2012-2013 Poetry Discussion Group

Franklin edition

2012-2013 Poetry Discussion Group

Third Fridays (except for January), noon - 2 p.m.
September through May (no meeting in December)

The Emily Dickinson Museum's Poetry Discussion group generally meets on the 3rd Friday of each month from September through May (except for December) for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry.  A different facilitator each month helps to navigate the deeper waters of Dickinson's poetry.

Sign up for the entire year, or attend when you can!  The fee for Museum members is $65 for the year or $12/session; the fee for non-members is $80 for the year or $15/session. (To become a Friend of the Emily Dickinson Museum and enjoy member discounts, click here.)

The Poetry Discussion Group meets in various locations; specific locations are noted below for each meeting date.  Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch; beverages are provided.

For more information and to sign up, contact Valerie Gramling, program coordinator, at vgramling@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or at (413) 542-2034.

THE 2012-2013 SCHEDULE (Note:  All programs begin at noon and end at 2 pm.)

Friday, September 21, 2012
Location:  Amherst Woman's Club, 35 Triangle Street, Amherst (just east of the Emily Dickinson Museum)
Topic:  Dickinson and the Visual Arts
Discussion Leader: Greg Mattingly.  Greg Mattingly was born and raised in Southern Connecticut, and has lived in New England for most of his life. Recently, he has moved onto a small farm in Massachusetts's Pioneer Valley. Greg is a Guide at the Emily Dickinson museum in Amherst, and is an enthusiastic student of the poet and her work.

Friday, October 19, 2012
Location:  First Congregational Church, First Floor Lounge, 165 Main Street, Amherst (across the street from the Emily Dickinson Museum)
Topic: Dickinson and Her Use of Time as a Theme and as a Rhythmic Device
Discussion Leader: Peggy O'Brien. Peggy O’Brien is the editor of the Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry and a member of the English Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  She is the author of several collections of poetry, including Sudden Thaw (2004) and Frog Spotting (2009).

Friday, November 16, 2012
Location:  Amherst Woman's Club, 35 Triangle Street, Amherst (just east of the Emily Dickinson Museum)
Topic: Dickinson’s Poems with Dead Speakers
Discussion Leader: Martin Greenup. Martin Greenup is a seventh-year graduate student in the English Department at Harvard. After completing his BA in English at the University of Cambridge, he moved across the Atlantic to pursue his interest in Dickinson. His dissertation explores animation in Dickinson’s poems – that is, the way in which she brings things to life, considered in the contexts of religion, nature, sentimentalism, and transatlantic romantic aesthetics. He has published an article in The Cambridge Quarterly on Dickinson’s failure to publish and a book review for The Emily Dickinson Journal. He was the 2011 recipient of the Emily Dickinson International Society Graduate Student Fellowship.

No meeting in December

Friday, January 25, 2013 (note: this is the 4th Friday of the month)
Location:  Amherst Woman's Club, 35 Triangle Street, Amherst (just east of the Emily Dickinson Museum)
Topic: TBD
Discussion Leader: Joy Ladin.  Joy Ladin, Gottesman Professor of English at Yeshiva University, has published a number of essays on Dickinson, and a book-length study, Soldering the Abyss: Emily Dickinson and Modern American Poetry. She is also the author of six books of poetry, including newly published The Definition of Joy, Forward Fives winner Coming to Life, and Lambda Literary Award finalist Transmigration, and a recently published memoir, Through the Door of Life:  A Jewish Journey Between Genders (U of Wisconsin Press). She's had the pleasure of teaching at the Homestead since the mid-1990s.

Friday, February 15, 2013
Location:  Alumni House, Amherst College, 75 Churchill Street (1 block south of the Emily Dickinson Museum)
Topic: Emily Dickinson and Small Town Crime
Discussion Leader: Susan Snively. Susan Snively is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Skeptic Traveler (David Robert Books, 2005.)  Snively, who grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, has published poems and essays in various publications, including The Southern Review. She has taught at Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and Amherst College, and for 27 years was Director of the Writing Center at Amherst College. Snively works as a guide at the Emily Dickinson Museum and wrote and narrated the films “Seeing New Englandly,” and “My Business is to Sing,” produced by Ernest Urvater, in the series "Angles of a Landscape," for the Museum. She has also written a novel, Jumbo and Little Phil, about Dickinson’s love affair with Judge Otis Phillips Lord.

Friday, March 15, 2013
Location:  Alumni House, Amherst College, 75 Churchill Street (1 block south of the Emily Dickinson Museum)
Topic: "Menagerie to me My Neighbor be": The Satire of Emily Dickinson
Discussion Leader: Harrison Gregg.  Harrison Gregg is a recovering English major who worked for thirty years in administration at Amherst College.  His entanglement with the work and mysteries of Emily Dickinson has metastasized through years of participation in Museum-sponsored discussions and other programs and, most recently, as a Museum guide.  As moderator of Amherst’s Town Meeting since 1994, Harrison is a successor to Samuel Fowler, Edward and Austin Dickinson.

Friday, April 19, 2013
Location:  Alumni House, Amherst College, 75 Churchill Street (1 block south of the Emily Dickinson Museum)
Topic: Emily Dickinson and the American Revolution
Discussion Leader: Bruce Penniman, the author of Building the English Classroom: Foundations, Support, Success (NCTE 2009), taught English for 36 years at Amherst Regional High School, where he also held the positions of department chair and instructional director.  In 1999, he was named Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for National Teacher of the Year.  A teacher-consultant with the Western Massachusetts Writing Project since 1994, he served as the site's co-director from 1994 to 2002 and director from 2003 to 2007 and is currently the professional development coordinator.  Semi-retired, he is still active in the National Writing Project and the NEATE Executive Board and co-teaches an interdisciplinary African Studies course at ARHS.  In 2009 and 2011, he served as a curriculum coach in the Emily Dickinson Museum's "Person, Poetry, and Place" institutes for teachers.

Friday, May 17, 2013
Location:  Alumni House, Amherst College, 75 Churchill Street (1 block south of the Emily Dickinson Museum)
Topic:  “To ascertain the House”:  Houses in Emily Dickinson's Poetry. In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Homestead, Emily Dickinson’s birthplace and home for forty years, this session will focus on several key Dickinson poems that use houses and homes  as metaphors. The session will begin with a brief overview of the history of the Homestead and of Dickinson’s life in the house. Then we will look at several poems in which Dickinson used the image of a house to explore human interiors.   The session will conclude at the Homestead with a preview of poems to be read at the Poetry Walk the following day, and with coconut cake!
Discussion Leader:  Cindy Dickinson is the Director of Interpretation and Programming at the Emily Dickinson Museum.

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