Poetry Walk 2024
Saturday, May 11
10am-12pm ET

IN-PERSON PROGRAM

This in-person program is free to attend. Registration is required. 

REGISTER

Dickinson's tombstone covered in daisies

On May 11, in honor of the 138th anniversary of the poet’s death, join the Emily Dickinson Museum for the annual Poetry Walk through downtown Amherst, the town she called “paradise.” This year’s Walk celebrates the re-opening of The Evergreens with stops that explore its significance to Amherst’s cultural landscape and to the poet herself. Take the walk at your own pace, but be sure to head to Dickinson’s grave in West Cemetery in time for the 12pm final poems and a lemonade toast to our favorite poet! 

The Walk takes approximately 40 minutes to complete. Participants begin at the Homestead at any time between 10AM and 11AM to pick up their Poetry Walk map and daisies to lay at the grave. The Walk stations close at 11:45AM so that all participants can make it to the final stop at noon in West Cemetery.

Registration for this program is free or by donation, but it is required in advance. Registration for the Walk does not include admission to the Museum. For Museum tour tickets click here.

Accessibility Information
The full walk is about 1 mile and is largely accessed by paved sidewalks, though some uneven terrain is possible. Participants who would prefer to meet us for the final toast are welcome to check in at the Homestead before 11:15AM and then drive to West Cemetery. Cemetery parking is available behind Zanna’s clothing store.


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 a loved one and we’ll place a daisy in their name at the poet’s grave as part of this year’s Poetry Walk (May 11).

We hope you enjoy 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

 

 

 

 

The Evergreens parlor filled with Dickinson family objects including furniture, paintings, instruments and more

Press Release:
Evergreens Reopening

EMILY DICKINSON MUSEUM ANNOUNCES REOPENING OF THE EVERGREENS ON MARCH 1, 2024

The Evergreens, the historic Dickinson family house next to the Homestead, will reopen for public visitation for the first time since 2019.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Patrick Fecher
pfecher@emilydickinsonmuseum.org

(Wednesday, January 31, 2024, AMHERST, MA) – Today the Emily Dickinson Museum announces the reopening of The Evergreens, an integral component of the American literary site interpreting and celebrating Emily Dickinson’s life and legacy. Located just west of the Homestead, The Evergreens was built for the poet’s brother Austin and his family in 1856. The lives of the Dickinson families at the Homestead and The Evergreens were closely linked, both in their daily conduct and in the private lives that unfolded in the houses. These connections had a profound impact on Emily Dickinson’s poetry and, later, on the posthumous publication of her verse and the preservation of her legacy. The Evergreens remains largely unaltered since the time when Emily Dickinson’s family lived here, a time capsule reflecting the wide-ranging aesthetic and intellectual interests of the entire family.

The Evergreens parlor filled with Dickinson family objects including furniture, paintings, instruments and moreClosed since 2019, the Museum recently completed a multi-year preservation effort at The Evergreens, aimed at improving environmental conditions for objects in its recently documented collection, and reducing energy consumption. Supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, the project focused first on reducing energy consumption through building envelope repairs, new insulation, and light filtration. It continued with installation of a museum-grade HVAC system to maintain temperature and relative humidity in ranges that promote the preservation of sensitive collections objects.

Jane and Robert Keiter Family Executive Director Jane Wald says, “We are so pleased that this important project has reached a successful conclusion. The Evergreens is an extraordinary house, unusually preserved, and steeped in the histories of the Dickinson family and the town of Amherst. That it has been little changed since the end of the nineteenth century and remains full of Dickinson family possessions was a distinct choice by family members and heirs, but one that led to decades of environmental conditions unfriendly to collections. Improvements to the building envelope and an effective heating and cooling system are a significant contribution to the preservation of the Dickinson home, history, and material legacy.”  

The Evergreens is thought to have been designed by prolific Northampton architect William Fenno Pratt — the house is one of the earliest unchanged examples of Italianate domestic architecture in Amherst. Under Susan Dickinson’s direction, The Evergreens quickly became a center of the town’s social and cultural life, with notable visitors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Wendell Philips, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Frederick Law Olmsted. 

Austin and Susan Dickinson lived at The Evergreens until their respective deaths in 1895 and 1913. Their only surviving child, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, edited numerous collections of her aunt’s poetry and authored biographical works about her in the 1920s and 1930s. She continued to live in the house, and preserved it without change, until her own death in 1943. Her heirs – co-editor Alfred Leete Hampson, and later his widow, Mary Landis Hampson – recognized the tremendous historical and literary significance of a site left completely intact and sought ways to ensure the preservation of The Evergreens as a cultural resource. The house is still completely furnished with Dickinson family furniture, household accouterments, and decor selected and displayed by the family during the nineteenth century.

“Reintroducing The Evergreens to our interpretive program has been a long-awaited step,” says Senior Director of Programs Brooke Steinhauser. “The condition of the house is uniquely evocative of the lives lived there. We can share more fully with visitors the stories not just of the poet’s daily inspiration stemming from these family relationships, but also the remarkable way her poetry came to the world posthumously and the motivations of the extraordinary people who recognized her genius and dedicated their lives to sharing it.”  

During the past few years, there has been renewed and growing interest in Emily Dickinson and her social circle, especially her sister-in-law Susan Dickinson. The Museum expects the reopening of The Evergreens to attract visitors from around the globe to visit this one-of-a-kind historic site in Amherst, MA.

Beginning March 1, the Emily Dickinson Museum will be open from Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm ET. Admission tickets provide access to both the Homestead and The Evergreens. Visitors are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance: EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org/Visit/


For press-approved images: 
emilydickinsonmuseum.widencollective.com/portals/hhdfvat3/EvergreensReopening2024

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.

SUPPORT FROM

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States.

The Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) is an initiative of the state of Massachusetts that makes grants to support the acquisition, design, repair, rehabilitation, renovation, expansion, or construction of nonprofit cultural facilities statewide.

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 August 2024. Sessions are offered on Mondays and Fridays at 3pm through February, and 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.

Purchase of a studio session grants one free Museum admission per studio participant, to be booked during your visit to Amherst. To reserve your timed entry in advance, email connect@emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

a view of different items in the Emily Dickinson Museum's collections

The Emily Dickinson Museum Collection

a view of different items in the Emily Dickinson Museum's collections

Press Release 9/13/23
The Emily Dickinson Museum's collection is the largest and most diverse assemblage of objects associated with Emily Dickinson and her family to be found anywhere. It consists of more than 8,000 artifacts, including fine art such as an impressive collection of Hudson River school paintings; cooking, dining, lighting, and heating artifacts; personal items such as children’s toys, handwork, and musical instruments; souvenir objects and art from travels abroad; and a large assortment of clothing and textiles. The collection captures the details of nineteenth-century life in a semi-rural educational and agricultural community and vividly illustrates the daily life and writing habits of one of the world’s greatest poets.

The Museum’s collection had remained largely undocumented and inaccessible until a major grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 2019 funded the documentation and baseline cataloging of the entire collection for the very first time. Completed in 2023, this project has improved collection care and, through this database, public access has strengthened the museum’s interpretation, and opened promising new research opportunities.

 

SEARCH THE COLLECTION (external webpage)

FAQS

What is the history of the collections?
The EDM collection comprises the combined personal effects of Dickinson family members from the Dickinson Homestead (built 1813) and The Evergreens (built 1856), left at the latter house after the death of the family’s last heir in 1988. Dickinson’s niece, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, sold the Homestead in 1916 and moved her aunt’s personal belongings and household furnishings next door to her own home at The Evergreens. Bianchi’s heirs transferred manuscript material, books, and a few dozen objects associated with Emily Dickinson to Harvard University in 1950 and Brown University in 1993. The vast majority of Dickinson family possessions remained at The Evergreens, overseen between 1988 and 2003 by a private testamentary trust established in Bianchi’s name. The Trust transferred the property and  collection to Amherst College in 2003 so that the two neighboring Dickinson family houses and collections could be operated as a united Emily Dickinson Museum.

A photo of a women in 19th century clothing in a decorative gold rimmed locket.
Close-up of Emily Dickinson's shawl
Pembroke Style Drop Leaf Table
Daguerreotype of Susan Gilbert Dickinson
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Shawl
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Pembroke Style Drop Leaf Table - Collections
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Where can I find Dickinson manuscripts or other material?

To view Dickinson's manuscripts, visit www.edickinson.org

For information on other Dickinson repositories:

Houghton Library, Harvard University

Amherst College Special Collections

Brown University Library

Yale University Library

Boston Public Library

Amherst Historical Society

Jones Library

Who can I contact with questions?
Email collections@emilydickinsonmuseum.org with any questions about the collections or online catalog.

How can I access the collections?
Physical access to the collections is very limited at this time. Email Collections@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org with questions.

Use of these images must be approved by the Emily Dickinson Museum.
Please contact us at: Info@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org

Institute of Museum and Library Services logo

The Emily Dickinson Museum has received funding for collection documentation from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant making, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov.

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