Photo of Daisies at Emily's tombstone

Annual Poetry Walk
Saturday, May 15, 11:30am

Annual poetry walk graphic which shows an image of Emily's tombstone with text that reads "Annual Poetry Walk. Saturday, May 15, 11:30 a.m. Presented by the Emily Dickinson Museum and Mass Poetry"


“Called Back”: A Virtual Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk
Saturday, May 15, 11:30am ET

Days before her death in 1886, Emily Dickinson wrote her final letter, “Little Cousins, / Called Back. / Emily”. On May 15, the 135th anniversary of the poet’s death, join the Emily Dickinson Museum for an engaging virtual poetry reading and “walk” through Amherst, the town she called “paradise.”  At each stop we will see historical and contemporary images of sites of meaning for Dickinson including her garden and conservatory at the Homestead, The Evergreens — home to the poet’s brother and sister-in-law, the town common, Amherst College, and more.  Not a lecture, this program infuses place with poetry. At each stop contemporary poets share their Dickinson-inspired poems and volunteers read Dickinson’s own words aloud. The final stop is Dickinson’s grave in West Cemetery where we will share reflections and a light-hearted virtual toast! This year’s Poetry Walk is part of Mass Poetry’s 2021 Massachusetts Poetry Festival.

Registration for this program is free or by donation but it is required in advance.

A Daisy for Dickinson: Be a part of a beloved tradition of outfitting Emily Dickinson’s final resting place at Amherst’s West Cemetery with fresh daisies on the anniversary of her death.  Make a supporting donation to the Museum in honor of Emily or in memory of someone you’ve loved and lost, and we’ll place a daisy in their name at the poet’s grave as part of this year’s Poetry Walk (May 15).

We hope you enjoyed this beloved tradition of honoring Emily Dickinson on the anniversary of her death. If you would like to make a supporting gift to the Museum in honor of Emily or in memory of someone you’ve loved and lost, you may do so below.



About the participating poets:

Elizabeth Bolton has a PhD in Literacy Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She writes articles, essays and poems about the connection between writing and mental health. She grew up in northern California and now lives in Niagara Falls, Ontario with her husband and two daughters.

Lori Desrosiers’ poetry books are The Philosopher’s DaughterSometimes I Hear the Clock Speak, and Keeping Planes in the Air, all from Salmon Poetry. Two chapbooks, Inner Sky and Typing with e.e. cummings, are from Glass Lyre Press. She edits Naugatuck River Review, a journal of narrative poetry and, an online journal dedicated to social justice.

Hannah Baker Saltmarsh is the author of the poetry collection, Hysterical Water, published by The University of Georgia Press in March 2021. She has written a book of poetry criticism, entitled Male Poets and the Agon of the Mother: Contexts in Confessional and Post-confessional Poetry (Univ. of South Carolina P., 2019). She is the mother of three children, and lives with her husband in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she teaches and writes. 

Kate Godin lives in Western Massachusetts, where she tends to the writing needs of a small liberal arts college, a tween and a teen, a vigorous anxiety, and her poetry (which can be found at She is a graduate of Bates College and the New School for Social Research.

Bonnie Larson Staiger is a North Dakota Associate Poet Laureate, the recipient of the ‘Poetry of the Plains and Prairies Prize (NDSU Press, 2018) and the ‘Independent Press Award: Distinguished Favorite’ (2019) for her collection, Destiny Manifested. Her second book In Plains Sight, is forthcoming from NDSU Press in 2021.

Robin Long (@theotherdickinson) is a queer poet and writer from Austin. She is expanding her fiction thesis on Emily Dickinson, The Other Dickinson, and can be found at She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, 2020 National Poetry Month Editor’s Pick, and a digital poetry performer with FEELS Zine.

Siri Palreddy is a first-year at Amherst College, hoping to study both English and Neuroscience. An avid reader, she first discovered Emily Dickinson in high school, and has loved her work ever since. Apart from poetry, Siri enjoys writing creative nonfiction and is compelled by stories that navigate one’s identity (or identities) and roots. When not reading or writing, you can find Siri spending her free time volunteering, laying in the sun, or rewatching her favorite comfort shows.

Peter Schmitt is the author of six books of poems. “Emily Dickinson and the Boston Red Sox” appears in his new collection, Goodbye, Apostrophe (Regal House). A graduate of Amherst and The Iowa Writers Workshop, he lives and teaches in his hometown of Miami, Florida.  

Don Skoog is a freelance musician, writer, and teacher living in Oak Park, Illinois. He plays Classical percussion and Jazz drums, as well as Latin American, Arabic, and Persian instruments. He authors books and articles on exploring culture through music—the latest, in Arabic, for The University of Chicago’s Majala magazine—and has written four novels (not all of them published yet). The poem Amherst, is from Adventures in the RhythmVerse, his first chapbook.

Rebecca Starks is the author of the poetry collections Time Is Always Now, a finalist for the 2019 Able Muse Book Award, and Fetch, Muse (forthcoming from Able Muse Press), and is the recipient of Rattle’s 2018 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor. She lives in Richmond, Vermont.

Abigail Price is a 24 year old English poet, writer and Undergraduate student studying Criminology, Criminal Justice and Social Policy at the University of Wolverhampton in England. Most of Abigail’s work is inspired by her past and significantly, nature which aided her recovery from mental illness in her early teenage years. Abigail is an avid writer & reader and her dream is to influence social change through British politics alongside writing beautiful poetry to leave people a little bit better, than when her poems found them. 


This program is co-presented with Mass Poetry

Mass Poetry Festival LogoThe Massachusetts Poetry Festival, a biennial event based in Boston, MA, returns May 13-16, 2021 for a virtual showcase featuring 50+ readings panels, workshops, performances and more. Find more information or register for other Festival events today at

Posted in Past Events.


  1. I haven’t visited the museum, but my French cousin, Andre and I were able to visit Emily’s home and garden briefly in the 1993 or 1994? I think we were visiting Amherst on a day that her home was closed but some kind soul let us go into her house briefly and walk around the garden.

    Clayton, MO

  2. In memory of my beloved wife Tami who was born and raised in Western Massachusetts. I remember how much we enjoyed touring the museum together with other family members. Rest In Peace. I miss you. Bart.

    McKnight, PA

  3. I enjoy the Museum programs so much and want to thank you for the wonderful ideas – they all feel so warm and welcoming.

    Lake Sherwood, CA

  4. You left me – Sire – two Legacies –
    A Legacy of Love
    A Heavenly Father would suffice
    Had He the offer of –

    You left me Boundaries of Pain –
    Capacious as the Sea –
    Between Eternity and Time –
    Your Consciousness – and me –

    Granby, MA

  5. Thank you very much for being a boost to me in London, during a difficult time in life. Lovely to hold on to dear Emily.

    London, UK

  6. In memory of my Mom, Louise Hansen (passed in 2011), also an Emily Dickinson fan.

    Hillsboro, OR

  7. I would like you to place a Daisy in honor of my dear friend and mentor George Wallace, artist in residence at Walt Whitman birthplace.
    May 15 is my birthday as well

    Ingram, TX

  8. I visited the museum in March 2017. I appreciate your warm welcome. Thank you!

    Fukuoka, Japan

  9. Outstanding Job on the Museum. I cannot wait to visit again.
    Be well

    Walpole, MA

  10. We at Rainbow Bridge obits would like to honor the memory of Emily’s dog, Carlo. Hoping to publish a retroactive obit for the Newfoundland breed who appeared in some of her poetry.

    Coral Springs, FL

  11. This donation is in Emily Dickinson’s memory. She is my favorite poet and I would love to have a daisy placed on her grave from myself as a tribute to the impact her poetry has had in my life. Thank you!

    Terre Haute, IN

  12. Steve,
    Not a day goes by when I don’t think of you. Love, Mom

    Northampton, MA

  13. In memory of my mother who inspired all she knew with a love for the little things, a quality she shares with my favorite poet.

    Hastings On Hudson, NY

  14. “..when we were Children and she journeyed, she always brought us something. Now, would she bring us but herself, what an only Gift –
    In memory of my grandmother, Billie Long

    Austin, TX

  15. “So has a daisy vanished.” Please place a daisy on May 15 in my father David Porter’s name. Thank you so much.

    Keswitck, VA

  16. Looking forward so much to ‘attending’ today from the rainy Kentish coast of southern England. Thank you for for placing a daisy in memory of my beloved husband Simon, whom I first wooed with one of Emily’s poems!

  17. Wonderful program. I am a member of the Amherst class of 1983, and lived for three years at Phi Gamma Chi (now called March House), just yards away from the Dickenson Homestead and a bit through the woods. What a wonderful neighbor to have, at a distance of exactly a century!

  18. Next time, why not have live cameras in the various locations? I was so hoping to see some of the Amherst settings live. So easy to do with cell-phones. A missed opportunity!

  19. Thank you for this wonderful program!!!!
    ‘Twas a very excellent & creative format.
    I especially enjoyed the poems of Kate Godin and Robin Long.

  20. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity!
    I enjoyed and appreciated every moment.

  21. Fantastic program – what a joy to get to spend time with Emily’s words and words inspired.

  22. Thank you all; poets and readers and staff. I look forward to one day visiting the museum!
    Steve Cary
    Blanchardville, WI

  23. An exquisite walk! So beautifully designed! Such a great selection of Dickinson’s poems, united with the voices of such powerful contemporary poets. Delightful narration. Thank you!!!!

  24. Emily! I traveled again from Latrobe, PA to be here in-person in Amherst for your “virtual” poetry walk! A beautiful day we have been given for it! Thank you all!

  25. What a delight to spend this hour both with Emily Dickinson and with my hometown – not far away geographically, but separate from the realities of travel this past year. Thank you, and I will see you soon –

  26. What a GRAND noontime joy you all provided. THANK YOU all. I wonder if there could be (perhaps for another donation?) a handout on a word document of the new poems; I would especially like to savor Rebecca’s “It happened twice” and Robin’s “My Dead Therapist.” And I’ll always from now on hear Jane’s quiet, deliberate reading of “Because I could not stop for Death.”
    Congratulations, Brooke for this remarkable presentation. See you in Amherst before too long, I hope.

  27. Thank you for a wonderful presentation! I look forward to seeing the restorations when the museum is open again.

  28. That was such a wonderful experience. From an English teacher in Kansas City, thank you so much for providing this virtual event.

  29. Thank you so much. This virtual program was a delight. I would never have been able to go on a tour in live person. Being a poet, I feel near to Emily every time I attend. Thank you again.

    Kim Malinowski

  30. Thank you for your wonderful presentation this morning. I have a couple of questions.

    Did Emily choose the inscription on her gravestone (”Called Back”) or not?

    I am curious as to why her poems are identified on your slides by “FR” instead of “RF”, which would match the name of the editor, R. W. Franklin. “FR” seems backwards to me.

  31. Thank you so much for this great event! It was wonderful to hear poetry from present-day poets as well! (Connecticut)

  32. Thank you for a fabulous presentation of poems by and inspired by Emily Dickinson. Fabulous voices.

    I am from Newburyport, MA, and a member of the Powow River Poets and an admirer of Emily Dickinson, her unique life and poetry.

    Paulette Demers Turco

  33. A beautiful gathering of tribute and love! Thank you all at the Museum for this day. The readings of Emily’s poems were wonderful, and the new poems inspired by her, and read by the poets, bring force to the idea that Emily Dickinson continues in soul and heart to poets everywhere. It was a pleasure to join in today, and I so look forward to being there in person, in 2022! ‘The Soul should always = Stand ajar’!

  34. “I hide myself within my flower,
    That wearing on your breast,
    You, unsuspecting, wear me too—
    And angels know the rest.”

    Absolutely lovely event, and I enjoyed the contemporary poems inspired by Emily! It’s so touching to see all of those daisies put on her grave as well. Thank you for putting this on! I hope someday I can visit the museum in person. Until then, I appreciated this!

    Memphis, TN

  35. I enjoyed this presentation very much! Thank you to the organizers and the readers. I look forward to visting the museum when it re-opens.

  36. Thank you for this wonderful “walk” – for the readers of Emily’s work, and for the guest poets who read their own works in tribute to Emily Dickinson. From Portland, Oregon.

  37. Emily Dickinson sparked an interest in poetry in my 10-year-old mind.. That spark turned into a passionate life-long flame for which I will always be grateful.

  38. “Letters are a joy of earth.” Today’s remembrance walk through Amherst quietly affirmed this lovely thought. Thank you so much for sharing this event with those of us in faraway places.

  39. Thank you so much for this wonderful event! I have visited the museum twice and enjoyed it so much both times. I hope to visit again when it is reopened. Emily Dickinson will always hold a very special place in my heart. <3

  40. My poet mother, Dorcas Watters, would have enjoyed this visit enormously. Thank you.

  41. If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain. Till we meet again.

  42. Thanks for sharing this event; I thoroughly enjoyed it from Oakland, CA and hope to visit in real life someday… though I’m not convinced that ED *wouldn’t* count this experience, traveling through words, as “real life.” A virtual daisy from the west.

  43. I enjoyed this presentation very much! Thank you to the organizers and the readers. I look forward to visting the museum when it re-opens.
    Cambridge, MA

  44. A beautiful poetry walk to take with you all at teatime in the UK. Lovely choral reading to toast Emily and finish the event. Felt very connected, glad you could be part of the MASS Poetry Festival. Very excited to hear more about the restoration too. Carpets from England.
    …For what are Stars but Asterisks
    To point a human Life?
    (FR 1673)

    EDM was one of my 2020 Lockdown highlights and you are very much part of my 2021 too.

  45. I hope to one day go to the Homestead, and spend time in her room. Please place my Daisy in memory of Sharon K Snider. She was a dear friend, and the greatest teacher from whom I ever had the privilege to learn. Happy Spiritual Birthday, Emily! I love you so!

  46. Never found the Guestbook to sign, but kudos for a wonderful program with MassPoetry. I look forward to seeing the completed renovation
    – Kathleen Baker

  47. Thank you very much for the annual virtual program. I really enjoyed it throughout though it’s now 1:30 am in Japan. I hope to visit the museum soon in person.

    Yokohama, Japan

  48. With much appreciation, once again, to all Museum staff, poets, readers, and those who placed the Daisies. This was such a beautiful tribute to Emily Dickinson and also a wonderful celebration of new poetic voices. I’ve never attended this event previously (in person) and am grateful for this virtual opportunity. Thank you for keeping poetry alive and vital! “Go Thy great way!”

  49. While I wish I had been in Amherst for real, the virtual walk was a wonderful and powerful placeholder. thank you for organizing a touching and lively event this morning.

  50. I heard so many old friends’ voices today. Words so worth repeating. Thank you for being the sweet medium, as indeed was Emily.

    Bellingham, WA

  51. Thank you so much, that was wonderful! I hope one day to be able to visit and lay a daisy of my own.

  52. Thank you for doing this Virtual Poetry Walk! I hope I can visit the museum someday. Cheers to Emily Dickinson, I hope she’s happy wherever she is right now ❤️

    Manila, Philippines

  53. This was my first joining in the program, such a great opportunity!
    Although it was virtual, I was able to feel that I was there in the Homestead
    and in Amherst, where I lived thirty-seven years ago!
    All the people who recited their own tribute poems are wonderful.

  54. For the Poetry Walk Virtual Guest Book–As we continue to shelter in place, a grateful toast to Emily Dickinson, who teaches us that place–is Possibility.

  55. Thank you so much for today! It was a blessing! Sharing my love for Emily with all of you has been beautiful.
    If she is the flower, I am the bee.

  56. I attended the poetry virtual walk today, and I was very touched by it. The readings were spectacular, and I loved the combination of her poetry and the poetry in her honor by other poets. I hope to do this every year!

    Woodbury, CT

  57. I so enjoyed the wonderful Emily Dickinson presentation today. And all her and others’ poems too. Thank you!

    Rockfield, KY

  58. The Dickinson Home at Pleasant Street, is remarkably similar to my Home, located at 574 Watchung Road Bound Brook, New Jersey. While we lived there only from 1965-1972, it holds many memories. Still standing! Kindly Kate

    LaPorte, CO

  59. How fortunate that I live just down the road from the Museum! I had a great teacher in high school who spent the time it took to really instill an appreciation of Emily in her students. Those poems we read and studied stayed with me – I could recite them – and it was gratifying years later to move to the Pioneer Valley and be a part of the Dickenson legacy!

  60. Remembering Emily today – an immortal lingering spirit that continues to water us here on Earth with words of mystery and Joy – Also in memory of our beloved and vibrant teacher Sylvia Fox – HBBeal Secondary School — a daisy for your delightful smile and favorite color yellow . .. from your devoted students Deborah Anne W and Georgina G

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