the poet’s private life, as glimpsed in fragments of letters between the “Belle of Amherst” and Otis Phillips Lord, a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from Salem. She told the Salem Gazette, “One of the most common questions one of my colleagues at the Emily Dickinson Museum gets from visitors is whether or not Emily ever had sex. Her answer is always ‘I certainly hope so.’”