arts night

Amherst Arts Night Virtual Reading: October 1, 2020 at 6:30pm – REMOTE PROGRAM

arts night

During the pandemic, the Emily Dickinson Museum is celebrating monthly Amherst Arts Night Plus with remote poetry readings every first Thursday at 6:30pm (EST).

This program is free to attend. Registration is required. Click here to sign-up!

 

 

Our October featured poets are:

 

Rage Hezekiah

Rage Hezekiah is a New England based poet and educator, who earned her MFA from Emerson College. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, The MacDowell Colony, and The Ragdale Foundation, and is the recipient of the Saint Botolph Foundation’s Emerging Artists Award. Her poems have been anthologized, co-translated, and published internationally. Rage’s debut full-length collection of poems, Stray Harbor, is available through Finishing Line Press. Her 2019 chapbook, Unslakable, is a 2018 Vella Chapbook Award winner available from Paper Nautilus.

For more information visit: https://www.ragehezekiah.com/

 

Poet Brionne Janae is pictured reflected in a mirror, holding a coffee in one hand and a phone in the other

 

 

 

Brionne Janae

Brionne Janae is a poet and educator living in Brooklyn. They are a recipient of the 2016 St. Botoloph Emerging Artist award, a Hedgebrook Alum and proud Cave Canem Fellow. Their poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, The Sun Magazine jubilat, Sixth Finch, Plume, The Nashville Review, and Waxwing among others. Brionne’s first full length collection of poetry After Jubilee was published by Boaat Press.

For more information visit: https://www.brionnejanae.com/

 

 

   Poet Taylor Johnson looks into the camera in front of a background of foliage

Taylor Johnson

Taylor Johnson is proud of being from Washington, DC. They’ve received fellowships and scholarships from CALLALOO, Cave Canem, Lambda Literary, Tin House, the Vermont Studio Center, Yaddo, the Conversation Literary Festival,  the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, among other organizations. In 2017, Taylor received the Larry Neal Writers’ Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. 

Their poems appear in The Baffler, Indiana Review, Scalawag, and the Paris Review, among other journals and literary magazines. Their first book, Inheritance, will be published November 2020 with Alice James Books. Taylor lives in southern Louisiana where they listen.

For more information visit: http://www.taylorjohnsonpoems.com/

EMILYTOBER: A collection of prompts for Artober

#Emilytober Prompt List – Be Inspired, October 1st – 31st!

Artists wrestled here!
Lo, a tint Cashmere!
Lo, a Rose!
Student of the Year!
For the Easel here,
Say Repose!

-F111

 

Since 2009, artists from all over the world have chosen to spend October participating in challenges based on lists of prompts put together by other artists and institutions. Some make a piece of work every day, some every other day, and others are happy to simply take inspiration from all the lists floating around. We’re so excited to be participating in this year’s #Artober by releasing our own list of prompts consisting of phrases from Dickinson poems! We encourage you to pick and choose from the prompts, to work from either the lines we’ve provided or from the whole poems from which they’ve been plucked, and to create in any medium you desire. We look forward to seeing what you create—make sure to tag us on social media so we catch your work! You can tag your pieces with #artober2020, #emilytober, and @emilydickinson.museum. We’ll share our favorites from our instagram account, and feature some of them here on our website!

Emilytober #Artober Prompt List, 2020

The prompts are arranged in a grid over an orange background featuring a faded image of a mushroom, and framed by images of a skull, flowers, and vines

Full text of each prompt, in order, with Franklin edition reference numbers

  1. F32 The maple wears a gayer scarf –
  2. F1158 Best Witchcraft is Geometry
  3. F1350 The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants –
  4. F168 Ah, Necromancy Sweet!
  5. F1286 There is no Frigate like a Book
  6. F407 One need not be a Chamber – to be Haunted
  7. F796 The Lightning showed a Yellow Beak And then a livid Claw –
  8. F111 Artists wrestled here!
  9. F1268 A Word dropped careless on a Page
  10. F1199 For Captain was the Butterfly
  11. F1163 A Spider sewed at Night
  12. F166 Dust is the only Secret.
  13. F260 I’m Nobody! Who are you?
  14. F1393 Those Cattle smaller than a Bee
  15. F656 the Mermaids in the Basement/Came out to look at me –
  16. F1426 Buccaneers of Buzz –
  17. F140 Bring me the sunset in a cup –
  18. F1394 The long sigh of the Frog
  19. F916 Or Porch of Gnome
  20. F918 We met as Sparks – Diverging Flints
  21. F479 The Carriage held but just Ourselves – And Immortality.
  22. F162 From some old Fortress on the sun
  23. F1311 Art thou the thing I wanted?
  24. F1489 A Route of Evanescence,
  25. F296 Where ships of purple gently toss
  26. F1649 Back from the Cordial Grave I drag thee
  27. F1402 His Heart was darker than the starless night
  28. F1405 The absence of the Witch does not Invalidate the spell –
  29. F200 The Rose did caper on her cheek –
  30. F89 Imps in eager caucus
  31. F710 Where Squirrels play – and Berries dye – And Hemlocks – bow – to God
  32. F43 The Satyrs fingers beckoned
  33. F1747 That Love is all there is/Is all we know of Love,
  34. F509 A curious Cloud surprised the Sky
  35. F510 Upholsterer of the Pines – is He –
Text from poem fr660: "I Took my Power in my Hand - And went against The World -"

Statement in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Text from poem fr660: "I Took my Power in my Hand - And went against The World -"

 

This statement was originally released on June 3rd 2020:

Today, in our distress over recent devastating events, we stand with our community and with the Black Lives Matter movement against racial injustice and inequality. We recognize that real change is necessary both in our country and in our museum.⁣

We believe that museums are not neutral: they should be part of public conversations on contemporary issues such as racism, injustice, and oppression. Museums have long been institutions that hold and reflect cultural values and collective memory. Now, they have an even greater responsibility to be active participants in challenging age-old and contemporary systems of oppression. ⁣

Like other museums, the Emily Dickinson Museum has a duty to examine the history it teaches and to expand the stories it tells. Emily Dickinson lived through a catastrophic Civil War rooted in racial injustice and oppression. Her family was part of a society that benefited from the labor of immigrants, African Americans, and Native Americans in service to a privileged White majority. The poet’s literary work was made possible by the labor of these domestic servants. The Emily Dickinson Museum strives to tell this full story. Our new interpretive plan will place greater emphasis on the perspectives of Irish, Native American, and free Black workers in the Dickinson households, making plain issues of race and class in Dickinson family daily life. ⁣

At the Emily Dickinson Museum we recognize that this interpretive work is but one step in the greater effort to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and access for audiences, staff, and leadership in institutions like ours. Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice became an agent of change, both in the literary canon and in the lives of individuals who find depths of meaning in her account of our human condition. As an institution, we are committed to the continuous work of change that museums can and should be doing to build an equitable society.

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