graphic for Phosphorescence Poetry Reading: Amherst College LitFest 2023 featuring headshots of poets Victoria Chang and Tyehimba Jess

Phosphorescence Poetry Reading: LitFest
Saturday, Feb. 25, 12pm ET

Phosphorescence Amherst College LitFest featured poets:
Victoria Chang and Tyehimba Jess

IN-PERSON PROGRAM

This program is free to attend. 

graphic for Phosphorescence Poetry Reading: Amherst College LitFest 2023 featuring headshots of poets Victoria Chang and Tyehimba Jess

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25
Hosted by Emily Dickinson Museum Keiter Family Executive Director Jane Wald
Location: Friendly Reading Room, Frost Library

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.


Litfest 2023 logoThis program is part of Amherst College’s LitFest, an annual literary festival celebrates the College’s literary life by inviting distinguished authors and editors to discuss the pleasures and challenges of verbal expression — from fiction and nonfiction to poetry and spoken-word performance.
To learn more about LitFest:
amherst.edu/about/literary-amherst/litfest


About the poets:

headshot of poet Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, Leadbelly and OlioOlio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.  It was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Jean Stein Book Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.  Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.”

Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004–2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000–2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He presented his poetry at the 2011 TedX Nashville Conference and won a 2016 Lannan Literary Award in Poetry. He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2018. Jess is a Professor of English at College of Staten Island.  

Jess’ fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals, as well as anthologies such as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American PoetryBeyond The Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century, Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago’s Guild Complex, and Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry.
tyehimbajess.net


headshot of poet Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang’s forthcoming book of poems, With My Back to the World will be published in 2024 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Corsair Books in the U.K. Her most recent book of poetry, The Trees Witness Everything was published by Copper Canyon Press and Corsair Books in the U.K. in 2022, and was named one of the Best Books of 2022 by the New Yorker and The Guardian.

Her nonfiction book, Dear Memory (Milkweed Editions), was published in 2021 and was named a favorite nonfiction book of 2021 by Electric Literature and Kirkus. OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020)her most recent poetry book, was named a New York Times Notable Book, Time Must-Read Book, and received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN/Voelcker Award. It was also longlisted for a National Book Award and named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize. She has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

She lives in Los Angeles and is Acting Program Chair and Faculty at Antioch’s low-residency MFA Program. She is the current poetry editor of the New York Times.
victoriachangpoet.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.

Image of Dickinson's room featuring her writing desk and white dress

Studio Sessions

Image of Dickinson's room featuring her writing desk and white dress

“Sweet hours have perished here;
This is a mighty room;
Within its precincts hopes have played, –
Now shadows in the tomb.”
-Fr1785

Spend a “sweet hour” in Emily Dickinson’s creative space where she penned her startling poetry and honed her revolutionary voice. Whether you are a writer, an artist, a composer, a poet, or a lover of poetry, you’ll find inspiration in Emily Dickinson’s bedroom. Let this quiet experience jumpstart your next creative journey.

Participants may spend up to two hours in the bedroom. A small table and chair will be provided.  Participants will experience the atmosphere of Dickinson’s corner bedroom, and enjoy the view from the Poet’s windows. 

Program Guidelines:

  • Photo ID must be presented upon arrival for your studio session and a photocopy will be made, which will be destroyed after your session.
  • The door to the bedroom will remain open, and staff will be present outside the room at all times. Participants must remain in the designated area of the historic room. Participants may not touch the historic furnishings in the bedroom.
  • Bags, food, and beverages must be left outside the room.
  • No pens, inks, or paints permitted. Pencil and paper or laptop only. Other materials must be approved by special request in advance.
  • Photography for non-commercial, personal use is permitted.
  • Sessions will not be rescheduled or refunded after booking except in the case of an emergency. Refunding and rescheduling are at the discretion of the Emily Dickinson Museum.

Registration is currently available for sessions through May, 2023. Sessions are offered January through February on Mondays and Fridays at 3pm, March through May on Thursdays at 8:30am and Fridays at 5:15pm. Limited availability.

RESERVE YOUR SESSION

Pricing: 
1 person for one hour: $300
1 person for 2 hours: $500
2 people for 1 hour: $400
2 people for 2 hours: $600

Please direct questions to EDMPrograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

Tell-It-Slant-2022-Square-Web-Graphics

Tell It Slant Poetry Festival 2023

The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival returns September 18-24, 2023!

The year’s Festival will be hybrid with events happening online, as well as in-person at the Museum in Amherst, MA.
Lineup and schedule TBA.

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival is an event with international reach that celebrates Emily Dickinson’s poetic legacy and the contemporary creativity she and her work continues to inspire from the place she called home.

Save the date!: Join the Facebook event

About the Festival:

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s Annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival is an event with international reach that celebrates Emily Dickinson’s poetic legacy and the contemporary creativity she and her work continues to inspire from the place she called home.

The Festival, which runs each September, is named for Dickinson’s poem, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant,” underscoring the revolutionary power of poetry to shift our perspective and reveal new truths. Festival organizers are committed to featuring established and emerging poets who represent the diversity of the contemporary poetry landscape and to fostering community by placing poetry in the public sphere. 

The annual event attracts a diverse audience of Dickinson fans and poetry-lovers, including students, educators, aspiring writers, and those who are new to poetry and literary events. Past Festival headliners have included Tracy K. Smith, Tiana Clark, Tess Taylor, Ada Limón, Jericho Brown, Franny Choi, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Paisley Rekdal, Adrian Matejka, Kaveh Akbar, and Ocean Vuong

For information on last year’s Festival: 2022 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival


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.

 

Headshot of the Keiter couple

Press Release:
Keiter Directorship Endowment

$2.5M ENDOWMENT GIFT FROM JANE AND ROBERT KEITER NAMES EMILY DICKINSON MUSEUM DIRECTORSHIP

Gift made to the Museum’s Twice as Bold campaign will make Jane Wald the first Jane and Robert Keiter Family Executive Director

Headshot of the Keiter couple

(January 4, 2023, AMHERST, MA) – The Emily Dickinson Museum today announced a gift of $2.5 million from Jane and Robert Keiter to its Twice as Bold campaign for the endowment of the Museum’s directorship. This is the first endowed position at the Emily Dickinson Museum, which reopened to the public in August after a two-year pandemic closure and completion of a major restoration of the poet’s home.  

“This gift is another example of the Keiters’ tremendous support of the Emily Dickinson Museum,” said Executive Director Jane Wald, who will be the first to hold the Keiter title. “Jane and Bob have been leaders in several outstanding initiatives at the Museum over the last decade and we are thrilled to be able to honor their ongoing commitment in such a permanent and public way. Their generosity and understanding of the importance of such gifts for the growth and future sustainability of the Museum is tremendous in and of itself and as an example to others.”

The Keiters were introduced to the Emily Dickinson Museum by way of Robert’s alma mater, Amherst College, which owns the Museum, and in particular by his connection to fellow ’57 classmate William Vickery, who was a founding member of the Museum’s Board of Governors and was instrumental in encouraging Robert to serve on the Board as well.

“As the home and creative source of one of this country’s greatest poetic voices, the Emily Dickinson Museum is a national treasure for which we all have a shared responsibility,” said Robert from his home in Lakeville, Connecticut. “Jane and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the Museum grow and change over the years to better serve and inspire new generations. We are honored to support its bright future.” Flowing from a strategic plan completed in 2019 and taking its name from one of Emily Dickinson’s poems, the Museum’s Twice as Bold campaign 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 by 2026.


For more information about the Museum’s plans and fundraising effort, visit:
EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org/TwiceAsBold/

For images, please visit: bit.ly/KeiterGiftEDM


HOW DO ENDOWMENT GIFTS WORK? 

Endowment gifts differ from other types of contributions in that the full amount is ‘tucked away’ and permanently invested by the recipient organization, rather than being available to spend outright. Each year, a portion of the investment’s earned interest is released for the gift’s intended purpose. In our case, annual earned interest from the Keiters’ generous gift will help defray the costs and directly support the position and work of the Museum’s Executive Director in perpetuity. In that sense, this and other endowment contributions are truly gifts that keep on giving. 


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, Mass.—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 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 Homestead lights are on at night time

Call for Submissions:
Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series 2023

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.

To submit a proposal please click this link for our submission form.

TIMELINE
All submissions will be notified of their acceptance status by March 20. 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

 

Emily Dickinson's handwriting on a letter and envelope

Poetry Discussion Group:
Spring 2023 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. 

Each session is facilitated by a guest scholar with unique expertise, who leads the group in discussion following an introductory talk. Brief reading handouts will be distributed prior to each month’s program. February and May’s sessions will be extended, for those who would like more time to connect with fellow group members.

Topics and Leaders:
  • February: “I think the Hemlock likes to stand”: Emily Dickinson’s Trees with Marta McDowell
  • March:The Life That Tied Too Tight Escapes”: The Visual Legacy of Dickinson’s Imaginary with Zoë Brigley
  • April: “…an instant’s act”: Exploring the Architecture and Ecology of Ruins in Dickinson’s Poetry” with Ryan Heryford
  • May:  “Emily Dickinson’s Master Hours”: Reading Dickinson’s Master Letters with Marta Werner
Format

As a registrant, you are signing up to join a small group of 30 or fewer 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

The Wednesday group is now full. Limited space remains in the Friday group only. Thank you for your interest!

We are offering an identical program for the Wednesday and Friday groups. 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, $100 program fee (inclusive of all sessions),  limited to 30 participants
February 22, 6-7:30 ET, optional sign-on at 5:30 to meet the group!
March 22, 6-7:30 ET
April 19, 6-7:30 ET
May 17, 6-7:45 ET

Friday Group, $100 program fee (inclusive of all sessions), limited to 30 participants
February 24, 12-1:30 ET, sign on at 11:30 to meet the group!
March 24, 12-1:30 ET
April 21, 12-1:30 ET
May 19, 12-1:45 ET

Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register here

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

FEBRUARY

“I think the Hemlock likes to stand”: Emily Dickinson’s Trees

Marta McDowell teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and consults for private clients and public gardens. Her latest book, Unearthing The Secret Garden explores the plants and places that inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett to write the classic children’s book. Timber Press also published Emily Dickinson’s Gardening LifeThe World of Laura Ingalls WilderAll the Presidents’ Gardens, and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life. All the Presidents’ Gardens made The New York Times bestseller list and won an American Horticultural Society book award in 2017. Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life won the Gold Award from the Garden Writers Association and is now in its eighth printing. Her books have been translated into Chinese, Japanese and Korean. She is the 2019 recipient of the Garden Club of America’s Sarah Chapman Francis Medal for outstanding literary achievement. martamcdowell.com

MARCH

The Life That Tied Too Tight Escapes: The Visual Legacy of Dickinson’s Imaginary, featuring the art of Victoria Brookland

Zoë Brigley is the author of three books of poetry published by Bloodaxe: Hand & Skull (2019), Conquest (2012), and The Secret (2007), and recently published chapbooks with Broken Sleep: Aubade After A French Movie (2020), and Verve: Into Eros (2021). She also wrote a collection of nonfiction essays Notes from a Swing State (Parthian 2019) and co-wrote a pamphlet of creative nonfiction with Kristian Evans, Otherworlds: Writing on Nature and Magic (Broken Sleep 2021). Brigley is Assistant Professor in English at the Ohio State University where she produces an anti-violence podcast: “Sinister Myth”. She won an Eric Gregory Award for the best British poets under 30, was Forward Prize commended, and is listed in the Dylan Thomas Prize. zoebrigley.com/

APRIL

“…an instant’s act:’ Exploring the Architecture and Ecology of Ruins in Dickinson’s Poetry”

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’s Master Hours”: Reading Dickinson’s Master Letters

Marta Werner is the Martin J. Svaglic Chair in Textual Studies at Loyala University in Chicago. She is the author/editor of Emily Dickinson’s Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing (1995), Radical Scatters: An Electronic Archive of Emily Dickinson’s Late Fragments and Related Texts, 1870-1886 (1999), and Writing in Time: Emily Dickinson’s Master Hours ( 2021). Werner is currently working on two related projects: a sound installation of Dickinson’s bird-poems that seeks to re-conceive the archive as a living, evolving, but also dying space, and a collection of essays titled “‘Conjecturing a Climate’: Reading Dickinson at the End of the World.”

The front facade of the Homestead

A Virtual Exploration 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.

My Emily Dickinson:
Video Gallery and Story Collecting Project

In honor of Emily Dickinson’s 190th birthday in December of 2020, the Museum collected your stories from around the world. So many of us feel a deep connection to Dickinson’s life, her poetry, or to both. Some of us read her work as young students in school and become curious about the woman who lowered gingerbread from her window; others of us do not find Dickinson until we are older and her poetry’s themes of loss and hope begin to resonate profoundly; still others find that Dickinson’s wit and fierce individuality is a touchstone. This project sought to document the many Emily Dickinsons that exist in the hearts of contemporary readers. We received fifty participant videos from as close as Amherst to as far away as Albania. 

This video gallery offers a range of perspectives on Dickinson from a diverse group of her readers who generously shared their stories of strange Dickinson encounters, first meetings, and deeply felt connection. We are very grateful to these story-tellers and we hope you enjoy their collective message of Dickinson’s enduring relevance in our lives today.

 

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.