poetry

Poetry Discussion Group – May 17, 2019

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion group meets monthly September through May (except for December) for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters.  Featured facilitators each month offer fresh perspectives on Dickinson’s poetry. While no RSVP is required, participants are invited to e-mail the Program Department to receive a list of poems for discussion.

Topic: How dreary–to be–Somebody!//How public–like a Frog–“: On uses of of nature, subjectivity and observation in E.D.
This discussion will explore Dickinson’s method of observation through a sampling of well-loved and lesser known poems. What natural elements or “characters” attract her atttention? After something captures her notice, what methods does she use to register it?

Polina Barskova, Associate Professor of Russian literature at Hampshire College, received her B.A. from St. Petersburg University and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkely. Her scholarly publications include articles on Nabokov, the Bakhtin brothers, early Soviet film, and the aestheticization of historical trauma, primarily, culture of the Siege of Leningrad (1941-1944). She has also authored eight books of poetry and one book of prose in Russian. Three books of her poetry in English translation were published recently: This Lamentable City (Tupelo Press), Zoo in Winter (Melville House Press), Relocations (Zephyr Press).

Time: Noon – 2 p.m.

Location: The Poetry Discussion Group meets at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, on the second floor of Amherst College’s Frost Library. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch; beverages and a sweet snack are provided. Participants should report directly to the Library, and do not need to stop at the Museum.

Parking: Free parking for this program is available in the Amherst College Alumni Lot. Visitors to campus with any official state-issued Handicapped placards are permitted to park in any marked handicapped spot on campus without obtaining any additional permits from Amherst College.

See a campus map parking map.

Fee: The fee for Museum Friends is $12/session; the general fee is $15/session. Season subscriptions are $80 for Museum members and $105 for non-members. To become a Friend of the Emily Dickinson Museum and enjoy member discounts, click here.

For more information, contact the Program Department: edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or call (413) 542-2034.

Poetry walk daises

Annual Poetry Walk – May 18, 2019

10:30AM to 12PM

Free and open to all

Emily Dickinson's graveThe Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk marks the anniversary of the poet’s death (on May 15, 1886) with readings of her poetry at historic sites around Amherst. This spring, the Walk will explore the poet’s many sources of inspiration, including the arts, nature, relationships and cherished books. In homage to Dickinson’s role in sparking our imaginations, we will also read a contemporary poem influenced by her life and work at each stop.

The Poetry Walk begins at 10:30 a.m. on the Homestead lawn and proceeds on foot through Amherst, stopping at sites significant in Dickinson’s life, and concluding at the poet’s grave in West Cemetery. At the cemetery, participants are invited to join in the traditional light-hearted lemonade toast to the Poet and to read a favorite Dickinson poem or original work in memory of the poet. 

The stops will be announced on this page in advance of the walk. Latecomers are welcome to join the tour at any stop. This year’s selection of poems will be read by volunteers from the audience. Participants may wish to bring their own copy of Dickinson’s poems to follow along. All who would like to read should arrive at the Homestead at 10:15 a.m. to receive an assignment; poems will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participants are encouraged to carpool. Wheelchair accessible parking is available at the Homestead; all other vehicles are asked to park on the street or use town parking, a short walk from the Museum. For more information about accessibility on the Walk, call 413-542-2034. The Poetry Walk takes place rain or shine.

Poetry in the parlor

Amherst Arts Night Plus – June 6, 2019

June Featured Speaker

Emily Dickinson’s Garden by Marta McDowell

Following the relationship between the pen and the trowel led Marta McDowell to Emily Dickinson for Emily Dickinson’s Gardens and children’s author/illustrator Beatrix Potter for Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life. In 2017, All the Presidents’ Gardens, a book that relates the history of American gardening as seen through the White House grounds, made The New York Times bestseller list and won an American Horticultural Society book award. Marta’s latest, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, tells the tale of the plants and places of the beloved author of the Little House series. Marta also scripted the Emily Dickinson Museum’s landscape audio tour, and was an advisor for the New York Botanical Garden’s 2010 show, “Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: The Poetry of Flowers.”

June’s Featured Artist

Poetry in Silver: The Language of Flowers in the Works of Emily Dickinson by Kandy Vermeer Phillips

Poetry in Silver

Dickinson-inspired art by Kandy Vermeer Phillips

This pop-up exhibition features a series of silverpoint drawings that compares specimens found in Dickinson’s herbarium to those housed in the U.S. National Herbarium. Dickinson collected her specimens in the 1840’s from the woods, fields and bogs that surrounded her Amherst, MA home as part of her formal botany education. Poetry in Silver highlights several of these cherished woodland flowers that inspired Dickinson’s poetry along with her use of the popular Language of Flowers. Silverpoint drawing is a Renaissance technique and is ideal for close observational botanical drawing. A silverpoint drawing’s unique tendency to develop a patina over time also provides a metaphor for a plant’s evolving environmental status from the mid-19thcentury to the present day.  Although Dickinson’s herbarium is now over 175 years old, it continues to speak, and remains a significant part of her letter to the world. 

Kandy Vermeer Phillips has been drawing with silverpoint since the 1970’s. This exhibition is a part of her recent Julius I. Brown Award from the American Society of Botanical Artists. Kandy’s silverpoint drawings are included in the collections of The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, PA; The National Gallery of Art, and The National Museum of Natural History, Botany Department, Washington, DC.


Amherst Arts Night PlusThe Emily Dickinson Museum participates in Amherst Arts Night Plus on first Thursdays each month. Free and open to all! Each month enjoy the following:

  • 5PM-8PM View the pop-up exhibition of contemporary art in the Homestead
  • 5 to 6 pm: Open mic signups for poets, writers, performers of any kind. Share your work in a safe, welcoming, and inspiring place!
  • 6 pm: Open mic begins
  • Featured readers follow the open mic

Please note that the works of guest artists may contain sensitive or mature material and do not necessarily represent the views of the Emily Dickinson Museum.

a wheelbarrow for garden days

Garden Days at the Homestead, June 7-8, 2019

Celebrate the beauty of spring during Garden Days at the Emily Dickinson Museum! 

Homestead as seen from the Dickinson gardenVolunteer in the Garden

As warmer temperatures arrive in Amherst, it’s time to wake up Emily Dickinson’s garden. We invite you to join a group of volunteers from Amherst and beyond who return each year to aid in the cultivation and growth of the historic Dickinson family landscape. You do not need to be an expert gardener for this “all levels” program. Learn from volunteers who have tended the gardens and be a part of a new generation of caretakers for this historic landmark. In addition to working with master gardener Marta McDowell, volunteers will have the chance to tour the archaeological field school occurring at the Emily Dickinson Museum. Garden volunteer times:

Friday, June 7 from 9AM-1PM

Saturday, June 8 from 9AM-2:30PM 

Volunteers should sign-up in advance for either or both days by e-mailing EDMPrograms@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org.

About Marta McDowell:

Following the relationship between the pen and the trowel led Marta to Emily Dickinson for Emily Dickinson’s Gardens and children’s author/illustrator Beatrix Potter for Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life. In 2017, All the Presidents’ Gardens, a book that relates the history of American gardening as seen through the White House grounds, made The New York Times bestseller list and won an American Horticultural Society book award. Marta’s latest, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, tells the tale of the plants and places of the beloved author of the Little House series. Marta also scripted the Emily Dickinson Museum’s landscape audio tour, and was an advisor for the New York Botanical Garden’s 2010 show, “Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: The Poetry of Flowers.”

Emily Dickinson's white dress on a stand in her bedroom

‘a mighty room’: Studio Sessions in Emily Dickinson’s Bedroom

woodcut showing a bird and a picnic basket and the words I should love to pass an hour with you - Emily

Sweet hours have perished here;

This is a mighty room;

Within its precincts hopes have played, —

Now shadows in the tomb.  

-J1767 

 

Spend a “sweet hour” in Emily Dickinson’s creative space where she penned her startling poetry. Whether you are a writer, an artist, a composer, or a poet, you’ll find solace and inspiration for your artistic output 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.  Read more