2011 Programs

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Emily Dickinson's Poetry 101

Part of the Big Read

Have you wondered what all the fuss is about with Emily Dickinson's poetry?  Do you want to know more about her life and work but aren't sure where to begin?  Then “Emily Dickinson's Poetry 101” is for you. 

“Emily Dickinson’s Poetry 101” is a two-hour program that includes a brief biographical introduction to the poet and short excerpt of the new film “Seeing New Englandly”; an overview of her poetry and its significance to literature; and a facilitated discussion of selected poems.  All program attendees will receive a copy of the NEA’s “Reader’s Guide to Emily Dickinson” and a booklet of Dickinson’s poetry. Facilitators are Museum guides Terry Allen (South Hadley and Hadley) and Susan Snively (Belchertown and Sunderland).

“Emily Dickinson’s Poetry 101” will be offered in four different locations (listed above) in the Pioneer Valley.  The Emily Dickinson Museum is grateful to the public libraries of Belchertown, Hadley, South Hadley, and Sunderland for hosting this program.  If you are interested in attending one of the programs, please contact the individual library with any questions.

Terry Allen is an editor and writer who lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.  A guide at the Emily Dickinson Museum since 2005, she has been actively involved as writer, editor, and producer in the film series “Angles of a Landscape,” which explores aspects of Dickinson’s life and work.  She wrote the script for "The Poet in Her Bedroom" and is assistant producer of “Seeing New Englandly.”  For ten years Allen was a contributing writer for the National Yiddish Book Center.  She has been an editor at the Carnegie Commissionon Higher Education, McGraw-Hill Book Company, the University of Massachusetts, and Amherst College. 

Susan Snively is the author of four books of poetry: From This Distance, Voices in the House, The Undertow, and, most recently, Skeptic Traveler.  Snively, who grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, has taught at Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and Amherst College, and has received fellowships from the NEA and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. In 2008 she retired after 27 years at Amherst College, where she was Director of the Writing Center. Snively works as a guide at the Emily Dickinson Museum, and is the author of the  film script, “Seeing New Englandly,” produced by Ernest Urvater, as part 2 of the series "Angles of a Landscape," for the Dickinson Museum. She has recently completed a novel, Jumbo and Little Phil,  about Emily Dickinson's love affair with her father's friend, Judge Otis Phillips Lord.


All Big Read programs are free. For other Big Read programs at the Emily Dickinson Museum, click here.  For more information about other 2011 events at the Museum, visit our Events page.

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.