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The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival 2022 Schedule

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival is an event with international reach that celebrates Emily Dickinson’s poetic legacy and the contemporary creativity she and her work continues to inspire from the place she called home.

This year’s Festival will be hybrid with events happening online, as well as in-person at the Museum. The 2022 Festival platform is called Sched. Upon registering for the Festival you will receive an email link to access the event schedule, speaker information, and program sign-ups in the platform. All Festival attendees (online and in-person) must sign-up for programs in Sched.

The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival returns September 19-25 2022!

REGISTER FOR THE FESTIVAL

Learn more about the 2022 lineup below.

THE SCHEDULE:

About the Festival:

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s Annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival is an event with international reach that celebrates Emily Dickinson’s poetic legacy and the contemporary creativity she and her work continues to inspire from the place she called home.

The Festival, which runs each September, is named for 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. Festival organizers are committed to featuring established and emerging poets who represent the diversity of the contemporary poetry landscape and to fostering community by placing poetry in the public sphere. 

This year’s line-up features workshops, panels, and readings, by a diverse and talented group of poets from around the world including Pulitzer Prize winner Tyehimba Jess. The cornerstone of the Festival, the Emily Dickinson Marathon, is an epic reading of all 1,789 of Emily Dickinson’s poems.

To follow along with the Emily Dickinson Marathon, get your copy of the Franklin edition from the Emily Dickinson Museum Shop.

The annual event attracts a diverse audience of Dickinson fans and poetry-lovers, including students, educators, aspiring writers, and those who are new to poetry and literary events. Past Festival headliners have included Tracy K. Smith, Tiana Clark, Tess Taylor, Ada Limón, Jericho Brown, Franny Choi, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Paisley Rekdal, Adrian Matejka, Kaveh Akbar, and Ocean Vuong

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.


The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival is generously supported by The Beveridge Family Foundation, PeoplesBank, and Mass Cultural Council.

close-up of Dickinson's piano

The Musical Life of an American Poet
Friday, August 19, 6pm ET

Dickinson’s Music Book and the Musical Life of an American Poet:
A Book Launch with George Boziwick 

IN-PERSON PROGRAM – The Emily Dickinson Museum offices at 20 Triangle Street, Amherst, MA.

Registration for this program is now full. Thank you for your interest.

Close up of Dickinson's pianoAfter years of studying piano as a young woman, Emily Dickinson curated her music book, a common practice at the time. Now part of the Dickinson Collection in the Houghton Library of Harvard University, this bound volume of 107 pieces of published sheet music includes the poet’s favorite instrumental piano music and vocal music. Offering a fresh historical perspective, George Boziwick’s new book brings this artifact to life, documenting Dickinson’s musical study in the early 1850s, which tellingly coincided with the writing of her first poems. Using Dickinson’s letters and poems, Boziwick explores the various composers, music sellers, and publishers behind this music and Dickinson’s attendance at performances, presenting new insights into the multiple layers of meaning that music held for her. Enjoy an illustrated talk followed by live music in the Dickinson family parlor on the 1851 Hallet and Davis piano.

Please note that KN95 masks will be required for all attendees and social distancing will not be possible during the program.


About:

George Boziwick is a musicologist, music librarian, composer and performer. His forty years in public and academic music libraries included thirty-one years with The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, from which he retired in 2017 as Chief of the Music Division. As a composer, his Magnificat is published by C.F. Peters, and his music has been recorded on the Opus One label among others. George has contributed articles on Emily Dickinson and music to the Journal of the Society for American Music (2014), and the Emily Dickinson Journal (2016). He currently serves on the Board of the Emily Dickinson International Society. George is co-founder with Trudy Williams of The Red Skies Music Ensemble. They co-authored and co-produced a series of programs (2012-2018) on Emily Dickinson and her musical experiences. Two of those programs were sponsored by the Emily Dickinson Museum: “Emily and Lavinia: Music Making and Dickinson’s Eden,” (2018); and “The Musical Parlor of Emily Dickinson,” (2013).

Kit Young is a pianist/composer/devisor, who returned to Washington, DC in 2012 after twenty years living in Thailand, Myanmar and China where she frequently performed contemporary music by Asian composers, co-founded a music school in Yangon and collaborated on performances and recordings with improvising musicians from these countries. In 2018, as a pianist-improviser, Young’s return to reading Emily Dickinson’s poetry after a long hiatus inspired her to cast as extemporaneous song Dickinson’s poems, letters, commentary by family and friends. Imagining Dickinson’s inner aural life, early connection to the piano through repertoire from Emily Dickinson’s Music Book, church hymns, her ensouling the beauty of non-human sounds invites engagement with aurality. What Miss Dickinson Heard… And Didn’t is Young’s chamber opera for duo-pianists and vocal quartet. The opera follows a large arc of the poet’s life as if it were one day by exploring Dickinson’s depth of auditory artistry through improvisation evoking music and environmental sound – expressed in her poetry and letters. 


Support The Emily Dickinson Museum:

Admission to this program is free of charge, 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.

Phosphorescence graphic for April 2022 featuring headshots of poets

Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series
Thursday, April 28, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence April 2022 featured poets:
Saida Agostini, Dr. Shauna M. Morgan and Dr. Tara Betts with guest host Lisa Pegram

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 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 2021 Series will be a virtual event to ensure the health and safety of participants. While we are disappointed not to gather together in Amherst, we are excited to connect with a global community of friends and writers.  Join us on 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.

Phosphorescence Lineup 2022


About this month’s poets:

headshot of poet SAIDA AGOSTINI

Saida Agostini’s first collection of poems, let the dead in, was a finalist for the Center of African American Poetry & Poetics’ 2020 Book Prize as well as the New Issues Poetry Prize. She is the author of STUNT (Neon Hemlock, October 2020), a chapbook exploring the history of Nellie Jackson, a Black woman entrepreneur who operated a brothel for sixty years in Natchez, Mississippi. Her poetry can also be found in the Black Ladies Brunch Collective’s anthology Not Without Our Laughter, Barrelhouse Magazine, Hobart Pulp, Plume, and other publications.

 


Headshot for poet Tara BettsDr. Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit, Arc & Hue, and the forthcoming Refuse to Disappear. In addition to working as an editor, a teaching artist, and a mentor for other writers, she has taught at several universities. She is the Inaugural Poet for the People Practitioner Fellow at University of Chicago, an Artist in Residence at Northwestern University’s English Department, and founder of Whirlwind Learning Center. Tara can be found on twitter at @tarabetts. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including The Breakbeat Poets, Essence magazine, and Poetry Magazine.

 


headshot for poet SHAUNA M. MORGANDr. Shauna M. Morgan is a poet-scholar and Associate Professor of creative writing and Africana literature at the University of Kentucky where she also serves as Director of Equity and Inclusion Initiatives in the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT). Before joining the University of Kentucky, Morgan was tenured on the faculty of English at Howard University where she taught from 2012-2019. Both her scholarly work and her poetry are deeply engaged with traditions of global Black art and culture. Her poetry has appeared in A Gathering Together, Interviewing the Caribbean, A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics & Consciousness, among other periodicals and anthologies. Morgan’s chapbook, Fear of Dogs & Other Animals, was published by Central Square Press.


headshot of lisa pegramApril’s Phosphorescence also features guest host, Lisa Pegram. Pegram is a writer, educator, literary publicist and acquisitions editor. Her chapbook Cracked Calabash was published by Central Square Press and she is contributing author of The Next Verse Mixtape vol. 1. She has over 20 years of experience in high-level arts integration program design for such organizations as the Smithsonian Institute, Corcoran Gallery of Art and National Geographic. Passionate about the arts as a tool for activism, she served as DC WritersCorps program director for a decade, and as co-chair of United Nations affiliate international women’s conferences in the US, India and Bali. As a publishing professional, her mission is to amplify and celebrate the voices and stories of BIPOC authors. Find our more at https://ladypcoq.wordpress.com/


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.

graphic for Phos June 2022 featuring poet headshots

Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series
Thursday, June 30, 6pm ET

Phosphorescence June 2022 featured poets:
Anna Talhami and Stacy Szymaszek

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 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 2021 Series will be a virtual event to ensure the health and safety of participants. While we are disappointed not to gather together in Amherst, we are excited to connect with a global community of friends and writers.  Join us on 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.

Phosphorescence Lineup 2022


About this month’s poets:

headshot of poet Anna Talhami

Anna Talhami is a poet, filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist whose work has been presented at the Library of Congress and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She has performed her poetry across the U.S., including at the El Paso border for Artist Uprising with One Billion Rising, WBAI’s Radio Bloomsday featuring Alec Baldwin and Jerry Stiller, and at the Theopoetics Conference. Anna has created installations incorporating her poetry for museums and galleries, including the Alena Museum. She has recent poetry in The Ekphrastic Review, Rattle Magazine, Hevria, (F)Empower, and Life as Ceremony.
annatalhami.com

 

 


headshot of poet Stacy Szymaszek Stacy Szymaszek is the author of the books Emptied of All Ships (2005), Hyperglossia (2009), hart island (2015), Journal of Ugly Sites and Other Journals (2016), which won the Ottoline Prize from Fence Books and was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in 2017, and A Year From Today (2018). Her books Famous Hermits and The Pasolini Book will be published in 2022. She is the recipient of a 2014 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, and a 2019 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant in poetry. Szymaszek was the Director of The Poetry Project at St.Mark’s from 2007-18. Since then she was the Hugo Visiting Writer at the University of Montana-Missoula 2018-19, Poet-in Resident at Brown University, and Visiting Poet for the Fire Island Artist Residency. She has been a mentor for the Queer Art Mentorship, visiting faculty for Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program, and workshop teacher for Woodland Pattern, The Poetry Project, and Wendy’s Subway. She currently lives in the Hudson Valley region of NY.
stacyszymaszek.org


 

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.

Marta Macdowell and a volunteer work in Dickinson's garden

Garden Days 2022
Saturday and Sunday
June 11 and 12

IN-PERSON PROGRAM
UPDATE: REGISTRATION IS FULL

Celebrate the beauty of early summer during Garden Days at the Emily Dickinson Museum! As summer temperatures arrive in Amherst, Emily’s garden begs to be tended. Join master gardener Marta McDowell and a group of fellow 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, participants will help to weed, divide older perennials, plant new perennials and annuals, edge flower beds, and more! 

 
DETAILS:

Emily's garden with Homestead in the background

All are welcome, no gardening experience required.
Volunteers are encouraged to bring the following:
-Gloves
-Clean hand trowel and clipper
-Bucket
-Kneeling pad
-Water bottle
-Comfortable footwear
-Sun protection
-Lunch (if you are staying for the whole day)
 
Advance sign-ups only and space is limited! The program will run rain or shine. This program is run in four sessions across the weekend and participants may register for up to two sessions. The sessions are 9:30am-12:30pm ET and 1:30-4:30pm ET on both Saturday and Sunday.

Questions? Write edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org

 
About Marta McDowell:
Marta Macdowell and a volunteer work in Dickinson's gardenMarta McDowell teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and consults for private clients and public gardens. Her latest book, Unearthing The Secret Garden explores the plants and places that inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett to write the classic children’s book. Timber Press also published Emily Dickinson’s Gardening LifeThe World of Laura Ingalls WilderAll the Presidents’ Gardens, and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life. All the Presidents’ Gardens made The New York Times bestseller list and won an American Horticultural Society book award in 2017. Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life won the Gold Award from the Garden Writers Association and is now in its eighth printing. Her books have been translated into Chinese, Japanese and Korean. She is the 2019 recipient of the Garden Club of America’s Sarah Chapman Francis Medal for outstanding literary achievement. 

Annual Poetry Walk 2022
Saturday, May 14, 11:30am ET

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

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

REGISTER

REGISTER WITH DONATION

Dickinson's tombstone covered in daisies

Days before her death in 1886, Emily Dickinson wrote her final letter, “Little Cousins, / Called Back. / Emily”. On May 14, in honor of the 136th anniversary of the poet’s death, join the Emily Dickinson Museum for an engaging virtual poetry reading and “walk” through Amherst, the town she called “paradise.”  At each stop we will explore sites of meaning for Dickinson including her garden and conservatory at the Homestead, The Evergreens — home to the poet’s brother and sister-in-law, the town common, Amherst College, and more.  Not a lecture, this program infuses place with poetry. At each stop volunteers read Dickinson’s own words aloud. The final stop is Dickinson’s grave in West Cemetery where we will share reflections and a light-hearted virtual toast! 

Registration for this program is free or by donation, but it is required in advance.


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 someone you’ve loved and lost, and we’ll place a daisy in their name at the poet’s grave as part of this year’s Poetry Walk (May 14).

We hope you enjoyed 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

 

 

 

 

 

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The cast of Apple TV's Dickinson in the parlor wearing Shakespearean costumes and florals

Dickinson’s 191st Birthday Celebration
Friday, December 10, 12pm ET

VIRTUAL PROGRAM
The cast of Apple TV's Dickinson in the parlor wearing Shakespearean costumes and florals

Image courtesy of Apple TV

REGISTER FOR THIS PROGRAM FOR FREE
or 
REGISTER FOR THIS PROGRAM WITH A DONATION

You are cordially invited to the Emily Dickinson Museum’s virtual celebration of the poet’s 191st birthday! On Friday, December 10, join us for an afternoon exploring behind-the-scenes at the Emily Dickinson Museum while we remain closed to the public for our biggest restoration project ever. We will toast to Dickinson’s enduring legacy, and share the ways the Museum is working to preserve her home and story. This program contains sneak-peeks at the new interiors you’ll see when we reopen in spring 2022, and we’ll also be making a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT with our friends over at Apple TV’s Dickinson! We can hardly wait to share it with you!

All are welcome to this free program but registration is required.

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

A crane lifts a painter up to the top of the Homestead

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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the Homestead lights are on at night time

Call for Submissions:
Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series 2022

PHOSPHORESCENCE 2022 call for submissions graphic - the Homestead glows at night time.

UPDATE: We are now closed for submissions.
Sign up for our e-newsletter to be the first to know the next time we are accepting program proposals: emilydickinsonmuseum.org/newsletter-signup

The Emily Dickinson Museum is now accepting proposals for the 2nd year of our Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series — a virtual event held monthly throughout 2022! 

Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the aim of Phosphorescence is to celebrate contemporary creativity that echoes Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice. The Series 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. The Series is a place to connect virtually over a shared love of poetry and an appreciation for Dickinson’s literary legacy.

Featured poets are promoted on the Museum’s event web page, through an event mailing list of roughly 15,000 addresses, and through the Museum’s social media. Each participating poet receives a $200 honorarium.

READINGS:
This program occurs at 6pm ET on the last Thursday of each month. Each reading may feature 1-3 poets. Readings are 15-25 minutes long on average per reader, though this may depend on other program components each month. Poets who submit alone may be paired with other poets if selected. Poets are welcome to promote sales of their books, and/or awareness of other media on the evening of the program. Poets should be prepared to engage in facilitated conversation and/or a Q&A after their readings.

Emily Dickinson Stamp National Postal MuseumSUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
Only submissions made using our online form will be considered.
There is no fee to submit proposals.
Group submissions from up to 3 poets are accepted.

The following submission qualities are especially encouraged:

-build community

-feature BIPOC and/or LBGTQ+ voices

-highlight a connection to Dickinson’s life and legacy

-Push poetic boundaries

SUBMISSIONS DUE: Wednesday, January 5, 2022, 12pm ET.

To submit a proposal please click this link for our submission form.

TIMELINE
Accepted submissions will be notified by the end of January. Participating poets will be asked to sign a letter of agreement confirming participation on assigned dates. 

 

 

 

Archival poster for a lecture on "the real Emily Dickinson" given by Martha Dickinson Bianchi

The “Real” Emily Dickinson at 191
Wednesday, December 1, 4:30pm ET

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

Archival poster for a lecture on "the real Emily Dickinson" given by Martha Dickinson Bianchi

An illustrated talk and birthday celebration with Emily Dickinson Museum Director Jane Wald

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for this free program.

During her lifetime, Emily Dickinson remained solidly and agreeably planted in Amherst—a known but ultimately withdrawn member of one of the town’s leading families, perhaps known better as a baker than as a poet. Following her death in 1886, the poet’s words came to light through the work of posthumous editors who sought to fill in the story for the public. Now, at the 191st anniversary of her birthday, Dickinson’s poetry speaks powerfully to readers all over the world, but her life seems even more contested in the popular imagination than ever before. Can we know “the real Emily Dickinson”? Would she want us to? Would we even want to? 

In this illustrated talk, Emily Dickinson Museum Executive Director Jane Wald evokes these fraught questions and controversies through an exploration of early biographer and editor Martha Dickinson Bianchi at the 100th anniversary of the poet’s birth, tracing interpretations through contemporary creative portrayals of the poet such as AppleTV’s ‘Dickinson’ starring Hailee Steinfeld, and right back to the ongoing preservation and interpretive work at the poet’s home in Amherst, Massachusetts.

This program is presented in partnership with the Amherst College Center for Humanistic Inquiry.

The homestead parlor with 4 windows, a fireplace, two chairs, a rug and a side table.

The Props assist the House:
Restoring the Homestead (Part 3)
Saturday, September 25, 1pm

The homestead parlor with 4 windows, a fireplace, two chairs, a rug and a side table.Part of the 2021 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival:

In the final installment of this three-part series, go behind the scenes of the restoration of Emily Dickinson’s home with Museum Executive Director Jane Wald and special guest Jeff Baker, preservation architect and partner at Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects. The Emily Dickinson Museum is currently embarking on the most significant restoration project to date of the interior architectural features, finishes, and furnishings of the revered poet’s Homestead. This work will not only triple the amount of restored space in the Homestead accessible to guests, but will also add critical details to our understanding of Dickinson’s daily life by providing a more authentic experience of the house she inhabited. In this virtual program, learn how the documentary record yields clues about this historic house and hear first-hand about the research and decisions that go into restoration work. 

REGISTER

 

Headshot of Jeff Baker

Jeff Baker has been with Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker for over thirty years and has been a firm Partner for over twenty years. After his graduation from Hudson Valley Community College, Jeff attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he earned a Bachelor’s of Building Science and a Bachelor’s of Architecture. Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker specializes in Architecture, Planning and Historic Preservation, and has overseen the success of several previous restoration projects at the Emily Dickinson Museum, as well as numerous other National Historic Landmarks.

A few examples of Jeff’s work include the restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia; Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest in Lynchburg, Virginia; James Madison’s Montpelier, in Montpelier Station, Virginia; and the Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. Jeff has also been retained to assist in the restoration of George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Virginia.

Learn more at mcwb-arch.com.

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. 

2021 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival Schedule