2011 Programs

Emily Dickinson's Poetry 102

Part of the Big Read.  Co-sponsored by the Jones Library.

Tuesdays, May 3, 10, 17
7-9 pm
Jones Library, 43 Amity Street, Amherst

A three-part discussion series that takes a thematic approach to Dickinson's poetry.  Attend one, two, or all three sessions!  Despite the title, no previous exposure to Dickinson is required.  All attendees will receive a "Reader's Guide to Emily Dickinson's Poetry" (published by the National Endowment of the Arts) and a booklet of Dickinson's poems.  Advance registration is encouraged; please contact Janet Ryan at 259-3223 or the Jones Library Reference Desk at 259-3096.

Elizabeth Petrino
 Elizabeth Petrino

May 3  
Milton’s Daughters: Echoes of Browning, Rossetti, and the Brontes in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry

Elizabeth A. Petrino is associate professor of English at Fairfield University, where she teaches American literature, poetry, and gender studies.  She is the author of Emily Dickinson and Her Contemporaries: American Women’s Verse, 1820–1885 (UP of New England, 1998) and co-editor with Jocelyn Boryczka of Jesuit and Feminist Education: Intersections in Teaching and Learning for the Twenty-First Century (Fordham UP, forthcoming in 2011). Named a Reese Fellow in American Bibliography and the History of the Book at the American Antiquarian Society (2007–8) and elected a member of the board of directors of the Emily Dickinson International Society (2009–11), she has published book chapters and articles on Emily Dickinson and her American female literary peers in The Emily Dickinson Journal, ATQ: 19th-Century American Literature and Culture, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, and Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers.

Martha Nell Smith
 Martha Nell Smith

May 10
"Ah - the Sea!" Reading Dickinson Erotically

Martha Nell Smith is Professor of English and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland, and has just been selected as a University ADVANCE Professor for her roles mentoring women and minorities.  The winner of numerous awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, the Mellon Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation, in 2009 Smith received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Livingston College, Rutgers University.  Executive Editor of the Dickinson Electronic Archives (http://emilydickinson.org), with Lara Vetter and Ellen Louise Hart, she coedited Emily Dickinson’s Correspondences: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry (2008), a digital scholarly edition.  Her other publications include scores of articles and five books on Dickinson, the most recent being A Companion to Emily Dickinson (2008), edited with Mary Loeffelholz, and Emily Dickinson, A User’s Guide (2011). At present she is writing a biography of Susan Dickinson and The Humanities Are Not a Luxury: A Manifesto for the 21st Century.

Martha Ackmann
 Martha Ackmann

May 17
"Tell Me What is True":  Dickinson's Cardinal Themes and Principles

Martha Ackmann is an author and journalist who writes about women who have changed America. Her award-winning books include The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight and Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, First Woman to Play Professional Basaeball in the Negro League.  Ackmann has written and lectured on Emily Dickinson for over twenty years.  Her writings have appeared in publications ranging from the Emily Dickinson Journal, to the San Francisco Chronicle. For the past ten years, Ackmann has taught a popular Mount Holyoke College seminar on Dickinson in the poet's home in Amherst.  Currently she is at work on a new book about the poet, "Vesuvius at Home": Ten Days in the Life, Loves and Mystery of Emily Dickinson.  Martha Ackmann is the president of the Emily Dickinson International Society.


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.