2014 Programs

Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon

Poetry Marathon

Friday, September 19--5 to 8 pm
Saturday, September 20--8 am to 6 pm
Sunday, September 21--9 am to noon (at the latest)

Location:  Emily Dickinson Museum
Fee: none

Don't miss this year's Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon, an annual reading of all 1,789 poems by Emily Dickinson!  No previous experience or qualifying time required. The 2014 reading will take place over three days, to coincide with this year's Amherst Poetry Festival.

Whether you’re a longtime Emily Dickinson fan or new to Dickinson's poetry, the marathon is the perfect chance to experience Dickinson’s work in the place where she composed it. Greg Mattingly, a devoted participant of past marathons, says, "Don’t just read Emily Dickinson, join in the Marathon and experience her!"


  • Text:  The text used for the marathon is The Poetry of Emily Dickinson, Reading Edition, ed. R. W. Franklin (1999), published by Harvard University Press. Franklin's edition is arranged chronolgoically by date of manuscript.  A limited number of copies of the Franklin text are available for marathon readers to share; participants are encouraged to bring a copy--or to purchase one in the Museum's shop.  It's an investment you won't regret!  The 2014 marathon will begin with those poems Franklin was unable to date (numbers 1686-1789), and then commence with poem 1 (composed ca. 1850).  The marathon will conclude with the two poems Dickinson is known to have written in 1886, the year she died.
  • Registration: Although drop-ins are welcome, this year readers are encouraged to sign up in advance for a slot, since space in the Homestead parlor is limited to 25 readers at a time. To register, click here. All marathon readers will receive a special marathon bib, just like participants in road races and other sporting events! Please note that, while listeners are welcome, preference is given to readers when space constraints become an issue.
  • Location:  the marathon will take place in the Homestead parlor. Note:  there will be no guided tours of the Homestead on Saturday, September 20.  Both the Homestead and The Evergreens will be open from 11 am to 4 pm for a modified open house at a reduced admission fee.  On Sunday, September 21, the Museum's tour schedule will begin at noon (not 11 am). For details about visiting the Museum, see these modifications to our tour schedule.
  • Facebook/Twitter: Join the marathon virtually!  We will post periodic updates on our fan page and twitter.


This year's poetry marathon is part of the Amherst Poetry Festival, co-sponsored by the Amherst Business Improvement District and the Emily Dickinson Museum.


For information about the marathon, please e-mail edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org.