FAQ takes a field trip to Emma Lazarus’ Sitting Room at the American Jewish Historical Society to talk with Executive Director Annie Polland about the poet’s life and her legacy.

1883: Everyone’s a critic

The New Colossus was written in 1883, four years before Lazarus’s early death and 20 years before it was put on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. It’s a story about intergenerational identity and how a rich woman found herself identifying with “wretched refuse” that’s disturbingly resonant today.