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 at 6:30PM (EST).

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. Her debut collection of poems, “Song of my Softening” is forthcoming from Alice James Books and available for pre-order here:https://www.alicejamesbooks.org/news/omotarajames
 

Martha Ackmann Virtual Book Talk and Q&A, August 16, 2020, 5-6 p.m. (EST)

“Radiant prose, palpable descriptions, and deep empathy for the poet’s sensibility make this biography extraordinary.”

– Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Join us for a virtual reading and Q&A with Martha Ackmann, author of the recently released These Fevered Days (W.W. Norton, 2020)! On this auspicious day, exactly 150 years since the meeting of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson in the Homestead parlor, Ackmann will read the chapter detailing this particular pivotal moment. During the robust Q&A to follow, pose your question to the poet’s most recent biographer. 

This program is free to attend and registration is required. Click here to register.

About the book:

In These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson, Ackmann unravels the mysteries of Dickinson’s life through ten days that distill her evolution as a poet. Following Dickinson through her religious crisis while a student at Mount Holyoke, her exhilarating frenzy of composition, her startling decision to ask a famous editor for advice, her anguished letters to an unidentified “Master,” her lifelong friendship with writer Helen Hunt Jackson, and her despair in confronting possible blindness, These Fevered Days utilizes thousands of archival letters and poems as well as never-before-seen photos to construct a remarkable map of Emily Dickinson’s inner life. The book provides new insights into Dickinson’s wildly original poetry and draws a vivid portrait of American literature’s most enigmatic figure.

To purchase your copy from your local, independent book seller, visit www.indiebound.org/indie-bookstore-finder

About the author: 

Dr. Martha Ackmann is a journalist and author who writes about women who have changed America.  Her essays and columns have appeared in The New York Times, Paris Review, and The Atlantic. She also is a frequent commentator for New England Public Radio, and has been featured on CNN, National Public Radio, and the BBC. Martha’s award-winning books include The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight, Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, First Woman to Play Professional Baseball in the Negro League, and These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson. A long-time member of the Gender Studies Department at Mount Holyoke College, Martha taught a popular seminar on Emily Dickinson in the poet’s house, now the Emily Dickinson Museum, in Amherst, Massachusetts. For more information visit https://marthaackmann.com/

Emily Dickinson International Society Annual Meeting, July 31-August 1, 2020

daguerreotype photograph of Emily Dickinson at age 16In collaboration with the Emily Dickinson Museum, the 2020 EDIS Annual Meeting will be held virtually from July 31 to August 1. This remote event requires advance sign up; to register, click this link: https://edis.press.jhu.edu/membership/conference

This year’s focus is “Dickinson at a Distance” –  How does Dickinson respond generatively and creatively to friends, relatives, and other writers even over distances of time and space? How does she engage with events that happen elsewhere or in other historical periods? What does she think about strangers, immigrants, people living in other places? In what ways did Dickinson and others in her era close geographic and emotional distance, and how might we learn to overcome or interrogate the same issues? This virtual, one-day Annual Meeting explores how figurations of isolation, distance, and remoteness in Dickinson’s work can teach us ways to connect more deeply with each other on personal, emotional, and intellectual levels.

 A variety of synchronic and asynchronic scholarly panels, cultural events, and poetry sessions, using Zoom and YouTube as platforms, are planned for this event.

To find out more about the schedule for this event, click here: [Link]

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.

a robin sits on a blue shovel surrounded by flower pots

Summer in the Poet’s Garden with Marta McDowell, July 17 12:30-1:30pm

Homestead as seen from the Dickinson gardenSummer was arguably Dickinson’s favorite season: more of her poems are set in summer than any other time of year. It’s not hard to understand why–summer at the Homestead brought with it trumpeting lilies, fragrant old-garden roses, delicious strawberries, and stores of fresh vegetables.

Join Marta McDowell, master gardener, landscape historian, and author of Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life for a virtual stroll through the Homestead gardens. Bring a cup of tea and spend an hour savoring blooms, stories, and verse gathered from Dickinson’s gardens. Learn about the flowers and plants Dickinson and her sister Lavinia cultivated in summer and how they preserved the fruits of their labor throughout the year.

This FREE program will be held on zoom from 12:30pm to 1:30pm EST. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

 

Would you like Summer? Taste of our’s –
Spices? Buy – here!
Ill! We have Berries, for the parching!
Weary! Furloughs of Down!
Perplexed! Estates of Violet – Trouble ne’er looked on!
Captive! We bring Reprieve of Roses!
Fainting! Flasks of Air!
Even for Death – A Fairy medicine –
But, which is it – Sir?
(F272)

About Marta
Marta McDowell teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and consults for private clients and public gardens.  Her latest book is Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life, 2019. Timber Press also published The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, New York Times-bestselling All the Presidents’ Gardens, and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life, now in its seventh printing.  Marta is working on a new book about The Secret Garden and its author, Frances Hodgson Burnett, due out from Timber Press in 2022. She is the 2019 recipient of the Garden Club of America’s Sarah Chapman Francis Medal for outstanding literary achievement. 

arts night

Amherst Arts Night Virtual Reading: September 3, 2020 at 6:30PM – REMOTE PROGRAM

arts night

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

Join us for our September reading by three Pioneer Valley authors with new books this year. Crater & Tower (Duck Lake Books) by Cheryl J. Fish is a collection of poetry of inspired research and engaged imagination that centers on the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens and 9/11.  Kathryn Holzman’s historical novel, Real Estate (Propertius Press) is a fascinating account of the rise of Silicon Valley. Eileen P. Kennedy’s poetry collection, Touch My Head Softly (Finishing Line Press) sensitively explores the anguish of dying of Alzheimer’s disease for both the victim and the partner.

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

Our September featured writers are:

A photo of author Kathryn Holzman in front of an ocean vista 

Kathryn Holzman: After attending Stanford University and NYU, Kathryn Holzman chose Health Care Administration as a career, working with public inebriates, dentists, urologists, and cardiologists. When the right side of her brain rebelled against endless databases and balance sheets, she returned to her first passion—fiction. Her short fiction has appeared in over twenty online literary magazines and print anthologies. She is the author of a collection of short fiction, Flatlanders (Shire Press, 2019) Her first novel Real Estate is being published by Propertius Press in Fall, 2020. She was awarded the Grand Prize  in the 2020 Eyelands International Short Story Contest. Links to her work can be found at kathrynholzman.com.

 

 

Cheryl J. Fish pictured in sunglasses smiling at the camera 

Cheryl J. Fish:  Cheryl J. Fish’s new poetry book Crater & Tower (Duck Lake Books), examines trauma, natural and man-made disaster at Mount St. Helens Volcano and The World Trade Center after the 9-11 attack. Fish is also the author of Make It Funny, Make it Last (#171, Belladonna Chaplets) and her poetry has appeared in the recent ecopoetics anthology: Poetics for the more-than-human-world. Her fiction was featured in Liars League NYC, Iron Horse Literary Review, and her first novel, Off the Yoga Mat, about three characters turning age 40 during Y2K, will be published by Livingston Press in 2022. She was a visiting professor at Mt. Holyoke College, and is a professor of English at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York.  

 

 

Eileen P. Kennedy is pictured sitting at a table in front of an open book 

Eileen P. Kennedy: Eileen P. Kennedy is a poet and academic who has focused on the writing process. Her former partner died of Alzheimer’s Disease in his 60’s and this new collection, Touch My Head Softly (Finishing Line Press), is based on those experiences.  Her first book, Banshees (Flutter Press, 2015) was nominated for a Pushcart and awarded Second Prize from the Wordwrite Books Award in Poetry. She holds a doctorate in language and literacy and has published a textbook, fiction and nonfiction. She lives in Western Massachusetts where she canoes, hikes, and writes. She winters in Costa Rica.  More at www.EileenPKennedy.com.

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 14-20, 2020. The schedule is now live and includes headliners Ada Limón, Jericho Brown, Kimaya Diggs, Franny Choi, Shayla Lawson, and, as is tradition, the Emily Dickinson Marathon.

View the 2020 Festival Schedule

About the Festival:

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. Past Festival headliners have included James Tate, Dara Weir, Martín Espada, Kaveh Akbar, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Adrian Matejka, Shayla Lawson, and Ocean Vuong.

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.

Support The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival and Honor Someone Special:
Admission to all Festival 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 this beloved annual event. All gifts are tax deductible and will be recognized as part of the Festival.

View Past Festival Schedules:
2019 Amherst Poetry Festival

 

Thank you to the supporters of The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival:
Arun Prakash Sanghvi, I am Nobody!
David Banach
Paola Vavrusova
Yamini Pathak
Beth Curran
Carri Lynn George
Catherine A Kreyche
Daniel M. Perrine
David M Williams
David M. Clayton
Deborah Polansky
Doris W Brogan in memory of Sandra Lamb
Emily Lackey in celebration of The Emily Dickinson Museum Staff
Erika Hendra in memory of Jason Ram
Florencia Milito
Harbour Fraser Hodder
Jac-Lynn Stark
Jenna Schiappacasse
Joshua T. Platt
Karen M Homer in memory of Andrew Peik
Kellie L. Burdg
Laura Johnson in celebration of Molly Shedek-Alexander
Laurel Radzieski
Lynette Terrell
Marcia Camino in memory of Michael Mason
Margaret M Stawowy in honor of Doris Stawowy
Nicole Pura Heath
Nora Maroulis in honor of Mary Carr Trebbe
Paul Telles
Robert L. Gamble
Stacy Evans
Steven John Wagner

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 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.

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.