poetry festival

The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival: Remote Event

The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival (formerly the Amherst Poetry Festival) is a free event that celebrates the poetic legacy of Emily Dickinson and the contemporary creativity of the Pioneer Valley and beyond. This year’s festival will be held remotely, and will take place September 17-20, 2020.

Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, with support from the Amherst Business Improvement District, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and in partnership with the 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”, underscoring 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 contemporary American poetry landscape and to fostering community by placing poetry in the public sphere. The annual event attracts a diverse regional audience of poetry-lovers, including families, students, educators, aspiring writers, and those who are new to poetry and literary events. 

block party

Please note: The Festival Steering Committee is planning a virtual 2020 event to ensure the health and safety of participants during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are disappointed not to gather together in Amherst, we find (as always) that Dickinson, the original queen of social distancing, offers inspiration. 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.

Admission to all Festival events is free, but your support makes the Amherst Poetry Festival possible. Online donations ahead of the festival will give supporters exclusive access to events and the ability to pre-register for limited seating workshops and panels. Show your support of poetry by being a part of this beloved annual festival!

Feature at this year’s Festival!

The Festival Steering Committee is currently accepting proposals for programs to include in the 2020 event schedule. For more information and to submit, visit our Call for Proposals page.

The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival will be held remotely. Check back soon for a schedule of events and more ways to support the Festival!

 

poetry disc

Poetry Discussion Group, September 18, 2020

poetry discThe Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion Group meets monthly, September through May, for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters. The Poetry Discussion Group meets at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, on the second floor of Amherst College’s Frost Library. Participants should proceed directly to the Library and do not need to stop at the Museum. While no RSVP is required, participants are invited to email edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org to receive a list of poems for discussion. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch. Beverages and a sweet snack are provided.

arts night

Amherst Arts Night Open Mic and Features, October 1, 2020

arts nightMonthly Amherst Arts Night Plus at the Emily Dickinson Museum celebrates contemporary art and poetry in our historic setting. From 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., view the pop-up, contemporary art exhibition in the Homestead by our monthly featured artist. Poets, writers, and performers of any kind are welcome to share work at our open mic, which begins at 6:00 p.m. Stay after the open mic for the featured reader of the month. Open mic sign-ups are between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.. This program is free and open to the public.

 

Featured Poet: Rage Hezekiah

Rage Hezekiah is a New England based poet and educator, who earned her MFA from Emerson College. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, The MacDowell Colony, and The Ragdale Foundation, and is the recipient of the Saint Botolph Foundation’s Emerging Artists Award. Her poems have been anthologized, co-translated, and published internationally. Rage’s debut full-length collection of poems, Stray Harbor, is available through Finishing Line Press. Her 2019 chapbook, Unslakable, is a 2018 Vella Chapbook Award winner available from Paper Nautilus. For more information visit: https://www.ragehezekiah.com/

 

‘Before You Became Improbable,’ October 7-10, 2020

The immersive journey returns to the Emily Dickinson Museum in October after a sold-out 2018 run!

It took eight years of correspondence before T.W. Higginson arrived in Amherst to meet his elusive advisee, Emily Dickinson. Before You Became Improbable reimagines the day of that meeting, offering audience members an encounter with her words and poems in a remarkably personal theatrical experience.

Before You Became Improbable is not a stationary production, but a walking theatrical journey through downtown Amherst and the Dickinson grounds. Equipped with a special pair of headphones, audience members are guided through the show, following a path visible only to them. After a series of compelling encounters, the journey culminates in the Dickinson parlor, where participants will gather to share insights and experiences.

Before You Became Improbable is written and directed by Amherst Regional High School Performing Arts Department Head, John Bechtold, and produced by Wendy Kohler and the Emily Dickinson Museum. Designed as an experience for two people at a time, audience participants should come prepared with comfortable shoes, the willingness to walk for much of the show, and a venturesome spirit.

Our special thanks to our program partners: The Amherst Historical Society and Museum and the Town of Amherst.

More information and tickets coming soon!

poetry discussion

Poetry Discussion Group, October 16, 2020

poetry discussionThe Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion Group meets monthly, September through May, for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters. The Poetry Discussion Group meets at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, on the second floor of Amherst College’s Frost Library. Participants should proceed directly to the Library and do not need to stop at the Museum. While no RSVP is required, participants are invited to email edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org to receive a list of poems for discussion. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch. Beverages and a sweet snack are provided.

arts night

Amherst Arts Night Open Mic and Features, November 5, 2020

arts nightMonthly Amherst Arts Night Plus at the Emily Dickinson Museum celebrates contemporary art and poetry in our historic setting. From 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., view the pop-up, contemporary art exhibition in the Homestead by our monthly featured artist. Poets, writers, and performers of any kind are welcome to share work at our open mic, which begins at 6:00 p.m. Stay after the open mic for the featured reader of the month. Open mic sign-ups are between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.. This program is free and open to the public.

poetry

Poetry Discussion Group, November 20, 2020

poetryThe Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion Group meets monthly, September through May, for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters. The Poetry Discussion Group meets at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, on the second floor of Amherst College’s Frost Library. Participants should proceed directly to the Library and do not need to stop at the Museum. While no RSVP is required, participants are invited to email edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org to receive a list of poems for discussion. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch. Beverages and a sweet snack are provided.

arts night

Amherst Arts Night Open Mic and Features, December 3, 2020

arts nightMonthly Amherst Arts Night Plus at the Emily Dickinson Museum celebrates contemporary art and poetry in our historic setting. From 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., view the pop-up, contemporary art exhibition in the Homestead by our monthly featured artist. Poets, writers, and performers of any kind are welcome to share work at our open mic, which begins at 6:00 p.m. Stay after the open mic for the featured reader of the month. Open mic sign-ups are between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.. This program is free and open to the public.

Students of The Literacy Project in the Dickinson family parlor.

 

 

 

Featured readers: The Literacy Project

The Literacy Project presents original poems, essays, and stories written and read by students of The Literacy Project. The Literacy Project provides adult basic education programs and opportunities that support participants to engage meaningfully and equitably in the economic, social, cultural and civic life of their communities. With a staff of 20 and 75 volunteers, the Project now offers classes in basic literacy, high school equivalency and college and career readiness at 5 locations in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts: Greenfield, Orange, Northampton, Amherst and Ware.

folger

Folger Library Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute, December 7, 2020

folgerJoin us in Washington D.C. at the Folger Shakespeare Libraryon December 7 to celebrate the birthday of Emily Dickinson! Each year, the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute brings speakers, scholars, and fans of Emily Dickinson’s work together to celebrate the illustrious poet and her writing. To purchase tickets to the Birthday Tribute, please visit the Folger’s website. 

birthday

Emily Dickinson Birthday Open House, December 12, 2020

birthdayYou are cordially invited to celebrate Emily Dickinson’s 190th birthday at her home, the Emily Dickinson Museum! On December 12, join us for a festive open house. Tour the houses for free, revel in the Holiday decorations and live music, and, of course, enjoy coconut cake made from the poet’s own recipe.

All are welcome and no fee or reservations are required!