2011 Programs

The Big Read:  Emily Dickinson
April 2-May 21, 2011

Big Read Logo

This spring, the Emily Dickinson Museum hosts its second “Big Read” of Dickinson’s poetry.  An array of exciting free programs awaits you!

"Poems Around Town"
April 2-May 21

Throughout the Big Read, encounter Dickinson poems in unexpected places as fifteen businesses and organizations in downtown Amherst host one of her verses.  The poems are also read aloud as part of a cell phone audio experience.  Click here for a complete list of poems and a link to a map!

The Big Read Kick-off 
Saturday, April 2

  • 11:30 am  Launch of "Poems Around Town" (fifteen Dickinson poems posted throughout Amherst)
    Emily Dickinson Museum lawn (rain location:  TBA)
  • 2 pm "Visiting Emily":  The Poetic Legacy of Emily Dickinson 
    A presentation and reading by Thom Tammaro and Sheila Coghill, editors of Visiting Emily:  Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Emily Dickinson. Jones Library, 43 Amity Street, Amherst

Emily Dickinson's Poetry 101
Ever wondered what’s so great about Emily Dickinson's poetry?  This two-hour program, held at four different locations in the Amherst area, includes an introduction to the poet and a discussion of selected poems.  Museum guides Terry Allen and Susan Snively will facilitate the programs.

  • Monday, April 4, The Clapp Memorial Library, Belchertown, 7-9 pm
  • Wednesday, April 6, South Hadley Public Library, South Hadley, 6-8 pm
  • Wednesday, April 6, Sunderland Public Library, Sunderland, 7-9 pm
  • Wednesday, April 13, Goodwin Memorial Library, Hadley, 7-9 pm

Spencer Finch Residency 
Spencer Finch was recently described by a Washington Post reviewer as “one of the smartest, most original artists working today.”  Finch, whose efforts to understand perception draw him to the poetry of Emily Dickinson, will be in residence at the Emily Dickinson Museum April 26-28.    

  • Tuesday, April 26, 7-9 pm Artist's Talk at the Jones Library
  • Thursday, April 28, 4 pm  Installation opening at the Emily Dickinson Museum

Emily Dickinson's Poetry 102
A three-part discussion series that takes a thematic approach to Dickinson's poetry.  At the Jones Library, 43 Amity Street, Amherst

  • Tuesday, May 3, 7-9 pm
    “Milton’s Daughters: Echoes of Browning, Rossetti, and the Brontes in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry.”
    Elizabeth Petrino, associate professor of English at Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut
  • Tuesday, May 10, 7-9 pm
    "'Ah - the Sea!' Reading Dickinson Erotically"
    Martha Nell Smith, Professor of English and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland
  • Tuesday, May 17, 7-9 pm
    "Tell Me What is True":  Dickinson's Cardinal Themes and Principles
    Martha Ackmann, author and journalist who teaches at Mount Holyoke College

Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk 
Dickinson in Translation
Saturday, May 14

  • Begins at the Emily Dickinson Museum at 1 pm
  • Open House follows from 3-4 pm

All Big Read programs are free. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.  The Emily Dickinson Museum is one of 75 non-profit organizations throughout the United States to receive a grant to host a Big Read project this year. The Big Read gives local communities the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate together one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature.  For more information about The Big Read, visit www.neabigread.org.

For more information about other 2011 events at the Emily Dickinson Museum, visit our Events page.