Annual Poetry Walk 2022
Saturday, May 14, 11:30am ET

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

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

REGISTER

REGISTER WITH DONATION

Dickinson's tombstone covered in daisies

Days before her death in 1886, Emily Dickinson wrote her final letter, “Little Cousins, / Called Back. / Emily”. On May 14, in honor of the 136th 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 explore 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 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! 

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


a boy places a daisy on Dickinson's graveA 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 14).

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.

DONATE

 

 

 

 

 

NEPM logo

Phosphorescence graphic featuring headshots of poets

Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series
Thursday, May 26, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence May 2022 featured poets:
Quintin Collins, Meg Kearney and Denise Low

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 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 2021 Series will be a virtual event to ensure the health and safety of participants. While we are disappointed not to gather together in Amherst, we are excited to connect with a global community of friends and writers.  Join us on 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.

Phosphorescence Lineup 2022


About this month’s poets:

headshot of poet Quintin Collins

Quintin Collins (he/him) is a writer, editor, and Solstice MFA Program assistant director. His work appears in many print and online publications, and his first full-length collection of poems is The Dandelion Speaks of Survival (Cherry Castle Publishing, 2021). His second collection of poems, Claim Tickets for Stolen People, selected by Marcus Jackson as winner of The Journal’s 2020 Charles B. Wheeler Prize, is forthcoming from The Ohio State University Press/Mad Creek Books in 2022. Quintin’s awards include a Pushcart Prize and the 2019 Atlantis Award from the Poet’s Billow, and his other accolades include Best of the Net nominations.

 


headshot of poet Meg KearneyMeg Kearney’s most recent poetry collection is All Morning the Crows, winner of the 2020 Washington Prize, which spent seven months on SPD’s poetry bestseller list after its 2021 release. Other collections include An Unkindness of Ravens and Home By Now, winner of the 2010 PEN New England LL Winship Award. Meg is also author of three critically acclaimed novels-in-verse for teens and award-winning picture book. She has taught poetry at The New School University, and is Founding Director of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program in Massachusetts. Her poetry has been featured on Poetry Daily, Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” series, and Garrison Keillor’s “A Writer’s Almanac,” and has been published in myriad anthologies. A native New Yorker, Meg now lives in New Hampshire.

www.megkearney.com

 


headshot of poet Denise LowDenise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09, is winner of the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Choice Award for Shadow Light (Red Mountain Press). Other books include The Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival (U. of Nebraska Press), Wing (Red Mountain), and A Casino Bestiary: Poems (Spartan Press). She edited a selection of poems by William Stafford in an edition with essays by other poets and scholars, Kansas Poems of William Stafford (Woodley). Low is a founding board member of Indigenous Native Poets. She is past board president of the Associated Writers and Writing Programs. She has won fellowships from the Kansas Arts Commission and recognition from the Poetry Society of America, The Circle -Best Native American Books, Roberts Foundation, Lichtor Awards, and NEH. Low has an MFA from Wichita State U. and Ph.D. from KU. She teaches for Baker University’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies. 
www.deniselow.net


 

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.

Phosphorescence graphic for April 2022 featuring headshots of poets

Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series
Thursday, April 28, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence April 2022 featured poets:
Saida Agostini, Dr. Shauna M. Morgan and Dr. Tara Betts with guest host Lisa Pegram

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 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 2021 Series will be a virtual event to ensure the health and safety of participants. While we are disappointed not to gather together in Amherst, we are excited to connect with a global community of friends and writers.  Join us on 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.

Phosphorescence Lineup 2022


About this month’s poets:

headshot of poet SAIDA AGOSTINI

Saida Agostini’s first collection of poems, let the dead in, was a finalist for the Center of African American Poetry & Poetics’ 2020 Book Prize as well as the New Issues Poetry Prize. She is the author of STUNT (Neon Hemlock, October 2020), a chapbook exploring the history of Nellie Jackson, a Black woman entrepreneur who operated a brothel for sixty years in Natchez, Mississippi. Her poetry can also be found in the Black Ladies Brunch Collective’s anthology Not Without Our Laughter, Barrelhouse Magazine, Hobart Pulp, Plume, and other publications.

 


Headshot for poet Tara BettsDr. Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit, Arc & Hue, and the forthcoming Refuse to Disappear. In addition to working as an editor, a teaching artist, and a mentor for other writers, she has taught at several universities. She is the Inaugural Poet for the People Practitioner Fellow at University of Chicago, an Artist in Residence at Northwestern University’s English Department, and founder of Whirlwind Learning Center. Tara can be found on twitter at @tarabetts. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including The Breakbeat Poets, Essence magazine, and Poetry Magazine.

 


headshot for poet SHAUNA M. MORGANDr. Shauna M. Morgan is a poet-scholar and Associate Professor of creative writing and Africana literature at the University of Kentucky where she also serves as Director of Equity and Inclusion Initiatives in the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT). Before joining the University of Kentucky, Morgan was tenured on the faculty of English at Howard University where she taught from 2012-2019. Both her scholarly work and her poetry are deeply engaged with traditions of global Black art and culture. Her poetry has appeared in A Gathering Together, Interviewing the Caribbean, A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics & Consciousness, among other periodicals and anthologies. Morgan’s chapbook, Fear of Dogs & Other Animals, was published by Central Square Press.


headshot of lisa pegramApril’s Phosphorescence also features guest host, Lisa Pegram. Pegram is a writer, educator, literary publicist and acquisitions editor. Her chapbook Cracked Calabash was published by Central Square Press and she is contributing author of The Next Verse Mixtape vol. 1. She has over 20 years of experience in high-level arts integration 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 international women’s conferences in the US, India and Bali. As a publishing professional, her mission is to amplify and celebrate the voices and stories of BIPOC authors. Find our more at https://ladypcoq.wordpress.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.

headshot grid of March 2022's featured poets Audrey Molloy, Barbara DeCoursey Roy, Maeve McKenna and Morag Anderson

Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series
Thursday, March 31, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence March 2022 featured poets:
Audrey Molloy, Barbara DeCoursey Roy, Maeve McKenna and Morag Anderson

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 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 2021 Series will be a virtual event to ensure the health and safety of participants. While we are disappointed not to gather together in Amherst, we are excited to connect with a global community of friends and writers.  Join us on 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.

Phosphorescence Lineup 2022

About this month’s poets:

headshot for poet Audrey Molloy

Audrey Molloy is an Irish poet living in Sydney. Her debut collection, The Important Things, was published by The Gallery Press in 2021. Her work has been widely published in Australia, Ireland and the UK. In 2020 she was awarded a Varuna Residential Fellowship. She is currently undertaking an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.
audreymolloy.com/

 

 

 


headshot of poet Barbara DeCoursey RoyBarbara DeCoursey Roy lives near St Louis, Missouri. Her work has been published in The Gal-way Review, Headstuff, Skylight 47, Pendemic, and Popshot Quarterly. Barbara collaborated on How Bright The Wings Drive Us, which won first prize in the 2021 Dreich Alliance Chapbook competition. She is a founding member of the international writing group Poets Abroad. 

 

 

 


headshot for poet Maeve McKennaMaeve McKenna is a poet living in Sligo, Ireland. Her poetry has been placed in several international poetry competitions, published in Mslexia, Orbis, Sand Magazine, Fly on the Wall, Channel Magazine among others and widely online. Maeve was a finalist in the Jacar Press Eavan Boland Mentorship Award 2020, and third in the Canterbury Poet of The Year in 2021. Her debut pamphlet will be published in February, 2022, by Fly On The Wall Press.

 

 

 


headshot for poet Morag Anderson Morag Anderson is a Scottish poet based in Highland Perthshire. Her debut chapbook, Sin Is Due to Open in a Room Above Kitty’s (Fly on the Wall Press, 2021), explores human connections—concealed violence, love, and everything in between. Morag’s poetry has been published in many literary journals and anthologies.

 

 

 


 

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.

The front facade of the Homestead

A Virtual Tour of
the Homestead and The Evergreens

The front facade of the Homestead

The Homestead, built in 1813.

Over the course of her life in Amherst, Massachusetts, Emily Dickinson forged her powers of creativity and insight in the intimate environs of her beloved home, creating extraordinary poetry that touches the world. The poet’s daily life became the spark for extraordinary writing and her home proved a sanctuary for her boundless creative energy that produced almost 1,800 poems and a profusion of vibrant letters. Here, Dickinson fully embraced her unique personal vision, leaving behind a poetic legacy that is revolutionary in form and substance. Today, her voice and her story continue to inspire diverse audiences around the globe.

Visitors to the Emily Dickinson Museum explore the Homestead, where Dickinson was born, died, and did most of her writing, and The Evergreens, home of the poet’s brother, sister-in-law, and their three children. The Homestead, lived in by other families after Dickinson’s death, is in the process of being restored to its appearance during the poet’s writing years. The Evergreens was only ever lived in by Dickinsons or family heirs and its original 19th-century finishes remain intact. Dickinson’s life story and the story of her posthumous publication is uniquely entwined with these two houses and the three acres upon which they sit in Amherst.

BEGIN YOUR EXPLORATION

In this online exploration, you will visit several rooms within the two houses of the Dickinson family. Along the way you will see video and photographs of these historic spaces and learn more about how the poet’s life unfolded here. You will meet friends and family members, and encounter Dickinson’s own words quoted from extant poems and letters. Wherever you are, we hope this virtual exploration transports you to Emily Dickinson’s Amherst home.

The exterior of the 2nd floor of the Evergreens viewed from the ground

The Evergreens, built in 1856

 

Long Years apart – can make no
Breach a second cannot fill –
The absence of the Witch does not
Invalidate the spell –

The embers of a Thousand Years
Uncovered by the Hand
That fondled them when they were Fire
Will stir and understand

Fr1405

 

The Virtual Exploration of the Homestead and The Evergreens has been made possible in part by a grant from Mass Humanities and the generous support of Nicole P. Heath and of Susan R. Snively.

Mass Humanities logo
 
Photo of donors John and Elizabeth Armstrong standing in front of a bookshelf

Press Release:
Armstrong Carriage House Gift

THE EMILY DICKINSON MUSEUM RECEIVES $600,000 COMMITMENT FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF THE EVERGREENS CARRIAGE HOUSE

Challenge gift from John and Elizabeth Armstrong kicks off major $3.5M 20th Anniversary fundraising effort, Twice as Bold, in support of Museum’s long range plan

Photo of donors John and Elizabeth Armstrong standing in front of a bookshelfWe invite you to join us by responding to the Armstrongs’ challenge to be part of the Twice as Bold initiative by making a gift to the Museum before June 30 in support of its program and core mission, in celebration of the 20th Anniversary, and in honor of Emily Dickinson and her enduring relevance.

DONATE

(AMHERST, Mass., February 9, 2022) – The Emily Dickinson Museum today announced a major pledge of $600,000 from former Board members and long-time friends John and Elizabeth Armstrong for the design and reconstruction of the Carriage House that once stood to the east of The Evergreens, the home of Emily Dickinson’s brother Austin and his wife Susan. The project flows from a recently-completed long range plan, which maps programmatic and capital enhancements over the next decade at the Museum’s historic downtown Amherst location. By significantly expanding access to the Museum and its programs for both onsite and online visitors, the changes firmly establish the Museum as the premier center for the study and celebration of Dickinson’s life and work, and as a source and site of inspiration for new generations of poets, artists, writers, and thinkers.

The Armstrongs’ commitment is the largest received to date in the effort to raise $3.5 million in operating, program, and capital support by the end of the Museum’s 20th Anniversary festivities, which kick off next year and run through the summer of 2024. The initiative, called Twice as Bold after one of Dickinson’s poems, aims to raise awareness and support for the Museum at a pivotal time in its history. Gifts from other Museum stakeholders will be sought to meet and amplify the Armstrongs’ generous start. “Elizabeth and I are delighted to be able to pledge our support to this important project,” states John Armstrong, “Emily Dickinson’s poetry and the place she called home have proven themselves to be enduring gifts to the world. It is both our pleasure and responsibility to give back, and to invite others at every level to join us.”

The reconstructed Evergreens Carriage House–scheduled for completion in early 2024–will initially serve as a much-needed site for visitor welcome, orientation, and services while a third and final phase of Dickinson Homestead restoration concludes. In the longer term, the Carriage House will be dedicated to student and visitor learning and engagement. Initial design plans call for reconstructing the historic appearance of the exterior of the Carriage House as faithfully as possible while optimizing interior functions and flow. In addition to this and the Homestead projects, the Museum’s plans include restoration of The Evergreens and the surrounding landscape and gardens, as well as significant enhancements to the Museum’s public and educational program offerings, in which tens of thousands of virtual visitors from around the world have participated during the pandemic.

“It is fitting that John and Elizabeth Armstrong have started us off with this truly inspiring challenge gift,” stated the Museum’s Executive Director, Jane Wald, “Their unwavering dedication before the Museum’s formal beginning twenty years ago has been a catalyst for the exponential impact the Emily Dickinson Museum can have as the true and generative center of the life and work of one of this country’s greatest poets. They are ever and always willing to lead by example.”

Lithograph aerial view of Amherst with Evergreens and HomesteadAdded Wald, “In addition to providing innovatively designed program space, the Carriage House will serve as a clear signal that the Museum is pivoting in important ways toward the public, is expanding Emily Dickinson’s outreach to the world from her home ground, and is committed to welcoming new Dickinson enthusiasts and tourists to Amherst.”

The Armstrongs chose Amherst as their new home in 1995 after John’s retirement from IBM, where he served for 30 years and was a vice president for science and technology and director of research. Their involvement with the Museum began when Elizabeth (Lise to family and friends) volunteered her time and talent as a seasonal guide at The Evergreens. Both John and Elizabeth served as founding members of the Board of Governors when the Homestead and Evergreens properties merged to form the Museum in 2003. They have continued to be involved in the Museum’s leadership, with John serving as Board Chair from 2013 to 2015, and Elizabeth a long-time and valued member of the Development Committee.

“We’ve always been proud of our association with the Museum, recognizing its importance to our regional community and now–through the wonders of technology–to the world.” stated Elizabeth, adding “We’ve been drawn over the years to supporting singular projects that open multiple possibilities for the Museum. The Carriage House is just such a project…clearing the way for other campus improvements and for enriching the visitor experience.”

The Museum is currently closed to the public while it completes the second phase of a three-part restoration project at the Homestead. Its much-anticipated reopening later this year will mark the start of the Museum’s 20th Anniversary celebration.

For more information about the Museum’s plans and fundraising effort, visit https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/twiceasbold/

For images, please visit: bit.ly/ArmstrongGiftEDMPhotos

ABOUT THE EMILY DICKINSON MUSEUM

The Emily Dickinson Museum is dedicated to sparking the imagination by amplifying Emily Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice from the place she called home.

The Museum comprises two historic houses—the Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens—in the center of Amherst, Massachusetts, that were home to the poet (1830-1886) and members of her immediate family during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Museum was created in 2003 when the two houses merged under the ownership and 501(c)(3) status of the Trustees of Amherst College. The Museum is overseen by a separate Board of Governors and is responsible for raising its own operating, program, and capital funds.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is a member of Museums10, a collaboration of ten museums linked to the Five Colleges in the Pioneer Valley—Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Emily Dickinson's handwriting on a letter and envelope

Poetry Discussion Group:
Spring Series

Emily Dickinson's handwriting on a letter and envelopeJoin us for a lively virtual discussion of Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters, meeting once a month from February to May. This program is designed to welcome newcomers and seasoned readers of Dickinson alike. 

  • In February, meet-and-greet with fellow participants, share Dickinson stories, and learn from the Museum (and one another) about the poet’s publication story, editions of her work, and resources.
  • March through May’s sessions are facilitated by guest scholars, who will lead the group in discussion following a talk about their work. Brief reading handouts of 4-8 poems and/or letters will be distributed prior to the month’s program. May’s session will last an additional 15 minutes, giving the group time to celebrate, say goodbye, and reflect on the season’s poems.
Topics and Leaders:
  • February: Introduction with the Emily Dickinson Museum
  • March: Dickinson’s Natural Music with Gerard Holmes
  • April: Dickinson’s Long-Histories of Environmental Change with Ryan Heryford
  • May: Dickinson and Her Surprisingly Twenty-First Century Art of Trans Poetics with Joy Ladin

Please review full descriptions and bios below.

Format

As a registrant, you are signing up to join a small group of regular participants for four 90-minute zoom sessions. Meetings are participatory, with video and audio encouraged. Because we want everyone to feel comfortable speaking, sessions will not be recorded. The program is designed for adult audiences (18+).

Registration

We are offering an identical program for a Wednesday and Friday group. Please review the dates carefully. Because space is limited, we hope only those who can commit to attending will register. Refunds are not available for this program.

Wednesday Group, $75 program fee (inclusive of all sessions),  limited to 25 participants
February 23, 6-7:30 ET
March 23, 6-7:30 ET
April 13, 6-7:30 ET
May 11, 6-7:45 ET

Friday Group, $75 program fee (inclusive of all sessions), limited to 25 participants
February 25, 12-1:30 ET
March 25, 12-1:30 ET
April 15, 12-1:30 ET
May 13, 12-1:45 ET

Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. While our Wednesday group is now closed, we have just a few spaces left in our Friday group. Please learn more about registration and request a space via this form.

Questions: Don’t hesitate to reach out at edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org with any questions about the program.

MARCH

Emily Dickinson’s Natural Music 
Emily Dickinson knew music well as a performer and a listener in parlors, churches, and other indoor spaces. But she also spent a lot of time outdoors, in the garden, walking her beloved dog Carlo, and exploring Amherst. Like many other writers of her time, Dickison wrote of natural sounds as having musical qualities. Wind, rain, cicadas, and of course birds all show up in her poems as sources of music, and as inspiration for her own distinctive poetic music. We will discuss how poets important to Dickinson wrote about the sounds of the natural world, and how Romantic musical composers and performers built sounds of nature into their work, before exploring together some of Dickinson’s poems that treat natural sounds musically.

Gerard Holmes completed a PhD in English Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2020, with a dissertation titled “‘Discretion in the Interval’: Emily Dickinson’s Musical Performances.” He has published in The Emily Dickinson Journal and Reception, co-edited a 2021 special issue of Women’s Studies with the theme: New Directions in Dickinson and Music,” and contributed a chapter to The Oxford Handbook to Emily Dickinson, forthcoming from Oxford University Press in April 2022. In addition to teaching writing and literature, he is a nonprofit administrator, program manager, and fundraiser.

APRIL

“…an instant’s act:” Dickinson’s Long-Histories of Environmental Change
This discussion will consider the importance of Dickinson as a poet of the Anthropocene, that proposed geologic epoch in which human activity has rendered irreversible transformations to our global climate and conditions for life on earth.  While Dickinson was certainly not aware of climate change, nor she could have possibly predicted our current ecological precarity, we will explore particular Dickinson poems that focus on geologic time, wide-scale environmental transformations, and human/nonhuman entanglements, as sites to better consider our own individual, communal and species-based relations to contemporary environmental issues.

Ryan Heryford is Associate Professor of Environmental Literature in the Department of English at California State University East Bay, where he teaches courses in nineteenth and twentieth century American literature, with a focus in cultural narratives of environmental justice.  Recent publications can be found in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and the Environment, The Mark Twain Annual, and The Emily Dickinson Journal.

MAY

Emily Dickinson and Her Surprisingly Twenty-First Century Art of Trans Poetics
As those who love her know, Dickinson often writes first-person poems describing states of being that don’t fit socially recognized categories, and which, as a result, have few terms or poetic conventions for expressing them. What kind of person, for example, would introduce themselves by saying “I am afraid to own a Body – / I am afraid to own a Soul,” or locates themselves in terms like these: “`Tis Miracle before Me – then – / `Tis Miracle behind – between”? Poets and scholars (including me) started using the term “trans poetics” – that is, poetic techniques for representing ways of being human that don’t fit conventional terms or categories – a little over a decade ago, to describe the growing body of work by transgender and nonbinary poets. But it didn’t long before critics began to realize that because “trans poetics” are required whenever poets represent unconventional ways of being human, the practice has a much longer lineage in American poetry, one that, as these examples show, reaches back at least to Emily Dickinson. In this discussion, we will examine a number of poems to see what Dickinson, in the middle of the nineteenth century, had already learned about the twenty-first century art of trans poetics.

Joy Ladin, who started leading classes on Dickinson’s poetry in the Homestead itself in the mid-1990s and has loved it every time, has been dubbed “the godmother of trans poetics.” She has published ten books of poetry, including National Jewish Book award-winner The Book of Anna, reissued by EOAGH Press, and just-published Shekhinah Speaks (Selva Oscura). She is also the author of a booklength study of Dickinson, Soldering the Abyss: Emily Dickinson and Modern American Poetry; a a memoir of gender transition, National Jewish Book Award finalist Through the Door of Life; and Lambda Literary and Triangle Award finalist, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective. Episodes of her online conversation series, “Containing Multitudes,” are available at www.jewishlive.org/multitudes; links to her writings, readings, interviews and talks are at her website, joyladin.wordpress.com.

Twice as Bold Campaign

I took my Power in my Hand –
And went against the World –
’Twas not so much as David – had –
But I – was twice as bold –
(excerpt Fr660)

We invite you to be part of the Twice as Bold initiative by making a gift to the Museum in support of its program and core mission, in celebration of the 20th Anniversary, and in honor of Emily Dickinson and her enduring relevance.

DONATE

The Homestead garden. There are beautiful pink roses wrapping around a trellis.

During the Emily Dickinson Museum’s two-year closure, we opened a new chapter focused on the Museum’s evolving role as a site of unparalleled cultural significance and educational promise emanating from its mission to spark the imagination by amplifying Emily Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice from the place she called home. 

To fully realize and sustain this mission, the Museum has created a long range plan that empowers it to serve as the premier center for study, interpretation, creative expression, and celebration of Emily Dickinson’s life and legacy — to be “twice as bold.” Emily Dickinson’s worldwide resonance and the Museum’s tremendous growth in audience during the pandemic, demonstrates a clear path forward.

This new chapter and campaign, called Twice as Bold, prioritizes an expanded, fully restored, and accessible campus, leading-edge educational programs and resources, a singular visitor experience both onsite and online, and increased operational capacity for the Museum’s long-term sustainability. A first step in achieving this bold vision is a goal to raise $8 million for programmatic support and capital projects and $5.5 million in endowment by 2026.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is grateful to John and Elizabeth Armstrong and to Jane and Robert Keiter for leading the way in the Twice as Bold campaign. The Armstrongs’ kick-off challenge gift initiated in 2021 allowed the Museum to begin work on reconstructing The Evergreens’ Carriage House–critical space, first, for welcoming visitors, and ultimately for educational programming. And the Keiters’ endowment of the Museum’s directorship in 2022 has provided perpetual and budget-relieving support of the Museum’s core program and operating budget.

We invite you to be part of the Museum’s journey and the Twice as Bold campaign by making a gift to the Museum in support of its program and core mission support, in celebration of our 20th Anniversary, and in honor of Emily Dickinson and her enduring relevance. Additional funding opportunities are also available. Please contact Nora Maroulis, Senior Director of Development and Communications at nmaroulis@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org or 413-542-5072.


FUNDING NEEDS AND OPPORTUNITIES                      

$8 Million in Outright Support and $5.5 Million in Endowment

  • Create an expanded, restored, and accessible campus
  • Develop and deliver leading-edge public and educational programs and resources
  • Design and provide a singular visitor experience both onsite and online  
  • Build permanent ongoing support for the Museum’s core programs and operations                                                                                                                                                

Five-Year Funding Needs and Opportunities 

Opportunities abound for donors at all levels to positively impact and help shape the Museum’s bright future. Priority projects and programs in need of investment and support over the next five years are framed by the Museum’s essential mission. Gifts or bequests of unrestricted endowment are most welcome, as they provide critical support to each and all of these areas.


SPARK THE IMAGINATION         $1.9M

Audience Engagement and Communication $650K
Two children explore Dickinson's bedroomDigital Capacity and Resource Development ($200K)
Virtual Program Hosting and Conferencing Upgrades ($100K)
Website Accessibility and User-Experience Updates ($50K)
New CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) System ($150K)
Graphic Identity / Branding Updates ($150K)

Teaching and Learning (K-12, College/University, Lifelong) $1.25M
Resource Development (curricula, teacher training modules, etc.) ($550K)
Undergraduate Internships and Graduate Fellowships ($275K)
Honoraria for Visiting and Teaching Artists, Writers, Scholars ($190K)
Scholarships for Visiting K-12 Schools and Teacher Training ($95K)
Poets and Writers Workshops and Classes (FY23+) ($140K)


AMPLIFY EMILY DICKINSON’S REVOLUTIONARY POETIC VOICE           $2.6M

Interpretation and Visitor Experience $800K

image of Youtube pageThematic Tour Development ($330K)
Self-Guided Map and Interactive Guide ($85K)
Orientation Film ($300K)
Wayfinding ($85K)

Public Programs and Events $1.8M
Poetry Programs $540K

Poetry Festival and Marathon  ($315K)
Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series ($135K)
Poetry Discussion Groups ($90K)

Collections, Restoration, Landscape, and History Programs $270K
Dickinson Book Club Series ($90K)
Buildings, Grounds and Collections Presentations ($90K)
Behind the Scenes Collections / Restoration Series ($90K)

Community-Building Events $450K
Birthday Celebration ($30K)
Poetry Walk ($25K)
Reopening Events and Launch of Dickinson Days ($150K)
Tell It Slant Awards / 20th Anniversary Gala ($245K)

Visual and Performing Art Programs $540K
Dickinson in Performance Series ($135K)
Conservatory and Landscape Installations ($270K)
Dickinson in the World Podcast ($135K)



FROM THE PLACE SHE CALLED HOME                         $3.5M

Completion of Homestead Restoration $1.0MRendering of the Dickinson barn
Design Development ($150K)
Construction / Restoration ($700K)
Decorative Arts and Object Conservation ($150K)

Rebuild Evergreens Carriage House $600K
Design Development ($100K)
Construction ($400K)
Furnishings and Fittings ($100K)

Conserve and Restore The Evergreens $1.0M
Interior Conditions Assessment ($50K)
Treatment Plan Development ($100K)
Conservation and Restoration ($700K)
Decorative Arts and Object Conservation ($150K)

Restore Landscape and Dickinson Gardens $400K
Homestead Gardens restoration ($200K)
Evergreens Gardens restoration ($75K)
Other Landscape restoration ($125K)

Collections Stewardship $500K
Collections Rehousing ($400K)
Conservation ($100K)


ENDOWMENT FOR CORE PROGRAM AND OPERATIONS          $5.5M

By providing budget relieving support in perpetuity, endowment gifts in support of core program and operating expenses allow the Museum to sustain and deliver its mission long-term.

Figures are for annual cost over 5 years. Endowment gifts intended to name and/or directly support a specific project or program must cover 60% of associated costs. 

Hailee Steinfeld dressed in character as Emily Dickinson

Press Release:
Apple TV+ Gifts Set Pieces and Costumes to Museum

THE EMILY DICKINSON MUSEUM RECEIVES DONATION
OF SETS, PROPS AND COSTUMES
FROM APPLE TV+’s DICKINSON SERIES

The donation to the Museum made by Apple TV+ and wiip Productions includes over 300 items from the sets of Dickinson and over 100 costume pieces.

Hailee Steinfeld dressed in character as Emily Dickinson

(AMHERST, Mass., December 10, 2021) – The Emily Dickinson Museum today announced a major gift from the Apple TV+ and wiip Productions award-winning series Dickinson, of a full range of set pieces, costumes and props. The gift includes antique furniture and objects acquired by the show to furnish as authentically as possible the sets of the Dickinson residences, the Homestead and the Evergreens, as well as costumes worn by the principal actors. 

Created by Alena Smith, Dickinson is a half-hour comedy series that audaciously explores the constraints of society, gender and family from the perspective of the rebellious young poet, Emily Dickinson. Set in the 19th century, the series is a coming-of-age story that has helped the poet gain hero status among millennials. The series stars Hailee Steinfeld, Toby Huss, Ella Hunt, and Jane Krakowski, and has included guest appearances from Wiz Khalifa, John Mulaney, Zosia Mamet, and Nick Kroll. The third and final season began streaming on Apple+ on November 5, 2021.

The production worked closely with the Emily Dickinson Museum throughout its filming. During pre-production, various members of the production crew visited the Museum in Amherst, Mass., to study the architecture and floor plans of the two homes. Principal actors toured the Museum as they worked on inhabiting members of the Dickinson family and their circle. As the series unfolded, researchers and production staff regularly reached out to the Museum to track down details of family friends and acquaintances, the look and feel of nineteenth century Amherst, and the gardens and grounds, among other topics.

“I can’t imagine a more meaningful conclusion to the journey of making Dickinson than giving this gift to the Dickinson Museum,” said Creator and showrunner Alena Smith. “It is the greatest end to the story I wanted to tell, and makes me feel so proud that these pieces of our production will contribute to Emily’s legacy and help the Museum in its mission of deepening scholarly and historic preservation. I love that the show was able to introduce Emily to new generations around the globe, and that it will continue to help make the Museum a place of even more international prominence. Just to know that in 20 years fans can come to the Museum and see a lasting piece of the Dickinson world we built is amazing to me. It makes my heart sing.”

“The Dickinson show and the Museum share the goal of amplifying Emily Dickinson’s powerful and revolutionary poetic voice,” said Museum Executive Director Jane Wald, “and we’re thrilled that the show has introduced so many to that voice. This wonderful gift from Dickinson, AppleTV+, and wiip Productions is inspired by Dickinson’s poetic legacy–one that inspired the show in the first place and that endures not only here at her home but, as it should, throughout the world.”Photo of 3 Dickinson costumes from the series on mannequins

Antiques from the set of Dickinson are appropriate to the time period of the Dickinson residences that comprise the Museum and were sourced in the same ways the Museum would have done so to acquire appropriate objects for its collection. While these items from the show do not have Dickinson provenance, they will augment the Museum’s collection of original furnishings to imbue the rooms of the Museum with greater immersive power. Future visitors will encounter some of these objects in more fully furnished spaces and enjoy an expanded opportunity to engage with the trappings of daily life at the Homestead and The Evergreens. 

On December 10, 2021, the Emily Dickinson Museum presented a closer look at the items from the donation during the annual Emily Dickinson Birthday Celebration, which marked the 191st anniversary of the poet’s birth. Including interviews with production designers, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at the ongoing Homestead restoration, this virtual program drew a global audience from over 60 countries.

The Museum is currently closed while it is undergoing a major restoration project and will reopen in Spring 2022. 

For images, please visit: bit.ly/DickinsonGiftPhotosEDM

ABOUT THE EMILY DICKINSON MUSEUM

The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens is dedicated to sparking the imagination by amplifying Emily Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice from the place she called home.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is owned by the Trustees of Amherst College and overseen by a separate Board of Governors. The Museum is responsible for raising its own operating and capital funds. The Museum is proud to celebrate the bicentennial of Amherst College. The Dickinson family were intimately connected with Amherst College in its first 75 years, beginning with the poet’s grandfather, who helped to found the institution. The College was an early and lasting influence in the poet’s own life, playing an inestimable role in her early education and friendships, and later connecting her to an ever-widening local and global community.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is a member of Museums10, a collaboration of ten museums linked to the Five Colleges in the Pioneer Valley—Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

the Homestead lights are on at night time

Call for Submissions:
Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series 2023

The 2023 Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series schedule will be announced soon! 
Sign-up for our e-newsletter to be the first to know

The Emily Dickinson Museum is now accepting proposals for the 3rd year of our Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series — a virtual event held monthly from May-October in 2023! This year, opportunities for reading on-site at the Emily Dickinson Museum and remotely will be available. Please make sure to select your preference in the submission form.

Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the aim of Phosphorescence is to celebrate contemporary creativity that echoes Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice. The Series features established and emerging poets who represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary poetry scene, and fosters community through poetry. The Series is a place to connect virtually over a shared love of language and an appreciation for Dickinson’s literary legacy.

Featured poets are promoted on the Museum’s event web page, through an event mailing list of roughly 18,000 addresses, and through the Museum’s social media. Each participating poet receives a $200 honorarium.

READINGS:
This program occurs at 6pm ET on a Thursday each month. Each reading may feature 1-3 poets. Readings are 15-25 minutes long on average per reader, though this may depend on other program components each month. Group submissions are strongly encouraged. Poets who submit alone will be paired with other poets if selected. Poets are welcome to promote sales of their books, and/or awareness of other media on the evening of the program. Poets should be prepared to engage in facilitated conversation and/or a Q&A after their readings on subjects including inspiration, craft, and Emily Dickinson.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
Only submissions made using our online form and Dropbox folder will be considered. We will not accept email or paper submissions.
There is no fee to submit proposals.
Group submissions from up to 3 poets are accepted.

The following submission qualities are especially encouraged:

  • builds community
  • features BIPOC and/or LBGTQ+ voices
  • highlights a connection to Dickinson’s life and legacy
  • pushes poetic boundaries

SUBMISSIONS DUE: Sunday, February 12, 2023, 12pm ET.

TIMELINE
All submissions will be notified of their acceptance status by early April. Participating poets will be asked to sign a letter of agreement confirming participation on assigned dates.


View last year’s Phosphorescence Schedule

Watch Phosphorescence on Youtube