2010 Programs

Birthday Open House Roses
A visitor receives a rose during the Birthday Open House

Saturday, December 11, 2010
Open House in honor of Emily Dickinson's Birthday

Time:  1-4 p.m.
Location: Emily Dickinson Museum
Fee: none

The museum’s 15th annual "At Home" open house will begin at 1 p.m. with self-guided tours of the Homestead and The Evergreens. Other activities will include parlor music, poetry readings, holiday ornament-making and other craft projects, and light refreshments.

This will be the final year of the Birthday Open House.  With it will end a beloved Open House tradition:  for the final time, an anonymous admirer of the poet will provide 180 long-stemmed roses to 180 lucky visitors. 

At The Evergreens, visitors can see the “Art has a ‘Palate’” dining installation at The Evergreens and take part in a mini-marathon reading of The Single Hound, the first edition of Dickinson’s poetry edited by her niece, Martha Dickinson Bianchi. The 142 poems in The Single Hound were among those that the poet sent to her sister-in-law, Susan Dickinson. The two friends were born just nine days apart (Susan on December 19, 1830), so the reading will honor both the poet and her most admired reader.

The afternoon's musicians are Steven Howland, fiddle, and Tim Van Egmond, hammered dulcimer. Howland has been playing the fiddle since he discovered traditional New England-style music and dance in the early 1980’s. Having expanded his style to include Irish, Cape Breton and Appalachian fiddle music, he is a regular caller at dances throughout the region. Van Egmond is a similarly accomplished hammered dulcimer player; as a member of the contradance band Swallowtail, he has performed nationwide, including appearances on National Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion and at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. He is also a member of the folk singing duo Yankee Notions and a solo performer of music and stories.

Note: The Museum's Tour Center and Shop will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Before the Open House begins at 1 p.m., the Museum will offer guided tours at 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and noon. Regular admission fees apply.

Recipes served at the Open House: 
Coconut Cake (PDF)
Abby Bliss Gingerbread (PDF)