2013 Tell it Slant Award honoring Richard Wilbur

Richard Wilbur Reading and Tell it Slant Award Presentation

Tell it Slant Award

Tuesday, December 10 at 4:30 pm
Johnson Chapel, Amherst College
Free and open to the public
A lively Tell It Slant Award presentation on Emily Dickinson’s birthday! Following Wilbur’s reading and remarks, author and essayist Christopher Benfey will join Wilbur on stage for an informal and wide-ranging interview.

"An Evening of Bliss" at the Homestead and The Evergreens

Tuesday, December 10 at 6:00 pm immediately following the reading
$100/person • $175/couple
Join us at the Museum for a rare nighttime party featuring:

*Renowned pianist Estela Olevsky and cellist Astrid Schween playing musical selections known to the Dickinsons at The Evergreens.

*Sweets, savories, and cocktails!

*A behind-the-scenes view of the restoration of Emily Dickinson’s bedroom at the Homestead.

*Holiday decor and seasonal surprises.

Buy Tickets by Wednesday, December 4, 2013

To make a reservation, please call 413.542.5311, email info@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org, or mail your payment to Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street, Amherst, MA  01002. You  may also reserve a space through our online form. $75 is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.


About Richard Wilbur

A former Poet Laureate of the United States, Richard Wilbur’s first poem was published at the age of eight in John Martin’s Magazine. His first book of poems, The Beautiful Changes and Other Poems came out in 1947. Wilbur received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the National Book Award for his 1956 collection Things of This World. Another Pulitzer was awarded in 1989 for New and Collected Poems. His other honors include the Frost Medal, two PEN translation awards, the National Medal of Arts, the National Translation Award and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

Wilbur is a 1942 graduate of Amherst College and has maintained strong ties with the school. He taught as the John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer in 2008, and read his poem “Altitudes,” inspired by Emily Dickinson and her work, at the founding ceremony of the Museum in 2003 and at President Biddy Martin’s inauguration ceremony in 2011. Amherst College has the most comprehensive collection of his manuscripts and published works anywhere, a collection that began with his gift of a small group of manuscripts in the late 1960s.

Unquestionably a poet of the highest international stature, Richard Wilbur also stands prominently with other eminent Amherst poets. His own work is tinged with an appreciation for Emily Dickinson’s poetry, and he has encouraged the Emily Dickinson Museum in its development from the very beginning. In 2003, Wilbur presided, with the late Julie Harris, at the Museum’s opening and ribbon-tying. He has read poetry at several museum programs and served as narrator of the Museum’s popular landscape audio tour, now available as a cell phone tour.

The Tell it Slant award has been created to honor individuals whose work, in any field, embodies the creative spirit of America’s greatest poet, Emily Dickinson. The prize is fashioned from a piece of distinctive New Mexico Blue glass donated by internationally-recognized glass artist Josh Simpson. The manuscript version of the poem was reproduced in Dickinson’s hand on the glass through a resist process by Dave Zaltzberg.


About “An Evening of Bliss” and Featured Artists

"Those were unnatural evenings. – Bliss is unnatural.”

Following the award presentation, reading, and interview at Johnson Chapel, the Museum will open the doors of the Homestead and The Evergreens for a rare evening opportunity to see the Dickinson homes decorated for the holidays and recreated pastimes enjoyed by the Dickinson family. As Emily wrote to friend Kate Scott Turner Anthon, “I remember you as fires begin, and evenings open at Austin’s…. Those were unnatural evenings. – Bliss is unnatural.”

The Museum’s “Evening of Bliss” will feature sweets, savories and cocktails at the Homestead; delivery of poems and letters Dickinson mailed to friends; music at the Evergreens with renowned pianist Estela Olevsky and celebrated cellist Astrid Schween; and a dining room set for formal dinner. Special features will be a booksigning by Richard Wilbur and a behind-the scenes tour of restoration work in Emily Dickinson’s bedroom.

Estela OlevskyPianist Estela Olevsky has performed on five continents and collaborated with distinguished instrumentalists and vocalists and with diverse chamber music groups including the Lark Quartet (2007) and members of the Berlin Philharmonic (1999 and 2009). She is Professor Emeritus of Piano at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and has been guest faculty at the University of Rio de Janeiro, Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Buenos Aires and Hartt School of Music.

Astrid Schween Cellist Astrid Schween enjoys a varied concert career as a soloist and chamber artist. She has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues and received the profession’s highest honors as a member of the Lark Quartet, including the Naumburg Chamber Music Award. She is on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Aria International Academy, Hartt School of Music, and Mount Holyoke College.