Fireplace in Emily Dickinson's bedroom

Virtual Poetry Discussion Group, February 19 & 24

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion Group meets monthly, September through May, for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters.

Join us from 12pm to 1:30pm on Zoom for a discussion on February 19 or February 24. Space is this program is no longer available. For questions, please write edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

This program is free of charge, but we encourage those who are able to do so to make a donation after the program.

Topic: “Emily Dickinson’s Hearths and Homes”
  Emily Dickinson’s experience of the family hearth and home became her metaphor for the transformation of thought into poetry.  Six poems about homes and hearths show how Dickinson used these images, how they evolved over time, and, time permitting, how they contrasted with other writers’ images of the family hearth.  

About the Facilitator
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 is a lecturer in American Literature at UMass-Amherst, and a guide at the Emily Dickinson Museum.

pencil and fascicle

“A Mighty Room” Virtual Studio Session: Library, February 5, 12-1pm

A bookshelf in the Homestead library

A Homestead library bookshelf

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 library. Let this quiet virtual experience jumpstart your next creative journey. 

What to expect: As one of a limited number of participants, you will need to find a quiet spot with a good internet connection from which to be immersed in a live feed from the library of Emily Dickinson’s Homestead. Plan to have your camera and audio on. In this room were gathered Dickinson’s favorite books, her “Kinsmen of the Shelves” that “carried her to lands away.” A facilitator in the room welcomes you and gently guides you through three inspirational writing prompts to help you explore this unique physical and psychic space and unleash your own creativity over the course of the hour. Focused on reflection and quietude, this program is not a writing workshop, but you will have the opportunity at the end for a short share-out with the group if you wish. 

Space is limited for this program. Update 1/29: the program is now filledTo be added to the waitlist for this program, click here. We plan to continue to offer these programs , and will prioritize participants who have been waitlisted in the past for future registrations.

This program is free to participate, but your donation helps the Museum to continue providing free programs! Participants will be invited to make an online donation after the program.

Emily Dickinson's white dress on a stand in her bedroom

“A Mighty Room” Virtual Studio Session: Bedroom, January 29, 12-1pm

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 virtual experience jumpstart your next creative journey. 

What to expect: As one of a limited number of remote participants, you will need to find a quiet spot with a good internet connection from which to be immersed in a live feed from the poet’s bedroom in the Dickinson family Homestead. Plan to have your camera and audio on. In this room Dickinson found freedom working up late by lamplight. A facilitator in the room welcomes you and gently guides you through three inspirational writing prompts to help you explore this unique physical and psychic space and unleash your own creativity over the course of the hour. Focused on reflection and quietude, this program is not a writing workshop, but you will have the opportunity at the end for a short share-out with the group if you wish. 

Space is limited for this program and you may be added to a waitlist. To sign up please click this link to visit our registration form.

This program is free to participate, but your donation helps the Museum to continue providing free programs! Participants will be invited to make an online donation after the program.

poetry discussion group

Virtual Poetry Discussion Group, January 15 & 22

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion Group meets monthly, September through May, for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters.

 

Join us from 1pm to 2:30pm on Zoom for a discussion on January 15 or January 22. Space is limited. To request a space, please complete this google form. For questions, please write edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

This program is free of charge, but we encourage those who are able to do so to make a donation after the program.

Topic: Title: “Nerve in Marble: the Geology of Emily Dickinson’s Poetry”   
Amanda Lowe’s work on Emily Dickinson interprets the processes of geothermal activity and rock metamorphosis as central to Dickinson’s poetic forms. This discussion invites participants to explore a collection of Dickinson’s poems that use images of volcanoes, granite and marble to explore the effects of human emotion on the body. We’ll discuss the development of geologic inquiry during the nineteenth century, Dickinson’s education in it, and suggest ways these theories seeped into her poetry. Through speakers’ depictions of highly alive and dead bodies, we’ll look together at the profound impact geology had on Dickinson’s understanding of the human relationship to the natural world.

About the Facilitator
Amanda Lowe is a PhD Candidate at Columbia University who researches the presence of geologic theory in nineteenth century American Literature. She is a current SOF/Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellow and the Graduate Student Coordinator for the Freedom and Citizenship Program. 

Emily Dickinson's white dress on a stand in her bedroom

“A Mighty Room” Studio Session: Bedroom, December 18, 12-1p.m.

Emily's bedroom with her dress and bed and writing tableSweet 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 virtual experience jumpstart your next creative journey. 

What to expect: As one of a limited number of participants, you will need to find a quiet spot with a good internet connection from which to be immersed in a live feed from the poet’s bedroom in the Dickinson family Homestead. Plan to have your camera and audio on. In this room Dickinson found freedom working up late by lamplight. A facilitator in the room welcomes you and gently guides you through three inspirational writing prompts to help you explore this unique physical and psychic space and unleash your own creativity over the course of the hour. Focused on reflection and quietude, this program is not a writing workshop, but you will have the opportunity at the end for a short share-out with the group if you wish. 

Space is limited for this program and you may be added to a waitlist. To sign up please click this link to visit our registration form.

This program is free to participate, but your donation helps the Museum to continue providing free programs! Participants will be invited to make an online donation after the program.

folger

Folger Library Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute with Dorianne Laux, December 10, 2020 – REMOTE PROGRAM

folgerJoin us on December 10 for the Folger Shakespeare Library’s birthday tribute to Emily Dickinson! Each year, this program brings speakers, scholars, and fans of Emily Dickinson’s work together to celebrate the illustrious poet and her writing. This year poet, Dorianne Laux will read original poems in conversation with Dickinson poems. To purchase tickets to the Birthday Tribute, please visit the Folger’s website.

With language that is at times sensually earthy then heavenly lyrical, Dorianne Laux’s poems share their wisdom and beauty like a slowly opening rose. She is the author of five collections of poetry, including Only as the Day is Long, a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize. She teaches poetry at North Carolina State University and is a founding faculty member of Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program. Laux is a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and a recipient of the Paterson Prize.

Death Comes to Me Again, a Girl

Death comes to me again, a girl in a cotton slip.
Barefoot, giggling. It’s not so terrible, she tells me,
not like you think: all darkness and silence.`

There are wind chimes and the scent of lemons.
Some days it rains. But more often the air
is dry and sweet. We sit beneath the staircase
built from hair and bone and listen
to the voices of the living.

I like it, she says, shaking the dust from her hair.
Especially when they fight, and when they sing.

From Only as the Day is Long: new and selected poems. Reprinted with permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. www.boaeditions.org

 

 

birthday

Emily Dickinson Birthday Celebration, December 10, 2020 from 12-1 p.m.

birthday

You are cordially invited to the Emily Dickinson Museum’s virtual celebration of the poet’s 190th birthday! On Thursday, December 10, join us for an afternoon of fun including a team bake of Dickinson’s famous Black Cake, a make-at-home craft demo, music, an aerial journey over Amherst, screenings of videos from our “My Emily Dickinson” collecting project, special guests from Apple TV’s Dickinson, and finally the singing of the birthday song. 

Don’t forget to sign the virtual guest-book, and be prepared for poll questions along the way!

All are welcome to this free program but registration is required. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. 

close up on Dickinson's face from the black and white dagguereotypeA ‘My Emily Dickinson’ Do-At-Home Craft:

During this time of celebration, we are excited to share with you this color-by-numbers activity created specifically to celebrate Emily Dickinson’s 190th birthday.  The link below includes a color-by-numbers image based on Dickinson’s most iconic photograph, a daguerreotype included in Millicent Todd Bingham’s gift of Dickinson material to Amherst College in 1956.  Additionally, you will find a list of suggested colors and instructions to help you get started.   

Emily Dickinson Color By Numbers Activity Kit

We hope you enjoy creating your own Emily Dickinson portrait masterpiece! 

About Dickinson’s Birthday

Emily Dickinson, the middle child of Edward and Emily Norcross Dickinson, was born on December 10, 1830, in the family Homestead on Main Street in Amherst, Massachusetts. She celebrated 55 birthdays before her death in 1886. As an adult she wrote, “We turn not older with years, but newer every day.” (Johnson L379)

Give a Birthday Gift

It’s not a birthday party without gifts! Although many of the Museum’s online programs are free of charge, if you’re looking to honor Emily with a birthday present, please consider a donation to our Annual Fund. The museum’s mission is not possible without your support. Your donation will go directly towards the study, preservation, and celebration of Emily Dickinson’s life and work.

Special thanks to these partners in our Birthday Celebration:

James Arnold

Steven Glazer and Students

Emily Walhout and the Houghton Library at Harvard University

Apple TV’s ‘Dickinson’

Consulate General of Israel to New England

daguerreotype in gilt frame of Amherst College

Emily Dickinson’s Amherst College, December 4, 12-1:15pm

daguerreotype in gilt frame of Amherst College

Amherst College circa 1855. Half plate ambrotype by E.W. Cowles, courtesy of Amherst College Archives and Special Collections.

 

Join Museum staff for a lively lunchtime talk about the impact of Amherst College on the life of poet Emily Dickinson. 

The Dickinson family were instrumental to the College during its first 75 years, beginning with Samuel Fowler Dickinson’s part in its founding and continuing with Edward and Austin’s combined 60 years of service as treasurers. The College was an early and lasting influence in Dickinson’s own life, playing an inestimable role in her early education & friendships, and later connecting her to an ever-widening local and global community. Through original photographs and archival documents, encounter some of the people and places that defined Dickinson’s 19th century Amherst College, including students, professors, workers, and alumni. 

Following the talk, enjoy the Q&A with museum guides Stephanie Bennett, Brenna Macaray, Dr. Christopher Fobare, and Anna Plummer.

 

All are welcome to attend this free program, but registration is required. Register in advance via zoom. 
Questions? Please write edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org. 

arts night

Amherst Arts Night with The Literacy Project, December 3, 2020

arts night

During the pandemic, the Emily Dickinson Museum is celebrating monthly Amherst Arts Night Plus with remote poetry programs every first Thursday at 6:30pm (EST).

This program is free to attend. Registration is required. Click here to register!

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.

poetry

Poetry Discussion Group, November 19 & 20, 2020

poetry

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion Group meets monthly, September through May, for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters.

Join us from 12pm to 1:30pm on Zoom for a discussion on November 19 or November 20. Space is limited. To request a space, please complete this google form. For questions, please write edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

This program is free of charge, but we encourage those who are able to do so to make a donation after the program.

“The Way to Know the Bobolink”: Field Notes on Dickinson’s Birds
Over 200 bird references flit in and out of Dickinson’s poems. We know Dickinson’s birds as metaphors of hope, symbols of seasonal change, and less frequently, as subjects. We’ll explore a small collection of poems that feature those species Dickinson knew best—the New England backyard birds and probable visitors to the Dickinson meadow—whose presences herald a distinctly American poetry.  This discussion will situate Dickinson’s literary birds alongside bird ecology, behavior, and the burgeoning  field of ornithology. But while we may “split the lark” (Fr905), we’ll be sure to keep the “music” of Dickinson’s words at the forefront of our discussion.

About the facilitator
As Education Programs Manager, Elizabeth Bradley has curated the Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion Group since 2017. She is looking forward to stepping into the role of leader for the first time to discuss two of her favorite topics: Dickinson and birds. Elizabeth has an MA in History from UMass Amherst (with an emphasis on public, cultural, and environmental histories), and is fascinated by nature in the 19th century imagination. She has a long history of leading more science-oriented bird discussions, having developed many K-12 programs and teacher workshops about urban birds during her tenure as an environmental educator in NYC. Her favorite local bird is the hermit thrush.