Hours & Admission

Donor Match Announced

Studio SessionsStarting today, your support for the Emily Dickinson Museum will be matched by the Museum’s Board of Governors. This generous act makes clear the faith that the Museum’s Board, along with so many others, have in the Museum’s ability to endure and thrive. For every gift made between now and June 30, the Board of Governors will match it dollar for dollar. That means every dollar donated up $40,000 will be doubled. 
 
Your support for the Museum’s ability to endure, to create new resources and continue its programming is vitally important. You can make an online donation by clicking here
studio sessions

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

apf 2018

Tell It Slant Poetry Festival Call for Proposals: April 9 – June 7, 2020

The Emily Dickinson Museum is now accepting proposals for the eighth annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival (formerly the Amherst Poetry Festival), A VIRTUAL EVENT held September 17-20, 2020! 

DEADLINE NOW EXTENDED!!!

Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, with support from the Amherst Business Improvement District, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Jones Library, the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival celebrates the poetic legacy of Emily Dickinson and the contemporary creativity of the Pioneer Valley and beyond.

The Festival’s new name “Tell It Slant,” was selected in homage to Dickinson’s poem, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.” This title underscores the revolutionary power of poetry to shift our perspective and reveal new truths. The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival remains committed to featuring and serving established and emerging poets who represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary American poetry scene, and to fostering community by placing poetry in the public sphere. To see our 2019 Festival schedule click here.

The Festival Steering Committee is planning a virtual event to ensure the health and safety of participants. While we are disappointed not to gather together in Amherst, we find (as always) that Dickinson offers inspiration. Dickinson was an engaging correspondent, whose epistolary poems connected her to a wider community of friends and writers. During this time, we call on you to help us carry on Dickinson’s legacy of creating community and sparking the imagination as we shelter in place. We invite you to “dwell in possibility” and submit your most inventive proposals for  audience-centered workshops, panel discussions, and programs.

We are privileging proposals for live, synchronous content, but will also consider asynchronous submissions. Synchronous content includes virtual programs or experiences, including performances, live panels and workshops. Asynchronous content might include a web exhibit or pre-recorded content premiering at the Poetry Festival.

The Steering Committee especially welcomes the following:

  • Submissions from groups of 2 – 5 facilitators
  • Submissions that engage young attendees and those new to poetry
  • Submissions that creatively encourage audience participation or that foster a sense of community or space

Honoraria are provided per event. 

Proposals should be designed for one of the following program slots: (Individuals may submit separate forms if proposing more than one program)

GENERAL AUDIENCES on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2020

  • Evening music, theater, dance, screening or other performance for general audiences. Submissions should be for 60- to 90-minute programs.
  • A $500 honorarium is offered for this program.

HIGH SCHOOL WORKSHOPS on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2020

  • Private poetry workshops for students of high school age (grades 9-12). 45-minute sessions, to be offered up to four times between 7:50 am to 3 pm. Partner schools will be shared with selected poets and will include schools in Hampshire and Hampden counties.
  • A $350 honorarium is offered for the day’s workshops.

GENERAL AUDIENCE PROGRAMS on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, and SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2020 

  • Daytime poetry workshops, panels, or participatory programs open to the public. Event sessions are typically an hour and a half long. 
  • $250 honoraria offered per event.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Only submissions made in the online form will be considered. There is no fee to submit proposals.
  • Following your submission, please email your resume/cv to edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org. 
    • Include “POETRY FESTIVAL SUBMISSION” in the title of the e-mail. We can accept .pdf, .doc, .docx files.
      If applicable, you may also submit an image in .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, and .png format.
  • Selected facilitators will be notified mid-June and will be asked to sign a letter of agreement confirming their participation in the Festival.
  • Submissions Due: Sunday, June 7, 2020, 11:59 pm EST.

Submissions will be judged on the following:

  • Originality – Is your idea bold and intriguing? Will it offer something new to our Festival?
  • Quality – Does the submission reflect thoughtful preparation? How are you uniquely qualified to facilitate this program?
  • Audience – Have you clearly outlined participatory elements? How does your proposal contribute to community-building for the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival? 
  • Special consideration will be given to Pioneer Valley and Massachusetts-based facilitators.

SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL

Questions? Email us at edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org

poetry discussion group

Remote Program: Poetry Discussion Group, May 22, 2020

poetry discussion groupThe Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion Group meets monthly, September through May, for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters. Each session is facilitated by a guest leader.
Join us for a remote zoom discussion from 12pm to 1:30pm on Friday, May 22. 

Topic: Emily Dickinson and the Mind

Poetry, for Emily Dickinson, is invested with inconceivable possibilities of signification. She reveled in the ecstatic “Madness” of meanings, since, to her, “Much Madness is divinest Sense.”Her forte is to transform the material to the metaphorical, and to question the notion of ‘reality’ as it is conventionally understood.

This session will feature Dickinson and philosophy, spanning her mental philosophy textbooks to parallels between her poetry and the writings of philosopher Immanuel Kant. Dickinson was, like Kant, intrigued with the relation between subject and object, and fascinated with the ‘transcendent’—that goes beyond the boundaries of empirical evidence. Together we will delve into Dickinson’s writing in a way that will allow us to critically appreciate the transcendental depth and autonomy of the poet’s mind.

 Leader: Mousumi Banerjee
Dr. Mousumi Banerjee is an engaged practitioner of the language and its varied manifestations in literature with a flair for research in poetry, the multiple hermeneutic possibilities of which caused her to look at women’s writing and authorial anxiety in her doctoral study that she pursued from Jadavpur University. The voices of women poets from those intellectual edges, that are hitherto identified as the ‘margins’ of literary writing, became the site of her inquiry which led her to publish considerably on the works of supposedly non-canonical women writers. Philosophical writings also enchant her and she looks forward to working on the textuality of such works by various Western thinkers across traditions of thought and practice. She is a passionate teacher in literature and contemporary theory, singer and music enthusiast, and loves to engage in deliberations on other humanistic discourses, in general, and on Emily Dickinson, in particular! She has authored books, named Writing across Genres: Indian Literature, Language and Culture (2015), Daring to Write: The Two Creative Daughters of Victorian England (2015), and Emily Dickinson: Writing as a Woman (2017), and currently has two on-going book-length projects: one on Gitanjali: An Exalted Manifestation of Buddhist Aesthetics, and the other on ‘A thought went up my mind today –’: An Inquiry into a Post-Kantian Transcendental Philosophy in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry. She has been awarded with the Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 2019-2020 by the United States- India Education Foundation (USIEF) to pursue her postdoctoral research, and presently she is associated with Amherst College for her work on the book on Dickinson. She greatly appreciates the continuous effort of the Emily Dickinson Museum not only in keeping the memory of the poet alive, but also in encouraging thought and scholarship on the poet’s spectacular poetic oeuvre so as to deeply influence our own lives. 

Registration for this event is now closed. If you have registered, we will email you by Monday, May 18 with a link and more information.
Thank you for your interest in this program. If you were not able to join us this time, we hope to see you when the series resumes in September.

arts night plus

Amherst Arts Night Poetry Reading, June 4, 2020 at 6:30PM – REMOTE PROGRAM

arts night

To register for this free program and receive the link, click here.

During the pandemic, the Emily Dickinson Museum is celebrating monthly Amherst Arts Night Plus with remote poetry readings every first Thursday.

In June we feature poems from Poetry In The Pandemic, a crowd-sourced poetry project organized by Haoran Tong. The reading will feature staff, students, and faculty of Amherst College, and will last approximately 40 minutes. This program is dedicated to graduating seniors everywhere, but especially to the Museum’s two graduating student employees, Anna Plummer and Jane Bragdon.

This month’s readers are:

Eliza Brewer: Eliza is a poet and essayist from Houston, Texas studying English and Philosophy at Amherst. Her work has appeared in Circus, Outrageous Fortune, Polaris, The Allegheny Review, and Glass Mountain. She is a big sister to four siblings who are her inspiration and purpose.

Kalidas Shanti: Kalidas ‘22 is a poet majoring English and Math. He is currently engaged in a couple personal writing projects. The first is a collection of poems written in response to being in quarantine. All of the poems are written in iMessage to his partner as a way of maintaining intimacy while being in a long-distance relationship. The other is an expansion of a past project.

Brenna Macaray: Brenna ‘21 is an artist and poet currently majoring in English at Amherst College. She works as the Design Librarian for the Thester and Dance Dept., and at the Emily Dickinson Museum since 2018 as a museum assistant and tour guide, an opportunity for which she is ever grateful. She’s also currently working on her creative thesis in poetry, a lyric essay revolving in part around Dickinson.

Kiera Alventosa: Kiera ‘21 is a poet and writer from Long Island, New York, studying English and Environmental Studies at Amherst College. She is the Editor in Chief of The Indicator magazine and her work has also appeared in Circus. She is a recipient of the 2020 Academy of American Poets prize. She strives to write about nature with an environmental activism and justice perspective.

Anna Plummer: Anna has just graduated from Amherst College, where she majored in English and Theater & Dance. In a world with 32 hour days, she would have majored in History, too. She is a proud member of the Emily Dickinson Museum community, where she has worked as tour guide and museum assistant for five years. Anna has also studied literature and poetry writing in Bath, England. 

Haoran Tong: (see below)

About the project:

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, socialize, and communicate with nature. Ever since the outbreak, stay-at-home measures have been imposed to protect the vulnerable community for the sake of public health. Faces are masked, interactions are distanced, routines are interrupted. In the process of containing the virus, hope emerges from the darkness as the curves flatten, thanks to the heroic essential workers and generous community members. However, many people also suffer from shocking news, lost lives, and fractured families. 

Amidst uncertainty and anxiety, poetry brings us hope, inspiration, and reflection. If the consoling and unifying power of poetry is forgotten in ordinary times, it is becoming ever more influential and desirable in trying times. On Instagram, reading a poem per day has become a cure for boredom and loneliness. When we read and write poetry, we do so to understand and connect with each other. Poetry reminds us of our inner qualities of empathy, unity, and freedom. 

To encourage the members of the Amherst community to lead a poetic life and overcome the difficult circumstances, Haoran Tong ‘23 creates a platform of poetry reading and writing. Alumni, faculty, staff, students, and families of Amherst College share their thoughts and expressions with others by submitting poems they have read or written during the pandemic. They may also provide a brief explanation of how they resonate with the poems in the context of the pandemic.”

About Haoran Tong:

Haoran Tong ’23, the organizer of the “Poetry in the Pandemic” project, is a first-year student at Amherst College, MA. His poetic journey started at the age of 4 in Beijing, China, where he was born and bred. He enjoys the works of Emily Dickinson, Du Fu, William Butler Yeats, Rabindranath Tagore, Adunis, Jorge Luis Borges, and Xi Chuan. He was awarded the Youth Poet Laureate of China in 2017. As a member of the Poets Unite Worldwide Association, he wants to promote intercultural exchange by exploring the possibilities of poetic form and expression. Besides poetry, he is a lover of choral singing, physics, and comparative legal studies.

 

 

Landscape Tours

CANCELLED – Garden Days, June 6 & 7, 2020

Landscape ToursThis program has been cancelled due to the pandemic. You might be interested in this remote program with master gardener and author Marta McDowell. 

 

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

As warmer temperatures arrive in Amherst, Emily’s garden begs to be tended. Join our 2018 Gardener-in-Residence Marta McDowell and a group of volunteers 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 in the past and become part of a new generation of caretakers for this precious piece of land. During Garden Days, visitors to the Museum can tend the historic landscape, discuss nature poetry under the great white oak tree, learn about the ongoing archaeological work, and enjoy gatherings in the garden all weekend long.

Poet reading at a microphone in the museum

Amherst Arts Night Poetry Reading Series, July 2, 2020 – REMOTE PROGRAM

Poet reading at a microphone in the museum

During the pandemic, the Emily Dickinson Museum is celebrating monthly Amherst Arts Night Plus with remote poetry readings every first Thursday.

This program is free to attend. Registration is required, click here to receive the link.

 

 

In July we feature three Pioneer Valley poets:

Michael Mercurio lives and writes in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, where he is also a member of the steering committee for the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival (formerly Amherst Poetry Festival.) Michael’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Palette PoetrySugar House ReviewRust + MothCrab Creek Review, and Indianapolis Review, and his criticism has been published by The Lily Poetry Review. Find him online at poetmercurio.com.

Hannah Larrabee‘s collection, Wonder Tissue, won the Airlie Press Poetry Prize and is in the running for a 2019 Massachusetts Book Award. She has a new chapbook of epistolary poems to Teilhard de Chardin out from Nixes Mate Press. Hannah’s written poetry for the James Webb Space Telescope program at NASA, and she’ll be sailing around Svalbard in the arctic circle with artists and scientists later this fall. She has an MFA from the University of New Hampshire where she studied with Charles Simic. For more information visit www.hannahlarrabee.com

Nathan McClain is the author of Scale (Four Way Books, 2017), a recipient of fellowships from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, The Frost Place, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers.  His poems and prose have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Green Mountains Review, Poem-a-Day, The Common, and The Critical Flame.  He teaches at Hampshire College. For more information visit www.nathanmcclain.com.

Emily Dickinson International Society Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, 2020

daguerreotype photograph of Emily Dickinson at age 16William Shakespeare was Emily Dickinson’s favorite writer, and her letters abound with references to him and his works. Dickinson’s allusions to Shakespeare’s writings evidence his pervasive presence in her life but also signal his ubiquitous place in her culture. In collaboration with the Emily Dickinson Museum, the 2020 EDIS Annual Meeting will be held July 31 to August 1 in Amherst, Massachusetts. This year’s focus is Dickinson’s great love of Shakespeare, and this theme will shape the features of this annual meeting, including the reading groups, tours of the Dickinson Museum, performances, readings, seminar-style discussions, and talks.

a wheelbarrow for garden days

CANCELED – Garden Days, August 2 & 3, 2020

a wheelbarrow for garden days

Tidying the gardens at the Homestead

This program has been cancelled due to the pandemic. You may be interested in this remote program with master gardener and author Marta McDowell.

Celebrate the beauty of summer during Garden Days at the Emily Dickinson Museum! As summer temperatures descend upon Amherst, Emily’s garden begs to be tended. Join our 2018 Gardener-in-Residence Marta McDowell and a group of volunteers 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 in the past and become part of a new generation of caretakers for this precious piece of land. During Garden Days, visitors to the Museum can tend the historic landscape, discuss nature poetry under the great white oak tree, learn about the ongoing archaeological work, and enjoy gatherings in the garden all weekend long.

arts night

Amherst Arts Night Poetry Reading, August 6, 2020 – REMOTE PROGRAM

During the pandemic, the Emily Dickinson Museum is celebrating monthly Amherst Arts Night Plus with remote poetry readings every first Thursday.

This program is free to attend. Registration is required. To sign-up and receive the link, click here.

 

In August, our feature poets are:

Rebecca Hart Olander: Rebecca Hart Olander’s poetry has appeared recently in Crab Creek Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others. Collaborative work made with Elizabeth Paul has been published in multiple venues online and in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing (Black Lawrence Press). Rebecca is a Women’s National Book Association poetry contest winner and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her chapbook, Dressing the Wounds, was published by dancing girl press in 2019, and her debut full-length collection, Uncertain Acrobats, is forthcoming from CavanKerry Press in 2021. Rebecca teaches writing at Westfield State University and is editor/director of Perugia Press. Find her at rebeccahartolander.com and @rholanderpoet.

 

 

 

Photo credit Jen Fitzgerald

 

Leah Umansky: Leah Umansky is the author of two full length collections, The Barbarous Century (2018), and Domestic Uncertainties (2013), among others. She earned her MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and is the curator and host of The COUPLET Reading Series in NYC. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such places as The New York Times, POETRY, Guernica, Bennington Review, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day, Poetry International, Thrush Poetry Journal, Rhino, and Pleiades. She is resisting the tyrant with her every move. She is #teamstark  #teamelliot & #teambernard and can be found at www.leahumansky.com. Twitter: @lady_Bronte. Instagram: @leah.umansky 

(photo credit Jen Fitzgerald)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Omotara James: Omotara James is the author of the chapbook, “Daughter Tongue,” selected by African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2018 New Generation African Poets Box Set. Born in Britain, she is the daughter of Nigerian and Trinidadian immigrants. A former social worker in the field of Harm Reduction. She has been awarded fellowships from Lambda Literary and Cave Canem Foundation. She is a recipient of the 2019 92Y / Discovery Poetry Prize and the winner of the 2019 Bread Loaf Katharine Bakeless Nason Award in Poetry. In addition, her work has been recognized with the Nancy P. Schnader Academy of American Poets Prize, two Pushcart Prize nominations and one Best of the Net nomination. Her work was selected for the 2020 Best Small Fictions Anthology and she was a 2019 finalist for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in POETRY magazine, The Paris Review, The Academy of American Poets, Platypus Press,The Believer, Literary Hub, Poetry Society of America, Nat.Brut, No Tokens and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Poetry from New York University and lives in NYC.  Learn more at omotarajames.com or find her on Twitter and Instagram @omotarajames.