2010 Programs

Emily Dickinson Museum garden

Sundays, July 18, 25 & August 1, 2010

Poetry in the Garden  

Every summer, the Emily Dickinson Museum hosts Poetry in the Garden: three Sunday afternoons of informal readings of Dickinson's poetry. During the programs, noted artists, scholars, and Dickinson enthusiasts share a selection of Dickinson poems and reflect on their significance. Light refreshments and an opportunity for audience members to chat informally with the speaker round out each afternoon.

Poetry in the Garden takes place on the lawn at the Homestead, in the landscape that inspired so much of Dickinson's writing. Although some seating is provided, audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. (In case of inclement weather, the programs will take place at the Amherst College Alumni House, a short walk from the Museum; seating is provided.)

Below is the 2010 schedule of readers. For more information, please contact Nan Fischlein, program coordinator, at nfischlein@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or 413-542-2034. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010
Karen Sanchez-Eppler
Karen Sanchez-Eppler

Speaker: Karen Sánchez-Eppler
Program title:  "'The things that never can come back': on cake and poetry and loss"
Time: 2 pm
Location:  Emily Dickinson Museum (in case of rain:  Alumni House, Amherst College, on Spring Street)

Fee: None

Karen Sánchez-Eppler is Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College. She has taught four undergraduate seminars on Emily Dickinson at the Museum. She has written an essay on Dickinson children’s decorations of their nursery doors for The Visual and Textual Worlds of Childhood and the catalog essay for the exhibit Language as Object: Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Art. Both her first book, Touching Liberty: Abolition, Feminism and the Politics of the Body and her present project, The Unpublished Republic: Manuscript Cultures of the Mid-Nineteenth-Century United States, contain significant chapters on Dickinson. She is a member of the Museum's Board of Governors and chairs its Interpretation, Education, and Programming Committee.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Alice Parker
Alice Parker

Speaker: Alice Parker
Program title:
 "The Music in the Words"
Time: 2 pm
Location:  Emily Dickinson Museum (in case of rain:  Alumni House, Amherst College, on Spring Street)
Fee: None

Composer, conductor and teacher Alice Parker wrote her first orchestral score while still in high school.  She graduated from Smith College with a major in music performance and composition and received her master's degree from the Juilliard School, where she studied choral conducting with Robert Shaw.

Her life-work has been in choral and vocal music, combining composing, conducting and teaching in a creative balance.  Her arrangements with Robert Shaw of folksongs, hymns and spirituals form an enduring repertoire for choruses all around the world.  She continues composing in many forms, from operas to cantata, sacred anthems to secular dances, song cycles to string quartets. Among her compositions are rich and illuminating choral settings of Dickinson poems. She has been commissioned by such groups as the Vancouver Chamber Chorus, the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Chanticleer.

In 1985, Parker founded Melodious Accord, Inc., a non-profit group which presents choral concerts, sponsors workshops, symposia, and her many professional appearances.  Her techniques have encouraged a generation of music teachers and choral conductors to think about music and the act of conducting in new ways.  No less an authority than Robert Shaw himself has said of Parker that "…she possesses a rare and creative musical intelligence."

Now a resident of western Massachusetts, Parker has has made thirteen acclaimed recordings and published books on melodic styles and choral improvisation.  She has been recognized by Chorus America, the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association, The Hymn Society and Choral Arts New England for her lifetime contributions to choral music.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Henk Rossouw
Henk Rossouw

Speaker: Henk Rossouw
Program title:  "Dickinson's Birdlife"

Time: 2 pm
Location:  Emily Dickinson Museum (in case of rain:  First Congregational Church, 165 Main Street)

Fee: None

Last year Henk Rossouw gave a poetry reading in Times Square as a winner of the Poetry Society of America’s 2nd annual Bright Lights Big Verse competition. "Chez Times Square" was one of four winning poems chosen from 500 entries. Judges included Alice Quinn, former poetry editor of the New Yorker and Rob Casper, publisher of jubilat.

Originally from South Africa, Rossouw lives in Amherst, where he is in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts. His work has appeared in Tin House, and The Threepenny Review, and his interview with Nadine Gordimer online in The Virginia Quarterly Review. In 2006, he won the Summer Literary Seminars contest, with a trip to a literary festival in Kenya as the prize.

During the program, Rossouw will explore the abundant bird imagery in Emily Dickinson's poems and letters. He will read poems and letters that feature bird-inspired metaphors of flight and song, and discuss how these works relate to creativity and poetic identity. He'll also read a handful of his own poems.  

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