poetry discussion group

Virtual Poetry Discussion Group, January 15 & 22

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion Group meets monthly, September through May, for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters.

 

Join us from 1pm to 2:30pm on Zoom for a discussion on January 15 or January 22. Space is limited. To request a space, please complete this google form. For questions, please write edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

This program is free of charge, but we encourage those who are able to do so to make a donation after the program.

Topic: Title: “Nerve in Marble: the Geology of Emily Dickinson’s Poetry”   
Amanda Lowe’s work on Emily Dickinson interprets the processes of geothermal activity and rock metamorphosis as central to Dickinson’s poetic forms. This discussion invites participants to explore a collection of Dickinson’s poems that use images of volcanoes, granite and marble to explore the effects of human emotion on the body. We’ll discuss the development of geologic inquiry during the nineteenth century, Dickinson’s education in it, and suggest ways these theories seeped into her poetry. Through speakers’ depictions of highly alive and dead bodies, we’ll look together at the profound impact geology had on Dickinson’s understanding of the human relationship to the natural world.

About the Facilitator
Amanda Lowe is a PhD Candidate at Columbia University who researches the presence of geologic theory in nineteenth century American Literature. She is a current SOF/Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellow and the Graduate Student Coordinator for the Freedom and Citizenship Program. 

daguerreotype in gilt frame of Amherst College

Emily Dickinson’s Amherst College, December 4, 12-1:15pm

daguerreotype in gilt frame of Amherst College

Amherst College circa 1855. Half plate ambrotype by E.W. Cowles, courtesy of Amherst College Archives and Special Collections.

 

Join Museum staff for a lively lunchtime talk about the impact of Amherst College on the life of poet Emily Dickinson. 

The Dickinson family were instrumental to the College during its first 75 years, beginning with Samuel Fowler Dickinson’s part in its founding and continuing with Edward and Austin’s combined 60 years of service as treasurers. The College was an early and lasting influence in Dickinson’s own life, playing an inestimable role in her early education & friendships, and later connecting her to an ever-widening local and global community. Through original photographs and archival documents, encounter some of the people and places that defined Dickinson’s 19th century Amherst College, including students, professors, workers, and alumni. 

Following the talk, enjoy the Q&A with museum guides Stephanie Bennett, Brenna Macaray, Dr. Christopher Fobare, and Anna Plummer.

 

All are welcome to attend this free program, but registration is required. Register in advance via zoom. 
Questions? Please write edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org. 

a grid showing headshots of Jericho Brown, Kimaya Diggs, and Ada Limon. In the fourth square are the words "Tell It Slant"

Festival Headliners Ada Limón and Jericho Brown with Music by Kimaya Diggs
September 19, 7pm

a grid showing headshots of Jericho Brown, Kimaya Diggs, and Ada Limon. In the fourth square are the words "Tell It Slant"Settle in for an evening of music and poetry celebrating Emily Dickinson’s ongoing creative legacy with the work of three contemporary artists. Singer-songwriter Kimaya Diggs, brings you new original settings of Dickinson poems live from the poet’s bedroom, and headliners Ada Limón and Jericho Brown read from their work and discuss their poetic practice and inspiration. The evening begins and ends with 20-minute musical sets by Diggs, bookending the headliner poetry reading and Q&A with Brown, Limón, and guest interviewer Nathan McClain.  Don’t miss out on this special evening of community through art!

Live captioning will be available at this event!

*A note about Rosh Hashanah: We apologize that this event falls on the occasion of the Jewish New Year. The Festival has historically been scheduled in the third week of September for consistency and to avoid overlap with other local events. This program will be recorded and made available to view for three months following the event itself. Please register to receive information on how to view the recording. Shanah Tovah! 

About the artists:

Kimaya Diggs Portrait

 

Kimaya Diggs has mastered a genre-defying style. Inspired by the acrobatic folk renderings of Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald’s jazz stylings, and Lianna LaHavas’ soulful charisma, she draws skillfully from her lineage of musical pioneers, creating a musical lane all her own. With a playful presence and frank, transporting storytelling, Diggs’ mastery of her voice is the focal point of each performance, and a transfixing experience. Information and music at kimayadiggs.com or on instagram at @kimayadiggs.

 

Portrait of poet Ada LimonAda Limón is the author of five books of poetry, including The Carrying (Milkweed Editions, 2018), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and was named one of the top 5 poetry books of the year by the Washington Post. Her fourth book Bright Dead Things was named a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program, and the online and summer programs for the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She also works as a freelance writer in Lexington, Kentucky.

 

picture of Jericho Brown: a black man wearing a yellow t-shirt smiles in front of some daffodilsJericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition (2019), which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, TIME magazine, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.

About the interviewer:

A color head shot of poet and educator Nathan McClainNathan McClain is the author of Scale (Four Way Books, 2017), a recipient of fellowships from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, The Frost Place, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers.  His poems and prose have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Green Mountains Review, Poem-a-Day, The Common, and The Critical Flame.  He teaches at Hampshire College. For more information visit www.nathanmcclain.com.

 

Support The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival and Honor Someone Special:
Admission to all Festival events is free, but online donations, especially those made in honor or memory of family, friends, or colleagues are heartily encouraged and vital to the future of this beloved annual event. All gifts are tax deductible and will be recognized as part of the Festival. 

2020 Tell It Slant Facebook Video – Festival Headliners Ada Limón and Jericho Brown with Music by Kimaya Diggs

2020 Tell It Slant Schedule

 

foursquare of poet headshots

Black Lives and Black Poetics Matter: A Reading and Discussion curated by Faraday Publishing
September 17, 7:30pm

Join us for an evening of vibrant poetry and dialogue on the vitality and importance of Black Lives and Black Poetics in contemporary America. Moderated by Enzo Silon Surin, founder and director of Faraday Publishing, this panel will feature leading Black poets, scholars, and educators, including Dr. Tony Medina, Bonita Lee Penn, Lisa Pegram, and Dr. Shauna Morgan.

About the poets:

tony medina headshot

Dr. Tony Medina is a poet, scholar, and children’s book author. Born in the South Bronx, Medina earned a BA from Baruch College and an MA and a PhD in African American and American literature and creative writing from the State University of New York, Binghamton. He is the author and editor of more than a dozen books for adults and young readers. His most recent collections of poetry include Broke Baroque (2Leaf Press, 2013), a finalist for the Julie Suk Award for Best Poetry Book from an Independent Press, and the blues-memoir My Old Man Was Always on the Lam (NYQ Books, 2011), a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize. In his work, Medina explores the transformative intersections of racial and class struggle.  Medina has been featured in the Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Literature (edited by Tarshia L. Stanley, 2008) and was cited in the Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip Hop Culture (edited by Yvonne Bynoe, 2005). He has edited a number of anthologies, including Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam (Broadway Books, 2001), named a Best Book of 2002 by the Washington Post. Medina is the recipient of the Langston Hughes Society Award and the first African Voices Literary Award.  He currently teaches at Howard University, where he was named the first professor of creative writing. Medina lives in Washington, D.C.

headshot of shauna morganDr. Shauna M. Morgan, author of the chapbook Fear of Dogs & Other Animals, is a poet and scholar from a rural district in Clarendon, Jamaica. An Associate Professor of creative writing and Africana literature at Howard University in Washington, D.C., she has published poetry in A Gathering Together, ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics & Consciousness, A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture, Interviewing the Caribbean, and elsewhere.  Her critical work has appeared in the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, South Atlantic ReviewBulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, and ariel: A Review of International English Literature, among other periodicals. Shauna recently moved to Lexington, Kentucky where she tends to a hopeful garden.

headshot of lisa pegramLisa Pegram is a writer, educator, arts integration specialist and literary publicist. Her chapbook Cracked Calabash was published by Central Square Press, in addition to poems and essays published by Random House, Black Classic Press and Poets.org, among others. She has over 20 years of experience in high-level program design for such organizations as the Smithsonian Institute, Corcoran Gallery of Art and National Geographic. Passionate about the arts as a tool for activism, she served as DC WritersCorps program director for a decade, and as co-chair of United Nations affiliate women’s conferences in the US, India and Bali. Lisa completed her MFA at Lesley University and has an Executive Certification in Arts & Culture Strategies from UPenn. A Washington, DC native, she is currently based in the Caribbean where, in addition to her literary pursuits, she is a personal chef aka food poet. Awards include: Larry Neal Writer’s Award Finalist; Uplifting Human Values Award (Art of Living Foundation) and DC Mayor’s Arts Award for “Outstanding Emerging Artist.” Her official website is: ladypcoq.wordpress.com

headshot of Bonita Lee PennBonita Lee Penn is a Pittsburgh poet, editor, curator and author of the chapbook, Every Morning A Foot Is Looking For My Neck (Central Square Press, 2019). Her work has appeared in JOINT. Literary MagazineHot Metal Bridge Journal, The Massachusetts Review, “The Skinny” Poetry Journal, Women Studies Quarterly, Voices from the Attic Anthology and her poem “When Lightning Rides Thunder Bareback” was the Solstice Editors’ Pick for the 2018 summer issue of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices. A curator of various poetry events, she is a member of the Pittsburgh Black Feminist Reading Group and Managing Editor of the Soul Pitt Quarterly Magazine. Penn is also co-curator of “Common Threads: Faith, Activism, and the Art of Healing,” a Pittsburgh-based art exhibit that examines the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic priorities of women of varying faith traditions.

 

About the facilitator: 

headshot of enzo silon surin

Enzo Silon Surin, Haitian-born poet, educator, speaker, publisher and social advocate, is the author of When My Body Was A Clinched Fist (Black Lawrence PressJuly 2020) and two chapbooks, A Letter of Resignation: An American Libretto (2017) and Higher Ground. He is a PEN New England Celebrated New Voice in Poetry, the recipient of a Brother Thomas Fellowship from The Boston Foundation and a 2020 Denis Diderot [A-i-R] Grant as an Artist-in-Residence at Chateau d’Orquevaux in Orquevaux, France. Surin’s work gives voice to experiences that take place in what he calls “broken spaces” and his poems have been featured in numerous publications and exhibits. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University, teaches creative writing and literature at Bunker Hill Community College and is President and Director of Faraday Publishing. 

Support The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival and Honor Someone Special:
Admission to all Festival events is free, but online donations, especially those made in honor or memory of family, friends, or colleagues are heartily encouraged and vital to the future of this beloved annual event. All gifts are tax deductible and will be recognized as part of the Festival.

2020 Tell It Slant Facebook Video – Black Lives & Black Poetics Matter

2020 Tell It Slant Schedule

grayscale headshot of shayla lawson

Shayla Lawson
October 13, 7pm

Join poet Shayla Lawson as she reads from her new essay collection This is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope, which has been called “a hilarious, heartbreaking, and endlessly entertaining homage to black women’s resilience and excellence” (Kirkus Reviews). A Q&A with Lawson follows the reading. This event kicks off the Amherst College Creative Writing Fall Reading Series

Please click here to register for this free program.

grayscale headshot of shayla lawsonAbout the poet: Shayla Lawson is the author of three books of poetry—A Speed Education in Human Being, the chapbook Pantone, and I Think I’m Ready to see Frank Ocean—and the essay collection This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope, which Kirkus called “A hilarious, heartbreaking, and endlessly entertaining homage to black women’s resilience and excellence.” She was born in Rochester, Minnesota, grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, studied architecture in Italy, and spent a few years as a Dutch housewife—milkmaid braids and all. She teaches at Amherst College and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

 

2020 Tell It Slant Schedule

headshot of a man with white hair, mustache, beard and glasses

Approaching Emily in Turbulent Times: A Dickinson Poetry Discussion with Bruce Penniman
September 17, 12-1:30pm

Virtual Program
Emily Dickinson's handwriting on a letter and envelope1864 was a turbulent year for Emily Dickinson. With the Civil War still raging and a consequential presidential election looming, Dickinson faced a medical crisis that kept her confined for months. Nonetheless, she wrote nearly one hundred poems that year, and many of them speak directly to the times that we are in now. Although Dickinson’s poetry can be challenging or even intimidating to readers new and well-versed alike, readers find that her incisive expression of the human experience is well worth the effort. Join us for a program of discussion and exploration as we tackle some beloved favorites and some lesser-known Dickinson poems from 1864. Participants of all levels of comfort with Dickinson are welcome and should be prepared to engage in group conversations facilitated by Bruce Penniman.

headshot of a man with white hair, mustache, beard and glasses

About the facilitator: Bruce M. Penniman taught writing, speech, and literature at Amherst Regional High School from 1971 until 2007 and recently retired (again) as the site director of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 1999 he was Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and a finalist for National Teacher of the Year, and he is the author of Building the English Classroom: Foundations, Support, Success (NCTE, 2009). He has served as a teacher curriculum mentor in all four NEH Emily Dickinson: Person, Poetry, and Place workshops and has facilitated discussions in the Poetry Discussion Group on topics ranging from “Emily Dickinson and the Bible” to “Emily Dickinson and Science.” 
 

Support The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival and Honor Someone Special: Admission to all Festival events is free, but online donations, especially those made in honor or memory of family, friends, or colleagues are heartily encouraged and vital to the future of this beloved annual event. All gifts are tax deductible and will be recognized as part of the Festival.

2020 Tell It Slant Schedule

Photo of Franny Choi, looking away from the camera with one arm behind her head. She has long black hair that is pulled back behind her ears, dark red lipstick and clear glasses.

Workshop with Franny Choi at the Springfield Renaissance High School
September 18

This program is not open to the public. 

Photo of Franny Choi, looking away from the camera with one arm behind her head. She has long black hair that is pulled back behind her ears, dark red lipstick and clear glasses.About Franny Choi:  Franny Choi is a queer, Korean-American poet, playwright, teacher, organizer, pottymouth, GryffinClaw, & general overachiever.  She is the author of two poetry collections, Soft Science (Alice James Books, 2019) & Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014), as well as a chapbook, Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She has received awards from the Poetry Foundation & the Helen Zell Writers Program, as well as fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center & the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. As a teaching artist, Franny has taught students of all ages and levels of experience, both in formal classroom settings and through organizations like Project VOICE and InsideOut Literary Arts Project. Her poems have appeared in journals including POETRY magazine, American Poetry Review, & New England Review, and her work has been featured by HuffPost, Ms. Magazine, PBS NewsHour, and Angry Asian Man. A Kundiman Fellow & graduate of the VONA Workshop, in 2016 she founded the Brew & Forge Book Fair, a fundraising project that brings together poetry readers & writers to build capacity in social justice community organizations.

 

Support The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival and Honor Someone Special: Admission to all Festival events is free, but online donations, especially those made in honor or memory of family, friends, or colleagues are heartily encouraged and vital to the future of this beloved annual event. All gifts are tax deductible and will be recognized as part of the Festival.

2020 Tell It Slant Schedule

 

The words "The Emily Dickinson Marathon Folger Shakespeare Library 4" in white overlaying a green-tinted image of the library

Emily Dickinson Marathon
Part 4: Folger Shakespeare Library

September 17, 5-7pm

Virtual Program

The words "The Emily Dickinson Marathon Folger Shakespeare Library 4" in white overlaying a green-tinted image of the library

Join us for part 4 of the week-long Emily Dickinson Marathon! An Emily Dickinson Museum tradition, the Marathon is a group reading of all 1,789 poems by Emily Dickinson over the course of about 14 hours. For this year’s remote Festival, we are partnering with six other organizations to host the marathon in two-hour sessions each day of this week. For the Marathon, we will be reading from Ralph Franklin’s The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition.

Part Four of the Dickinson Marathon is hosted by The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art. Located a block from the US Capitol in Washington D.C., the Folger opened in 1932, as a gift to the American people from founders Henry and Emily Folger and today serves a wide audience of scholars, visitors, teachers, students, families, and theater- and concert-goers. To learn more about the Folger visit https://www.folger.edu/

In this session we will read poems numbered 661-918 in the Franklin.

Support The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival and Honor Someone Special:
Admission to all Festival events is free, but online donations, especially those made in honor or memory of family, friends, or colleagues are heartily encouraged and vital to the future of this beloved annual event. All gifts are tax deductible and will be recognized as part of the Festival.

2020 Tell It Slant Schedule

the words The Emily Dickinson Marathon Emily Dickinson Museum 7 in black on a yellow-tinted image of the Homestead

Emily Dickinson Marathon
Part 7: The Emily Dickinson Museum

September 20, 3-5pm

Virtual Program

the words The Emily Dickinson Marathon Emily Dickinson Museum 7 in black on a yellow-tinted image of the Homestead

Join us for the final segment of the week-long Emily Dickinson Marathon! An Emily Dickinson Museum tradition, the Marathon is a group reading of all 1,789 poems by Emily Dickinson over the course of about 14 hours. For this year’s remote Festival, we are partnering with six other organizations to host the Marathon in two-hour sessions each day of this week. For the marathon, we will be reading from Ralph Franklin’s The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition.

The culminating session of the Marathon will be hosted by the Emily Dickinson Museum, organizers and producers of the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival. 

In this session we will read poems numbered 1414-1685 in the Franklin. Text of the poems will be screen-shared for those who do not have their own poetry editions.

This program will be livestreamed to the Emily Dickinson Museum’s Facebook page and available to viewers there during and after the program.

Support The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival and Honor Someone Special:
Admission to all Festival events is free, but online donations, especially those made in honor or memory of family, friends, or colleagues are heartily encouraged and vital to the future of this beloved annual event. All gifts are tax deductible and will be recognized as part of the Festival.

2020 Tell It Slant Schedule

a woman with short blonde hair, blue glasses, and blue necklace stands in front a fireplace

“Tell It Slant” Through Dickinson’s Art, Artifacts, & Home: A Writing Workshop with Jan Freeman
September 16, 7-9pm

Virtual Program

A wooden riding horse and other toys

This workshop offers poems by Dickinson and other poets, which use art, music, and literature as springboards to express emotions, memories, observations. Participants will engage in exercises that heighten awareness of their associations with color, emotions, and place to strengthen their use of metaphor to “tell it slant.” Experienced and inexperienced poets will open their imaginations and express their truths sideways just as Dickinson did, responding to paintings, artifacts in the Emily Dickinson Museum’s collection (the poet’s desk, Gib’s jacket, the cradle, the clock, Dickinson’s white dress), and photos of architectural features in the Homestead and The Evergreens. Prompts will be provided and participants will share their drafts. Recommended for writers age 17+.

 

a mature woman with short blonde hair, blue glasses, and blue necklace stands in front a fireplace

 

About the facilitator: Jan Freeman is author of three collections of poetry, most recently Blue Structure (Calypso Editions, 2016). Her poems are forthcoming or recently appeared in POETRY magazine, Plume, Salamander, and Welcome to the Resistance: Poetry as Protest. She was founding director of Paris Press, where she published Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson’s Intimate Correspondence with Susan Huntington Dickinson. She teaches at the MASS MoCA Ekphrastic Poetry Retreats and is a Mass Poetry teacher in the schools. She was recently named a 2020-2021 Associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center. http://www.janfreeman.net/about

 

Support The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival and Honor Someone Special: Admission to all Festival events is free, but online donations, especially those made in honor or memory of family, friends, or colleagues are heartily encouraged and vital to the future of this beloved annual event. All gifts are tax deductible and will be recognized as part of the Festival.

2020 Tell It Slant Schedule