Improving the Environment for Collections at The Evergreens

INTRODUCTION
parlor of evergreens with furniture, piano and paintings
The Emily Dickinson Museum (EDM) received a Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to enhance environmental conditions renowned poet and her family. The largest and most varied collection of non-manuscript objects associated historically with the poet and her family had been stored since 1916 in The Evergreens, an Italianate two-story wood-frame house built by the Dickinson family in 1856.

THE PROBLEM
The Evergreens has been heated by a residential-grade forced hot air gas furnace through a distribution system that has changed little since the mid-20 th century. Heat reached heated only five of the eleven first floor rooms and only two of the six rooms on the second floor. There was no form of air conditioning until 2007. Monitoring data confirmed that significant swings in temperature and humidity between different areas of the house and across seasons threatened very limited life expectancies for Dickinson family artifacts including art, family furniture, and personal possessions. The central problem has been the “stack effect” caused by The Evergreens style of architecture. Stack effect results from infiltration of cold outdoor air through crevices in masonry, gaps between window sash/frames and door frames, and openings for building systems, and exfiltration of warmed air through gaps on upper floors. The Evergreens open main hall and the difference in height between perforations in the three-story structure create the stack effect which reaches extremes in the winter. The effect is reversed in summer with exfiltration of cooled dehumidified interior air at perforations in lower stories and infiltration of warm moist air in upper stories and attics.

THE PROJECT

Cellar mechanicals at The Evergreens

Cellar mechanicals at The Evergreens

The Emily Dickinson Museum established seven objectives for the environmental improvements project, and all have either been accomplished or will be born out through further monitoring and evaluation.
1. Set realistic expectations for building and system performance. A first step was a study of the building’s “comportment” – that is, the limits of an improved environment that the structure’s architectural style, building materials, and location in a New England valley climate will allow. The results of the study helped the Museum establish refined and more reasonable performance standards.
Specification for ASHRAE Classes and Proposed Class Control for the Evergreens table
2. Reduce the loss of conditioned air and the intrusion of water vapor. Non-mechanical improvements to the building envelope included attic insulation and a vapor barrier combined with storm window upgrades, weatherstripping, air-sealing, and segregation of unconditioned spaces to reduce exfiltration/infiltration.
3. Reduce the sensitivity of the internal environment to external conditions. Upgraded insulation and reduction of cold air and moisture infiltration will do a better job of maintaining relatively constant conditions inside the building even though outdoor climate conditions change more quickly.
4. Filter pollutants and inhibit conditions leading to pest infestation and growth of mold and mildew. The system criterion for MERV 13 filtration standard, recommended by previous conservation assessments, has been implemented in this project. Standards for relative humidity are set to inhibit mold/mildew growth, which had been a persistent issue in the uncontrolled Evergreens environment. In past years, some visitors remarked on the house’s dank air quality. Although the general public may not be aware of the specific benchmarks the Museum wishes to achieve, those familiar with the house who have entered since the system has become operational have remarked on the improvement in visitor comfort.
5. Reduce thermal, solar radiation, and ultraviolet loads at windows and French doors. New solar shades have significantly reduced the infiltration of visible light as well as UV light.
6. Control temperature and humidity within acceptable ranges. The new HVAC system has proven its ability to control temperature and humidity during variable winter conditions and has successfully transitioned into spring. Continuous monitoring and immediate response to anomalies solidify both temperature and relative humidity control.
7. Significantly enhance the building and collections environment while controlling operating costs. The Museum has noted that the switch from gas to electric heat has had a positive sustainability impact and has not increased operating costs.

THE OUTCOME
Since 2003, the Emily Dickinson Museum has charted a steady course to improve its historic
physical plant. Focusing first on a healthy infrastructure, EDM has undertaken numerous
projects to stabilize and protect The Evergreens as a singular expression of nineteenth-century
history and culture and as a unique component of Emily Dickinson’s life and legacy.
This environmental improvement project is the last in a series of “invisible” upgrades leading to
the goal of conserving the evocative interior finishes and collections as they were left by the
Dickinson family. Ultimately, this project has enabled the planned conservation and
interpretation of a unique collection for its highest humanities purposes as well as the
preservation of distinctive decorative and architectural finishes representing the evolution of
provincial nineteenth-century New England aesthetic values.

READ THE WHITE PAPER

What I can do – I will –

What I can do – I will –
Though it be little as a Daffodil –
That I cannot – must be
Unknown to possibility –
Fr641

image of the Homestead in spring

Inspired by the continuing wave of intense interest in Emily Dickinson around the world, we’re building a multi-year education plan to bring the wealth of the Museum’s historical, interpretive, and pedagogical expertise to K-12 and College educators and students. Immersive in-person learning experiences and dynamic virtual/remote modules will offer multiple ways to access the Museum’s education programs.  Our goal is to bring the power of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, place and life’s story to bear on inquiry-based education experiences that kindle curiosity, creativity and self-expression in learners of all ages.

We’re beginning our education initiatives with a six-session educator professional development series that explores Dickinson-related digital resources, object-based learning, teaching Dickinson’s poetry, and creative writing responses. Over the next couple of months, we’ll develop a robust curriculum unit for middle and high school teachers and learners focused on the ways Dickinson embraced her unique personal vision, defying expectations in her life and in her poetry. On tours of the Homestead, students will consider why and how Dickinson used poetry to ask questions and challenge norms. Through hands-on exercises, they’ll learn about Dickinson’s experiments with poetic form and variant word choices – that is, the nuts and bolts of the creative process. Newly designed education kits will be available physically or digitally to support this and other outreach programs.

SUPPORT EDUCATION INIATIVES

The Emily Dickinson Museum is also developing new interpretive themes and tools to give visitors a broader range of ways to experience Emily Dickinson’s home, poetry, and life’s story. Bringing interpretive interventions to the Homestead — lively vignettes, poetry and musical soundscapes, projection mapping to enliven our sense of Dickinson’s nineteenth century milieu – will require research, design, writing, and staff training.

Meanwhile, at The Evergreens, we’ve just re-opened the house after a substantial upgrade to the air handling systems to protect the large collection of Dickinson family possessions. One of the most significant aspects of opening is the need to train new guides in updated interpretive information for visitors. This intensive training takes weeks to complete so that guides are fully ready to offer visitors an informative and exhilarating experience. And, now, with the systems work behind us, we’ll begin a deliberate multi-year process of room-by-room preservation, which we intend to carry out as part of the tour interpretation.

SUPPORT POETRY

Year after year, the Museum presents programs focusing exclusively on poetry – Emily Dickinson’s own work, the monthly Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series featuring both established and emerging poets, and our week-long Tell it Slant Poetry Festival each fall. These programs gather a community eager to experience Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice and the work of those for whom Dickinson was a singular inspiration. For our virtual programs, participants tune in from all over the world to celebrate, learn, and connect with others who value poetry as they do.

To produce such vibrant poetry programming, Museum staff spend weeks each year soliciting and reviewing program proposals, working with a streaming service to share our larger events (though expense prohibits us from streaming all events), and setting up a digital event platform where participants can network, find event links, and reserve seats. For the Poetry Festival, our largest hybrid program, the Museum staff send numerous communications to the thousands of event registrants with event links and program-specific information. Extra staffing is required to not only ensure orientation and welcome of in-person visitors, but to run the virtual space, ensuring that the live stream is an engaging experience for remote participants.

SUPPORT OUR PROGRAMS

We’re truly excited about these three vital areas of programming, which are offered at low cost or no cost to make them broadly accessible. For that reason, we’re especially grateful for your support in enacting our core mission to “spark the imagination by amplifying Emily Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice from the place she called home.” To initiate new programs and to sustain existing efforts, we hope you’ll consider making a gift for education, interpretation, and poetry. If you’d like to talk over these goals, I would be very pleased to set up a phone, Zoom, or personal meeting with you!

With my appreciation and best wishes,
Jane H. Wald Jane and Robert Keiter Family Executive Director

the Homestead lights are on at night time

Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series 2024

a banner for PHOSPHORESCENCE Contemporary Poetry Series

To Emily Dickinson, phosphorescence, was a divine spark and the illuminating light behind learning — it was volatile, but transformative in nature. Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series celebrates contemporary creativity that echoes Dickinson’s own revolutionary poetic voice. The Series features established and emerging poets whose work and backgrounds represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary poetry scene. 

The 2024 Series is a virtual program. Join us on a Thursday Zoom for the last Thursdays of each month to hear from poets around the world as they read their work and discuss what poetry and Dickinson mean to them.

Support Phosphorescence and Honor Someone Special:
Admission to all Phosphorescence 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 our programs. All gifts are tax deductible.
 
For more information on our upcoming Phosphorescence Readings, sign up for our e-newsletter.
 

Phosphorescence 2024 Schedule:

graphic for Phos May 2024Thursday, May 16, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Richard Michelson, Ivy Schweitzer, and Al Salehi

 

 

 

 

 

graphic for Phos June 2024Thursday, June 20, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Benjamin Grossberg and Julien Strong

 

 

 

 

 

graphic for Phos July 2024Thursday, July 25, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Rosa Lane and Patrick Donnelly

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic for Phos August 2024Thursday, August 15, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Omotara James, Willie Lee Kinard III, and Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

 

 

 

 

 

graphic Phos September 2024Thursday, September 26, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Jane Huffman, Molly Akin, and Diane Seuss

 

 

 

 

 

graphic for Phos October 2024Thursday, October 17, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Stephanie Choi, Saba Keramati, and Samyak Shertok

 

 

 

 
 
 

Support Phosphorescence and Honor Someone Special:
Admission to all Phosphorescence 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 our programs. All gifts are tax deductible.

 

Logo for PHOSPHORESCENCE reading series featuring the Homestead glowing at night

Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series
Thursday, October 17, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence October 2024 featured poets:
Stephanie Choi, Saba Keramati, and Samyak Shertok

VIRTUAL PROGRAM 

This virtual program is free to attend. Registration is required. 

REGISTER

To Emily Dickinson, phosphorescence was a divine spark and the illuminating light behind learning — it was volatile, but transformative in nature. Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series celebrates contemporary creativity that echoes Dickinson’s own revolutionary poetic voice. The Series features established and emerging poets whose work and backgrounds represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary poetry scene. Join us on a Thursday evening each month to hear from poets around the world as they read their work and discuss what poetry and Dickinson mean to them.


About this month’s poets:

headshot of poet Stephanie ChoiStephanie Choi’s poems appear in Copper Nickel, Blackbird, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona and the University of Utah. She is currently the poet-in-residence at Sewanee: The University of the South. Her debut collection, The Lengest Neoi, was selected by Brenda Shaughnessy for the 2023 Iowa Poetry Prize and will be published by the University of Iowa Press in 2024. xostephchoi.com

 

 

 


headshot of poet Saba KeramatiSaba Keramati is a Chinese-Iranian writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her debut poetry collection, Self-Mythology, was selected by Patricia Smith for publication in the Miller Williams Poetry Series at University of Arkansas Press, and is forthcoming in Spring 2024. A winner of the 2023 92NY Discovery Poetry Prize, Saba holds an MFA from UC Davis, where she was a Dean’s Graduate Fellow for Creative Arts. She is the Poetry Editor at Sundog Lit. sabakeramati.com

 

 

 


headshot of poet Samyak Shertok Samyak Shertok’s poems appear or are forthcoming in Poetry, The Cincinnati Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. A Fine Arts Work Center Writing Fellow and a finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and the Jake Adam York Prize, he has received the Robert and Adele Schiff Award for Poetry, the Gulf Coast Prize in Poetry, and the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize. Originally from Nepal, he is currently the inaugural Hughes Fellow in Poetry at Southern Methodist University.

 

 

 


Support Phosphorescence and Honor Someone Special:

Admission to all Phosphorescence 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 our programs. All gifts are tax-deductible.

Logo for PHOSPHORESCENCE reading series featuring the Homestead glowing at night

Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series
Thursday, September 26, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence September 2024 featured poets:
Jane Huffman, Molly Akin, and Diane Seuss
Tell It Slant Poetry Festival 2024

VIRTUAL PROGRAM – Part of Tell It Slant Poetry Festival

This virtual program is free to attend. Registration is required. 

REGISTER

To Emily Dickinson, phosphorescence was a divine spark and the illuminating light behind learning — it was volatile, but transformative in nature. Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series celebrates contemporary creativity that echoes Dickinson’s own revolutionary poetic voice. The Series features established and emerging poets whose work and backgrounds represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary poetry scene. Join us on a Thursday evening each month to hear from poets around the world as they read their work and discuss what poetry and Dickinson mean to them.


About this month’s poets:

headshot of poet Molly AkinMolly Akin is a writer based in coastal Massachusetts. A Kansas City native, she explored the world as an “unschooled” teenager before earning a BFA from School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University and an MA from Harvard University Extension School. Her work is informed by her experiences as a woman, mother, and person living with invisible disabilities. She was awarded an Honorable Mention in TulipTree Review’s 2023 Wild Woman Story Contest and her work is included in the print edition. She is currently working on her first collection with the support of a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. mollyakin.com

 

 


headshot of poet Jane HuffmanJane Huffman’s debut collection, Public Abstract, won the 2023 APR/Honickman First Book Prize, selected by Dana Levin. Jane is a doctoral student in English and literary arts at the University of Denver and is an MFA graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is editor-in-chief of Guesthouse, an online literary journal. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, and elsewhere. She was a 2019 recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. janehuffman.com

 

 

 


headshot of poet Diane SuessDiane Seuss is the author of six collections of poetry. The most recent is Modern Poetry, (Graywolf Press 2024). frank: sonnets (Graywolf Press 2021) received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize. Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl (Graywolf Press 2018) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Four-Legged Girl (Graywolf Press 2015) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open (University of Massachusetts Press), received the Juniper Prize. Seuss was a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, and received the John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2021. Seuss is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

 

 

 


Support Phosphorescence and Honor Someone Special:

Admission to all Phosphorescence 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 our programs. All gifts are tax-deductible.

Logo for PHOSPHORESCENCE reading series featuring the Homestead glowing at night

Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series
Thursday, August 15, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence August 2024 featured poets:
Omotara James, Willie Lee Kinard III, and Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

This virtual program is free to attend. Registration is required. 

REGISTER

To Emily Dickinson, phosphorescence was a divine spark and the illuminating light behind learning — it was volatile, but transformative in nature. Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series celebrates contemporary creativity that echoes Dickinson’s own revolutionary poetic voice. The Series features established and emerging poets whose work and backgrounds represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary poetry scene. Join us on a Thursday evening each month to hear from poets around the world as they read their work and discuss what poetry and Dickinson mean to them.


About this month’s poets:

headshot of poet Omotara JamesOmotara James is a writer, editor and visual artist. She is the author of the chapbook Daughter Tongue, selected by African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2018 New Generation African Poets Box Set. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she is a recipient of the 2019 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize. She earned her BA from Hofstra University and received her MFA from New York University. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, The Academy of American Poets and elsewhere. She is a fellow of Lambda Literary and Cave Canem Foundation. Born in Britain, she is the daughter of Nigerian and Trinidadian immigrants and currently lives in New York City. omotarajames.com

 

 


headshot of poet Willie Lee Kinard IIIWillie Lee Kinard III is a Black nonbinary poet, designer, educator & musician forged in Newberry, South Carolina. Holding an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, their musings include gospel surrealism, Black romance & superstition. A Fellow of The Watering Hole & a Pushcart Prize nominee, their written work appears (or will soon) in Obsidian, Poem-a-Day, Best New Poets, The Rumpus, & elsewhere. williekinard.com

 

 

 


headshot of poet Joshua Jennifer EspinozaJoshua Jennifer Espinoza is a transsexual poet. Her work has been featured in Poetry Magazine, The American Poetry Review, Split Lip Magazine, Gulf Coast Journal, The Southeast Review, MoMA Magazine, and elsewhere. She is the author of I’m Alive / It Hurts / I Love It (2019) and THERE SHOULD BE FLOWERS (2016). She holds an MFA in poetry from UC Riverside and is currently a professor of creative writing. Jennifer lives in California with her wife, poet/essayist Eileen Elizabeth, and their cat and dog. joshuajenniferespinoza.com

 

 

 


Support Phosphorescence and Honor Someone Special:

Admission to all Phosphorescence 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 our programs. All gifts are tax-deductible.

Logo for PHOSPHORESCENCE reading series featuring the Homestead glowing at night

Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series
Thursday, July 25, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence July 2024 featured poets:
Rosa Lane and Patrick Donnelly

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

This virtual program is free to attend. Registration is required. 

REGISTER

To Emily Dickinson, phosphorescence was a divine spark and the illuminating light behind learning — it was volatile, but transformative in nature. Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series celebrates contemporary creativity that echoes Dickinson’s own revolutionary poetic voice. The Series features established and emerging poets whose work and backgrounds represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary poetry scene. Join us on a Thursday evening each month to hear from poets around the world as they read their work and discuss what poetry and Dickinson mean to them.


About this month’s poets:

headshot of poet Rosa LaneRosa Lane, poet and architect, is author of four poetry collections including Called Back, a theatrical monologue in tribute to Emily Dickinson imagined (forthcoming September 2024, Tupelo Press); Chouteau’s Chalk (winner, 2017 Georgia Poetry Prize); Tiller North (winner, 2017 National Indie Excellence Award, Sixteen Rivers Press); and Roots and Reckonings, a chapbook that speaks to the generational and native culture of her coastal Maine fishing village. Her work won the 2023 Morton Marcus Memorial Poetry Prize, a Maine Literary Award, and the William Matthews Poetry Prize among other awards. In addition to her MFA at Sarah Lawrence, Lane earned a 2nd master’s and PhD in sustainable architecture at UC Berkeley. She splits her time between her native home in coastal Maine and the San Francisco Bay Area where she lives with her wife. rosalane.com

 


headshot of poet Patrick DonnellyAbout Patrick Donnelly, Gregory Orr wrote “everything he writes is suffused with tenderness and intelligence, lucidity and courage.” Donnelly is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Willow Hammer (Four Way Books, 2025), and Little-Known Operas (Four Way Books, 2019). Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin (Four Way Books, 2012), was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Donnelly is Program Director of The Frost Place, Robert Frost’s old homestead in Franconia, NH, now a center for poetry and the arts, as well as Director of The Frost Place Poetry Seminar. Donnelly’s translations with Stephen D. Miller of classical Japanese poetry were awarded the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature by Columbia University. Donnelly’s other awards include a U.S./Japan Creative Artists Program Award, an Artist Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and an Amy Clampitt Residency Award. A former Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, Donnelly’s poetry explores topics like same-sex love and desire and the AIDS epidemic with lyric strategies. patrickdonnellypoetry.com


Support Phosphorescence and Honor Someone Special:
Admission to all Phosphorescence 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 our programs. All gifts are tax-deductible.

Logo for PHOSPHORESCENCE reading series featuring the Homestead glowing at night

Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series
Thursday, June 20, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence June 2024 featured poets:
Benjamin Grossberg and Julien Strong

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

This virtual program is free to attend. Registration is required. 

REGISTER

To Emily Dickinson, phosphorescence was a divine spark and the illuminating light behind learning — it was volatile, but transformative in nature. Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series celebrates contemporary creativity that echoes Dickinson’s own revolutionary poetic voice. The Series features established and emerging poets whose work and backgrounds represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary poetry scene. Join us on a Thursday evening each month to hear from poets around the world as they read their work and discuss what poetry and Dickinson mean to them.


About this month’s poets:

headshot of poet Benjamin GrossbergBenjamin S. Grossberg (he/him) is the author of four books of poetry including My Husband Would (University of Tampa, 2020), winner of the 2021 Connecticut Book Award, and Sweet Core Orchard (University of Tampa, 2009), winner of the Tampa Review Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. He also wrote the novel, The Spring Before Obergefell (University of Nebraska Press, 2024), winner of the 2023 AWP Award Series James Alan McPherson Prize. He directs the creative writing program at the University of Hartford. bengrossberg.wixsite.com

 


headshot of poet Julien StrongJulien Strong (they/them) is the author of four books, including the poetry collections The Mouth of Earth (University of Nevada Press, 2020) and Tour of the Breath Gallery (Texas Tech University Press, 2013). Their poetry has appeared in The Nation, Poetry, The Southern Review, The Sun, River Styx, and many other journals. A recipient of grants from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and Connecticut Arts Council, they teach creative writing at Central Connecticut State University and live in Hamden, Connecticut.
julien-strong.com


Support Phosphorescence and Honor Someone Special:
Admission to all Phosphorescence 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 our programs. All gifts are tax-deductible.

Marta Macdowell and a volunteer work in Dickinson's garden

Spring Garden Days 2024
Friday, May 31 & Saturday, June 1

IN-PERSON PROGRAM

“New feet within my garden go –
New fingers stir the sod–

-Fr79

Come celebrate the beauty of spring during Garden Days at the Emily Dickinson Museum! As summer temperatures arrive in Amherst, Emily’s garden begs to be tended. Join master gardener Marta McDowell and a group of fellow volunteers to aid in the cultivation and growth of the historic Dickinson family landscape. Volunteers who have tended the gardens in the past and become part of a new generation of caretakers. During Garden Days, participants will help to weed, divide older perennials, plant new perennials and annuals, edge flower beds, and more! 

DETAILS:
All are welcome; no gardening experience is required. Garden Days runs rain or shine!

Volunteers are encouraged to bring the following if they have them:

  • Gloves
  • Clean hand trowel and clippers
  • Bucket
  • Kneeling pad
  • Water bottle
  • Comfortable footwear
  • Sun protection
  • Small plant pot(s)
  • Lunch (if you are staying for the whole day)

Garden Days spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. This program is run over the course of two days, and participants may choose up to two of the following sessions:

Session 1: Friday, May 31, 9:30am – 12:30pm ET

Session 2: Friday, May 31,  1:30pm – 4:30pm ET

Session 3: Saturday, June 1, 9:30am – 12:30pm ET

Session 4: Saturday, June 1, 1:30pm – 4:30pm ET

Participants are encouraged to stay for the duration of their session.

This in-person program is free to attend. Registration is required. 

REGISTER

 
About Marta McDowell:
Marta Macdowell and a volunteer work in Dickinson's gardenMarta McDowell teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and is a popular lecturer and writer. Her latest book is Gardening Can Be Murder, about the horticultural connections to crime fiction. Timber Press also published Unearthing The Secret Garden, Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, New York Times-bestselling All the Presidents’ Gardens, and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life, now in its ninth printing. She was the 2019 recipient of the Garden Club of America’s Sarah Chapman Francis Medal for outstanding literary achievement.

Questions? Write edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org

Logo for PHOSPHORESCENCE reading series featuring the Homestead glowing at night

Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series
Thursday, May 16, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence May 2024 featured poets:
Richard Michelson, Ivy Schweitzer, and Al Salehi

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

This virtual program is free to attend. Registration is required. 

REGISTER

To Emily Dickinson, phosphorescence was a divine spark and the illuminating light behind learning — it was volatile, but transformative in nature. Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series celebrates contemporary creativity that echoes Dickinson’s own revolutionary poetic voice. The Series features established and emerging poets whose work and backgrounds represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary poetry scene. Join us on a Thursday evening each month to hear from poets around the world as they read their work and discuss what poetry and Dickinson mean to them.


About this month’s poets:

headshot for Rich MichelsonRichard Michelson’s poetry collections include Sleeping as Fast as I Can (Slant Books), More Money than God (U of Pittsburgh Press), Battles and Lullabies (U of Illinois), Tap Dancing for the Relatives (U of Florida) and two limited edition Fine Press collaborations with the artist Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna Press. Michelson wrote the libretto for the off-Broadway music-theater piece, Dear Edvard, and his many children’s books have been named among the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The New Yorker; and among the 12 Best Books of the Decade by Amazon.com. Michelson has received a National Jewish Book Award, and two Sydney Taylor Gold Medals from the Association of Jewish Libraries. He has received two Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowships, and his work was chosen to “highlight the literary culture and history of Massachusetts” at the 2018 Library of Congress National Book Festival. In 2019 Michelson became the sixth recipient of the Samuel Minot Jones Award for Literary Achievement. Michelson’s poems have appeared in The Harvard Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Common and many other journals. A native of East New York, Brooklyn, Michelson served two terms as Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts. He is the owner of R. Michelson Galleries, and the host of Northampton Poetry Radio.
richardmichelson.com


Joint headshot for poets Al Salehi and Ivy Schweitzer Born in Southern California, Al Salehi is a multilingual American poet and entrepreneur of Persian descent who lives in Orange County with a background in technology. Al graduated from UCLA and went on to study at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Al is a graduate from Dartmouth College’s Guarini Graduate School where he studied Creative Writing, and currently serves on the Alumni Council. He also completed a creative writing program at the University of Oxford, Exeter College. Al’s short film Love, Basketball won second place in the My Hero International Film Festival, 2021, under the “Poetry” category. He has published and/or presented poetry in the Society of Classical Poets, The Dartmouth Writers Society, The United Nations Association, Southwest Airlines, O.C. Registrar, Dartmouth Leslie Center Lifeline’s Poetry Share, Houston Library Poetry Share, Clamantis Journal, and the Dartmouth Medical School Lifeline’s Journal. Al’s collection, Enter Atlas, was a Semi-Finalist for the University of Wisconsin’s Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry, judged by Natasha Trethewey.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in a Jewish-American family, Ivy Schweitzer has lived in Vermont for many years and taught courses in American Literature and Women and Gender Studies at Dartmouth College. She has recently published poetry in Bloodroot Literary Magazine, Antiphon volume 19, Clear Poetry, Passager, Ritualwell, Tikkun, New Croton Review, Mississippi Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. In 2018, she felt called by Emily Dickinson to spend a year immersed in that poet’s most creative period in which she wrote almost a poem a day; the result is a year-long weekly blog called White Heat: Emily Dickinson in 1862, https://journeys.dartmouth.edu/whiteheat. In February 2024, she and Al Salehi published their co-written book of poetry titled “Within Flesh: In Conversation with Ourselves and Emily Dickinson.” Her solo collection, titled Tumult, Whitewash and Stretch Marks, will appear from Finishing Line Press in 2025.
sites.dartmouth.edu/ivyschweitzer

 


Support Phosphorescence and Honor Someone Special:
Admission to all Phosphorescence 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 our programs. All gifts are tax-deductible.