the Homestead lights are on at night time

Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series 2024

a banner for PHOSPHORESCENCE Contemporary Poetry Series

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 2024 Series is a virtual program. Join us on a Thursday Zoom for 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.

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.
 
For more information on our upcoming Phosphorescence Readings, sign up for our e-newsletter.
 

Phosphorescence 2024 Schedule:

graphic for Phos May 2024Thursday, May 16, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Richard Michelson, Ivy Schweitzer, and Al Salehi

 

 

 

 

 

graphic for Phos June 2024Thursday, June 20, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Benjamin Grossberg and Julien Strong

 

 

 

 

 

graphic for Phos July 2024Thursday, July 25, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Rosa Lane and Patrick Donnelly

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic for Phos August 2024Thursday, August 15, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Omotara James, Willie Lee Kinard III, and Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

 

 

 

 

 

graphic Phos September 2024Thursday, September 26, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Jane Huffman, Molly Akin, and Diane Seuss

 

 

 

 

 

graphic for Phos October 2024Thursday, October 17, 6pm ET

Featuring poets: Stephanie Choi, Saba Keramati, and Samyak Shertok

 

 

 

 
 
 

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.

 

Logo for PHOSPHORESCENCE reading series featuring the Homestead glowing at night

Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series
Thursday, May 16, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence May 2024 featured poets:
Richard Michelson, Ivy Schweitzer, and Al Salehi

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

This virtual program is free to attend. Registration is required. 

REGISTER

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 Contemporary Poetry 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. Join us on a Thursday evening each month to hear from poets around the world as they read their work and discuss what poetry and Dickinson mean to them.


About this month’s poets:

headshot for Rich MichelsonRichard Michelson’s poetry collections include Sleeping as Fast as I Can (Slant Books), More Money than God (U of Pittsburgh Press), Battles and Lullabies (U of Illinois), Tap Dancing for the Relatives (U of Florida) and two limited edition Fine Press collaborations with the artist Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna Press. Michelson wrote the libretto for the off-Broadway music-theater piece, Dear Edvard, and his many children’s books have been named among the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The New Yorker; and among the 12 Best Books of the Decade by Amazon.com. Michelson has received a National Jewish Book Award, and two Sydney Taylor Gold Medals from the Association of Jewish Libraries. He has received two Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowships, and his work was chosen to “highlight the literary culture and history of Massachusetts” at the 2018 Library of Congress National Book Festival. In 2019 Michelson became the sixth recipient of the Samuel Minot Jones Award for Literary Achievement. Michelson’s poems have appeared in The Harvard Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Common and many other journals. A native of East New York, Brooklyn, Michelson served two terms as Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts. He is the owner of R. Michelson Galleries, and the host of Northampton Poetry Radio.
richardmichelson.com


Joint headshot for poets Al Salehi and Ivy Schweitzer Born in Southern California, Al Salehi is a multilingual American poet and entrepreneur of Persian descent who lives in Orange County with a background in technology. Al graduated from UCLA and went on to study at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Al is a graduate from Dartmouth College’s Guarini Graduate School where he studied Creative Writing, and currently serves on the Alumni Council. He also completed a creative writing program at the University of Oxford, Exeter College. Al’s short film Love, Basketball won second place in the My Hero International Film Festival, 2021, under the “Poetry” category. He has published and/or presented poetry in the Society of Classical Poets, The Dartmouth Writers Society, The United Nations Association, Southwest Airlines, O.C. Registrar, Dartmouth Leslie Center Lifeline’s Poetry Share, Houston Library Poetry Share, Clamantis Journal, and the Dartmouth Medical School Lifeline’s Journal. Al’s collection, Enter Atlas, was a Semi-Finalist for the University of Wisconsin’s Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry, judged by Natasha Trethewey.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in a Jewish-American family, Ivy Schweitzer has lived in Vermont for many years and taught courses in American Literature and Women and Gender Studies at Dartmouth College. She has recently published poetry in Bloodroot Literary Magazine, Antiphon volume 19, Clear Poetry, Passager, Ritualwell, Tikkun, New Croton Review, Mississippi Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. In 2018, she felt called by Emily Dickinson to spend a year immersed in that poet’s most creative period in which she wrote almost a poem a day; the result is a year-long weekly blog called White Heat: Emily Dickinson in 1862, https://journeys.dartmouth.edu/whiteheat. In February 2024, she and Al Salehi published their co-written book of poetry titled “Within Flesh: In Conversation with Ourselves and Emily Dickinson.” Her solo collection, titled Tumult, Whitewash and Stretch Marks, will appear from Finishing Line Press in 2025.
sites.dartmouth.edu/ivyschweitzer

 


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.

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

 

 

 

 

Dickinson's daguerrotype tripled and colored in yellow blue and red

Digital Dickinson: Part 1
Workshop for Educators
Wed., April 24, 6pm ET

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

UPDATE 4/12: This program is SOLD OUT.

For any questions, please e-mail edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org

Registration is required for this virtual program and is offered on a sliding scale from $5 – $20.
Please select the ticket price that is right for you, and consider supporting the Museum and the participation of other educators through your purchase. Tickets are non-refundable.

Dickinson's daguerrotype tripled and colored in yellow blue and red

Delve into Dickinson: Workshops for Educators

The Emily Dickinson Museum is launching a new virtual series of workshops for educators, featuring Museum staff and special guests. Register now for Digital Dickinson Part 1, and sign up for our e-newsletter to hear announcements about upcoming sessions. 

Digital Dickinson: Part 1
Join Elizabeth Bradley, Education Programs Manager at the Emily Dickinson Museum, for an exploration of digital tools available for teaching and reading Dickinson. We’ll explore the materiality of Dickinson’s poetry and place through online resources that make her story more accessible than ever. This workshop will focus on using Dickinson’s manuscripts to explore her innovative poetic practice. Attendees will be encouraged to participate through virtual break-out rooms. 

Elizabeth Bradley is the Education Programs Manager at the Emily Dickinson Museum, where they work to create inclusive opportunities for learning, connection, and creative expression. In addition to managing programs for K-12 and College students, they curate the Museum’s poetry discussion group and serve on the steering committee of the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival. Elizabeth holds an MA with focuses in Nineteenth Century American Cultural History and Public History. Outside of work, they enjoy many hobbies, but the most Dickinsonian is exploring the flora and fauna of Western Massachusetts.

Questions?
Email edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org

Cover of book "letters of emily dickinson"

Book Launch:
The Letters of Emily Dickinson
Wed., April 3, 4:30pm ET

HYBRID PROGRAM — In-person at Amherst College’s Frost Library and streaming live for online registrants

Celebrating a new edition of Emily Dickinson’s correspondence — expanded and revised for the first time in over sixty years.

REGISTER

Cover of book "letters of emily dickinson"In-person tickets are now sold out. Please register to join us online!

Emily Dickinson was a letter writer before she was a poet. And it was through letters that she shared prose reflections—alternately humorous, provocative, affectionate, and philosophical—with her extensive community. While her letters often contain poems, and some letters consist entirely of a single poem, they also constitute a rich genre all their own. Through her correspondence, Dickinson appears in her many facets as a reader, writer, and thinker; social commentator and comedian; friend, neighbor, sister, and daughter.

Join editor Cristanne Miller along with Brooke Steinhauser (Senior Director of Programs at the Emily Dickinson Museum) for a lively conversation about this new edition.

The Letters of Emily Dickinson is the first collected edition of the poet’s correspondence since 1958. It presents all 1,304 of her extant letters, along with the small number available from her correspondents. Almost 300 are previously uncollected, including letters published after 1958, letters more recently discovered in manuscript, and more than 200 “letter-poems” that Dickinson sent to correspondents without accompanying prose. This edition also redates much of her correspondence, relying on records of Amherst weather patterns, historical events, and details about flora and fauna to locate the letters more precisely in time. Finally, updated annotations place Dickinson’s writing more firmly in relation to national and international events, as well as the rhythms of daily life in her hometown. What emerges is not the reclusive Dickinson of legend but a poet firmly embedded in the political and literary currents of her time.

“Dickinson’s letters shed light on the soaring and capacious mind of a great American poet and her vast world of relationships. This edition presents her correspondence anew, in all its complexity and brilliance.
This extraordinary collection shows [Dickinson] to be a masterful prose writer…An exciting new standard in Dickinson scholarship.”
Kirkus Reviews

About the editors

Cristanne Miller is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Edward H. Butler Professor of English at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Her many books include Emily Dickinson: A Poet’s Grammar, Reading in Time: Emily Dickinson in the Nineteenth Century, and Emily Dickinson’s Poems: As She Preserved Them.

Domhnall Mitchell is Professor of Nineteenth-Century American Literature at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He is the author of Measures of Possibility: Emily Dickinson’s Manuscripts and Emily Dickinson: Monarch of Perception.


“This brilliantly expansive and comprehensive collection of Emily Dickinson’s letters shows us just how deeply she was embedded in her social world. Here we see, in Dickinson’s own words, a writer exchanging ideas with a wide circle of friends and family members, honing her abilities as a poet, and grappling with a nation torn by war over slavery and race. In these letters, we see the life of a genius unfold.”
Jericho Brown, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

“Drawing deeply on more than three decades of editorial scholarship, Miller and Mitchell give us a Dickinson both inseparable from her own time and indispensable to ours. Meticulously edited from archival sources and annotated with immense care, this work overwhelmingly shows that both Dickinson’s poems and her letters issue from a singular impetus: to seek in language—often formally experimental, always compelling—new ways to express the strangeness and beauty of our experiences as finite beings in the world.”
Marta Werner, author of Writing in Time: Emily Dickinson’s Master Hours

A thrilling read that wholly immerses us in Dickinson’s world. It seems Dickinson thought in poetry, as the characteristic cadence of her poems recurs in the letters themselves. Especially fascinating is the continuity of her long flirtatious argument with God, taken up in correspondence with her school friends, with eminent public figures, and in the poems she enclosed. Miller and Mitchell present a masterfully curated abundance. To read it is to encounter a mind on fire.
Rae Armantrout, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

The Letters of Emily Dickinson provides a vital window into not only the poet’s inner life and art, but also her surprisingly wide social world. Miller and Mitchell, two of our foremost Dickinson scholars, have produced a fresh, definitive edition for the twenty-first century, tracking the relationship of poems to letters and precisely locating these treasures in their time and place.”
Bonnie Costello, coeditor of The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore

A pen and inkwell sits on Dickinson's writing desk with light cascading through her curtains

Call for Submissions:
Phosphorescence and
Tell It Slant 2024

The Emily Dickinson Museum is now accepting proposals for our 2024 programs: Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series – a virtual event held monthly May-October AND the 12th annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival, held September 23 – 29! The Museum’s poetry programming features established and emerging poets who represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary poetry scene and fosters community by placing poetry in the public sphere.

To submit for the Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series and the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival, please complete the submission form linked below and upload all required materials. Only submissions made using our online form and Dropbox folder will be considered. We will not accept email or paper submissions. 

You may submit for one or both events using this form. To submit multiple proposals for a single event, simply fill out the form again. Those submitting proposals for both Phosphorescence and the Poetry Festival may use the form to apply with the same group or with different groups for each event. 

TIMELINE:

All proposals must be submitted by Monday, February 26, 2024, 8am ET.

Phosphorescence Series submissions will be notified of their acceptance status by Friday, April 5. 

Tell It Slant Poetry Festival submissions will be notified of their acceptance status by Tuesday, April 30. 

Participating poets and presenters will be asked to sign a letter of agreement confirming participation on assigned dates.

This submission window is now closed.

Learn more about each program below.


About Phosphorescencea banner for PHOSPHORESCENCE Contemporary Poetry Series

Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series celebrates contemporary creativity that echoes Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice. The Series is a place to connect virtually over a shared love of poetry and an appreciation for Dickinson’s literary legacy. This year, poets may read remotely from the location of their choice or travel to the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA, to have their reading live-streamed to a virtual audience. Poets will indicate their preference for reading location on their submission form.

Featured poets are promoted on the Museum’s event web page, through a mailing list of roughly 25,000 addresses, and through the Museum’s social media. Each participating poet receives a $200 honorarium. There is no fee to submit proposals.

View last year’s Phosphorescence lineup

Watch Phosphorescence on YouTube

READINGS: This program occurs at 6pm ET on the last Thursday of each month. Each reading may feature 2-3 poets. Readings are 15-20 minutes long on average per reader. Poets who submit alone will be paired with other poets if selected. Poets are welcome to promote sales of their books and awareness of other media during the program. (The Museum does not sell books for this series.) Poets should be prepared to engage in a facilitated conversation after their readings. 

The following submission qualities are especially encouraged:

  • Group submissions of up to 3 poets
  • Builds community
  • Features BIPOC and/or LBGTQ+ voices
  • Highlights a connection to Dickinson’s life and legacy
  • Pushes poetic boundaries

Only submissions made using our online form (linked at the bottom of this page) and Dropbox folder will be considered. We will not accept email or paper submissions.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, February 26, 2024, 8am ET.

Phosphorescence submitters will be notified of their acceptance status by Friday, April 5. Participating poets will be asked to sign a letter of agreement confirming participation on assigned dates.

About Tell It Slant Poetry Festival

Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival celebrates the poetic legacy of Emily Dickinson and the contemporary creativity she continues to inspire from the place she called home. The Festival’s name, “Tell It Slant,” pays 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 Festival is a hybrid event, with programs happening in-person at the Museum as well as online, to both in-person and virtual audiences throughout the week of September 23-29. We invite you to “dwell in possibility” and submit your most inventive proposals for in-person or virtual, generative workshops and panels! Submissions for virtual programs should be for live, synchronous content only. Honoraria of $300 are provided per event. There is no fee to submit proposals.

View last year’s Festival schedule.

The Festival Steering Committee especially welcomes the following submission qualities:

  • From groups of 2 – 5 facilitators
  • Generative writing programs
  • Creatively encourage audience participation or foster a strong sense of community
  • Engage young attendees and/or those new to poetry

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, February 26, 2024, 8am ET.


To submit for the Phosphorescence Contemporary Poetry Series and the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival, please complete the submission form linked below and upload all required materials. Only submissions made using our online form and Dropbox folder will be considered. We will not accept email or paper submissions. 

You may submit for one or both events using this form. To submit multiple proposals for a single event, simply fill out the form again. Those submitting proposals for both Phosphorescence and the Poetry Festival may use the form to apply with the same group or with different groups for each event. 

This submission window is now closed.

TIMELINE:

All proposals must be submitted by Monday, February 26, 2024, 8am ET.

Phosphorescence Series submissions will be notified of their acceptance status by Friday, April 5. 

Tell it Slant Poetry Festival submissions will be notified of their acceptance status by Tuesday, April 30. 

Participating poets and presenters will be asked to sign a letter of agreement confirming participation on assigned dates.


Please direct questions about submissions to EDMprograms@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org.


 

Emily Dickinson's handwriting on a letter and envelope

Poetry Discussion Group Spring 2024 Series

Emily Dickinson's handwriting on a letter and envelopeSOLD OUT

Join 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.

Topics and Leaders:
  • February: “Oh Sumptuous moment / Slower go”: Dickinson, Desire, and Temporal Dislocation with Emily Coccia
  • March: Emily Dickinson’s “Tempest” with Melba Jensen
  • April: “Emily Dickinson and the Invention of Faith” with Emily Seelbinder
  • May: Dickinson and Disability Poetics with Clare Mullaney  
Format

As a registrant, you are signing up to join a small group of 25 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, full sessions will not be recorded. The program is designed for adult audiences (18+).

Registration

We are offering an identical program for Wednesday and Friday groups. Please review the dates carefully — space is limited.
Refunds are not available for this program.

Wednesday Group (SOLD OUT), $100 program fee (inclusive of all sessions),  limited to 25 participants
February 21, 6-7:30pm ET
March 20, 6-7:30pm ET
April 24, 6-7:30pm ET
May 22 6-7:30pm ET

Friday Group (SOLD OUT), $100 program fee (inclusive of all sessions), limited to 25 participants
February 23, 12-1:30pm ET
March 22, 12-1:30pm ET
April 26, 12-1:30pm ET
May 24, 12-1:30pm ET

Optional Meet & Greet for both groups: Wednesday, February 7 from 6-6:45pm

For Educators:
Educators may request a certificate attesting to your participation in the program. Those interested may attend an additional session on May 29 from 6 to 7 to discuss curricular connections and ideas with fellow educators.

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

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

FEBRUARY

“Oh Sumptuous moment / Slower go”: Dickinson, Desire, and Temporal Dislocation
In the third season of Apple TV+’s Dickinson (2019-21), the poet finds herself transported out of her nineteenth-century context and into the 1950s, where a young Sylvia Plath provides Emily Dickinson with the words and inspiration to come out to her sister Lavinia. Although the time travel plotline is obviously fictional, there persists an image of Dickinson as a figure out of time—or out least out of temporal lockstep with her nineteenth-century moment. This discussion will consider both the ways Dickinson has been represented in relationship to her historical context and how she herself wrote about temporality. From seconds and moments to eternity and
infinity, Dickinson’s poems and letters abound with mentions of time and duration. Together, we will explore the different ways time is felt and experienced in individual works, paying particular attention to how Dickinson uses words to create “world enough and time” for her own queer desires.

Emily Coccia is a Ph.D. candidate in the joint program in English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan. Focusing on nineteenth-century genres of working-class and mass-popular literature, her research asks how American workingwomen’s creative reception practices allowed them to envision queer futures and to cultivate spaces for pleasure and intimacy. Her writing has appeared in journals including Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, Transformative Works and Cultures, and the Emily Dickinson Journal.

MARCH

Emily Dickinson’s “Tempest”
In William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, the deposed Duke Prospero chooses between practicing his alchemical arts in exile and returning to govern Milan. In exile, he uses poetry, music, and language to control his dependents–enchanting his daughter Miranda with a pageant of divine love while thwarting his servants’, Ariel and Caliban, desire for freedom. In this discussion, we’ll trace how Dickinson alludes to these characters and their experience of poetry in four poems about the power of poetry. Participants do not need to read The Tempest to appreciate these poems or enjoy the discussion, but we will share resources for accessing the play and discussing the plot.

Melba Jensen has taught English, computer literacy, and mathematics to college students and high school students since 1986. She completed her Ph.D. in English with an emphasis in nineteenth-century American Literature at the University of Massachusetts in 2005. She has been a lecturer in American Literature at the University of Massachusetts and is a guide at the Emily Dickinson Museum.

APRIL

Emily Dickinson and the Invention of Faith
Though Emily Dickinson may not fit traditional molds for religious persons, in her own time or in ours, she was clearly fascinated by spiritual matters, and she explored such matters from differing, often contradictory points of view. Many readers/scholars have attempted to codify Dickinson’s religious perspective. Much has been made of her assertion to T. W. Higginson that her family was “religious” but she herself was not (L261), of her apparent practice of keeping the Sabbath by “staying at Home” (J324/Fr236/M 115), of her correspondence with several clergymen and her obvious interest in good preaching, and of her many statements expressing both belief and unbelief in poems, letters, and biographical anecdote. She has been claimed as both Catholic and Protestant, Calvinist and anti-Calvinist, firm believer and lifelong skeptic. She has also been identified as a mystic, an antinomian, and an existentialist. There is evidence in Dickinson’s life and work both to confirm and to disprove these claims. Adding to the difficulty for readers is Dickinson’s fondness for ambiguity and paradox, as well as her use of voices that contradict each other when poems on similar subjects are compared side by side. As we discuss
some of these poems, we will not attempt to pin Dickinson down. Instead, we will find a rich and diverse consideration of faith, scripture, theology, prayer, and other spiritual practices that likely will raise more questions than answers and spur us to explore these matters further in our reading of Dickinson and other poets.

Emily Seelbinder served as a Professor of English at Queens University of Charlotte from 1989 until her retirement as a Professor Emerita in 2019. Though she cultivated a reputation there as “the Meanest, Baddest English Teacher on the Planet,” she received the Fuqua Distinguished Educator Award twice and, in 2007, the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award. At Queens she developed courses on African American literature and culture and on the U. S. Civil War and American Literature, as well as an interdisciplinary course entitled “Emily Dickinson and Her Descendants.” A self-proclaimed “Dickinson Evangelist” and longtime member of the Emily Dickinson International Society (EDIS) and of the Emily Dickinson Museum, she has frequently led workshops and discussions for high school students, book clubs, public library gatherings, church groups, senior citizens, and the Road Scholars programs of the North Carolina Humanities Council. In 2011 and 2014, she was a member of the faculty for the Museum’s NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Summer Seminars for K-12 teachers. Her scholarly work has long focused on Dickinson’s use—and abuse—of scripture and on how contemporary composers “read” Dickinson through music. Her publications include a chapter on Dickinson’s Bible in Dickinson in Context (2003), essays in the EDIS Bulletin about musical settings of Dickinson’s work, and, in the Emily Dickinson Journal, an essay on “Teaching Emily Dickinson in the Trenches” (1999) and a review of Divide Light Opera Film (2022).

MAY

Dickinson and Disability Poetics
Description forthcoming.

Clare Mullaney’s research and teaching work at the intersection between nineteenth- and early twentieth-century U.S. literature, disability studies, and material text studies. Her book project, American Imprints: Disability and the Material Text, argues that acknowledging texts as made objects brings into focus how turn-of-the-century authors grapple with physical and mental impairments at the level of textual form. Her work has received awards from the American Antiquarian Society, the Emily Dickinson International Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the New York Public Library, the Society for Disability Studies, and the Society for Nineteenth-Century Americanists. She is currently a junior member of the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography and has previously taught at Bryn Mawr and Hamilton Colleges.

 

the Evergreens surrounded by beautiful fall trees

Duties beautifully done:
A Dickinson Birthday Celebration
Monday, Dec. 11, 6pm ET

VIRTUAL PROGRAM
This free event has limited capacity, we encourage you to register in advance.

REGISTER

the Evergreens surrounded by beautiful fall treesIn an obituary for Emily Dickinson, her sister in law, Susan Dickinson wrote of the poet’s many “duties beautifully done.” In the wake of Emily’s death, Susan’s own sense of duty and that of her daughter Martha, and Martha’s heir Mary Hampson, preserved the family’s memories of the poet as well as her material legacy. These women of The Evergreens left their own legacies of duty and devotion evident in the condition of the uniquely preserved house today. 

In celebration of Emily Dickinson’s 193rd birthday, and of the 2024 reopening of The Evergreens at the Emily Dickinson Museum, this virtual program invites you into Susan’s, Martha’s, and Mary’s home, only ever lived in by the Dickinsons or their heirs until 1986. Join Jane Wald, Jane and Robert Keiter Family Executive of the Museum, and Martha Nell Smith, co-editor of Open Me Carefully, Dickinson scholar and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Professor of English at the University of Maryland, as they remember the house during and shortly after the life of its last resident Mary Hampson, who was a mere one-degree of separation removed from Emily Dickinson herself.

All are welcome to this free VIRTUAL program. Space is limited, register in advance.


Give a Birthday Gift
It’s not a birthday party without gifts! If you’re looking to honor Emily Dickinson with a birthday present, please consider a donation to the Museum to support our free virtual programs which are made possible with your support. Gifts of all sizes are deeply appreciated.

DONATE


About Dickinson’s Birthday

Emily Dickinson, the middle child of Edward Dickinson and Emily Norcross Dickinson, was born on December 10, 1830, in the family Homestead on Main Street in Amherst, Massachusetts, now the home of the Emily Dickinson Museum. She celebrated 55 birthdays before her death in 1886. Some of the poet’s most favored themes were time and immortality; she wrote, “We turn not older with years, but newer every day.” (Johnson L379)

Graphic for Emily Dickinson's 193rd birthday. Dickinson is photoshopped to stand in front of ballons and big text with the numbers 193.

SOLD OUT – Emily Dickinson 193rd Birthday Open House
Sat., Dec. 9, 1-4:30pm ET

IN-PERSON PROGRAM at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA

Please note, due to limited capacity in the Homestead, this free program is SOLD OUT. Walk-ups without tickets will be admitted as space is available.
We encourage you to sign-up for our e-newsletter to be the first to know about upcoming programs: 
emilydickinsonmuseum.org/newsletter-signup/

Want to celebrate Dickinson’s birthday? Join us for the VIRTUAL celebration:
Duties beautifully done: A Dickinson Birthday Celebration [Virtual]
Graphic for Emily Dickinson's 193rd birthday. Dickinson is photoshopped to stand in front of balloons and big text with the numbers 193.

You are cordially invited to the Emily Dickinson Museum’s in-person celebration of the poet’s 193rd birthday! On Saturday, December 9, join us at the Homestead for a free open house with tours, crafts, music, cider and gingerbread cookies!

All are welcome to this free program. Can’t make it to Amherst? Stay tuned for the announcement of our virtual birthday celebration!


Give a Birthday Gift
It’s not a birthday party without gifts! If you’d like to honor Emily Dickinson on her birthday, please consider a donation to the Museum to support our free programs which are made possible with your support. Gifts of all sizes are deeply appreciated.

DONATE


About Dickinson’s Birthday

Emily Dickinson, the middle child of Edward Dickinson and Emily Norcross Dickinson, was born on December 10, 1830, in the family Homestead on Main Street in Amherst, Massachusetts, now the home of the Emily Dickinson Museum. She celebrated 55 birthdays before her death in 1886. Some of the poet’s most favored themes were time and im/mortality; she wrote, “We turn not older with years, but newer every day.” (Johnson L379)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A close-up of about 30 books collected in the Homestead library

No Frigate Like A Book Club 2023

A close-up of about 30 books collected in the Homestead libraryVIRTUAL PROGRAM

This is a paid program with limited seating. See details below!

Registration for this series is now closed.

Save your seat in the Emily Dickinson Museum’s brand new No Frigate Like A Book Club! In this monthly Zoom-based series, you’ll join fellow enthusiastic readers in discussion of novels inspired by the life of Emily Dickinson. Each month we’ll facilitate exciting conversations using discussion frameworks, followed by a meet and greet with the author! The Club is capped at 30 participants, and break-out rooms will be utilized for a portion of each session to hold smaller group conversations.

Participant expectations:

  • Be prepared to read one book per month in advance of sessions in October, November, and December. Club members should plan to attend all sessions. 
  • Be an active member of the Club, lending your voice to the friendly discussions. 
  • Have access to a computer, tablet, or mobile device that allows for use of audio and video in our web-based conference call. The Book Club experience will be best when all participants keep their videos on. 
  • Computer-generated closed captioning will be available during all sessions.
  • All formats of the books in the series are fine to use, including library loans, used editions, e-readers, etc. 

The 2023 season:

Wednesday, October 18, 12-1PM ET: Optional meet and greet session with fellow Club members
Wednesday, October 25, 4-6PM ET: Emily’s House by Amy Belding Brown
Wednesday, November 29, 4-6PM ET: Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Amanda Flower
Wednesday, December 20, 4-6PM ET: I Heard A Fly Buzz (NEW, forthcoming in November!) by Amanda Flower

About the authors:

Amy Belding Brown is the author of historical novels, including the USA Today bestselling Flight of the SparrowEmily’s House and Mr. Emerson’s Wife. A New England history enthusiast, Amy was infused at an early age with the region’s outlook and values. She graduated from Bates College and received her MFA from Vermont College. She now lives in Vermont with her husband, a retired UCC minister and spiritual director. Distantly related to Emily Dickinson, Amy enjoys reading, cooking, painting, and nature photography when she’s not writing.

Amanda Flower is the USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author of over forty novels, including the nationally bestselling Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series, Magical Bookshop Mysteries, and, written under the name Isabella Alan, the Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries. Flower is a former librarian, and she and her husband, a recording engineer, own a habitat farm and recording studio in Northeast Ohio.

RESERVE YOUR SPOT

Both ticket options include all three discussion sessions.

  • Adult Ticket: $75
  • Student ticket (College and younger): $60 (current students only, please provide name of institution and graduation year)