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.


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


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


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



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 Discussion Group, November 19 & 20, 2020


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.

arts night

Dickinson In Translation: Amherst Arts Night Poetry Reading, November 5, 2020 REMOTE

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!

November Feature:

“Emily Dickinson In Translation”: During November’s Arts Night, enjoy a presentation of multi-lingual readings and short discussions on the practice of translating Dickinson’s words, presented by the Translation Center of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A unique enterprise that combines business services with academics, the Center offers translation, interpreting, workshops, language consulting, and much more to a variety of clients including small businesses, multinational corporations, museums, law firms, hospitals, NGOs, filmmakers, advertising firms, educational institutions, and individuals. Special thanks to the Center’s Director, Regina Galasso. 

About the Translators:

Black and white portrait of Dickinson translator, Adalberto Muller.Adalberto Müller is an Associate Professor for Literary Theory at the University Federal Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro. He was a Visiting Scholar at The University at Buffalo in 2018 and at Yale University in 2013, and he has been a member of the Emily Dickinson International Society since 2015. Besides publishing two collections of essays, he translated  e. e. cummings, Paul Celan and Francis Ponge. His recent works are a collection of texts on plants – Transplantations (from my mother’s garden), 2019 –  a book of short stories – O Traço do calígrafo, 2020 – and Walter Benjamin: Teses sobre a História. Edição Crítica (with Márcio Seligmann-Silva). His translation of the complete poems of Emily Dickinson into Portuguese are being published in Brazil, by Editora da Unb/Editora Unicamp (2 vol.)

Portrait of Marcel RieraMarcel Riera i Bou is an award-winning poet, editor, and translator. In 2017, he published his Catalan translations of 200 Emily Dickinson poems with Edicions Proa. The book is now in its second edition. He has also translated Joseph Brodsky, Philip Larkin, James Fenton, Rumer Godden, Edward Thomas, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and W. H. Auden. He is Co-Director and a member of the editorial board of El Cercle de Viena, a press dedicated to publishing modern literary classics in Catalan.

poetry discussion

Poetry Discussion Group, October 16, 2020

poetry discussionThe 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. This program is full. If you are interested in future poetry discussion sections, please email edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

This program is free of charge, but we encourage those who are able to do so to make a donation upon their accepted registration. 

Topic: “No lives – Are Round”: Emily Dickinson’s Poetics

Karen Sánchez-Eppler, co-editor with Cristanne Miller of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Emily Dickinson, will lead the group in discussion that draws from new critical approaches to Dickinson. She will  briefly introduce the goals for the Handbook as well as the mix of approaches and perspectives it encompasses. The collection contains many essays that deepen our knowledge of the historical, biographical, and literary contexts in which Dickinson wrote and many that address her poetics—the how and what of her writing. A central goal of the project has been to connect these two scholarly modes. Rather than thinking of Dickinson as writing a poetry of correspondence, specific occasion, and intimate relationship, tightly bound to its immediate historical and biographical context and its unique material form (the chocolate wrapper or envelope flap) OR as a poetry of philosophical and spiritual consequence and universal reach, the collection affirms that both are true. Rather than asking readers to pick between these modes, we prod readers to consider how they illuminate each other.  

For this poetry discussion, we will explore a few poems that have more than one version, and hence more than one context, as a convenient way to consider how biographical context and material form do and don’t matter for Dickinson’s poetics. 

About the Facilitator: 
Karen Sánchez-Eppler is Professor of American Studies and English at Amherst College. She frequently teaches college seminars on Dickinson at the Museum and is a member of the Emily Dickinson Museum Board of Governors. She is the author of Touching Liberty: Abolition, Feminism, and the Politics of the Body and Dependent States: The Child’s Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture. She is co-editor with Cristanne Miller, of the forthcoming The Oxford Handbook of Emily DickinsonSee her faculty profile for a fuller account of her scholarship and interests.  

arts night

Amherst Arts Night Virtual Reading: October 1, 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 at 6:30pm (EST).

This program is free to attend. Registration is required. Click here to sign-up!



Our October featured poets are:


Rage Hezekiah

Rage Hezekiah is a New England based poet and educator, who earned her MFA from Emerson College. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, The MacDowell Colony, and The Ragdale Foundation, and is the recipient of the Saint Botolph Foundation’s Emerging Artists Award. Her poems have been anthologized, co-translated, and published internationally. Rage’s debut full-length collection of poems, Stray Harbor, is available through Finishing Line Press. Her 2019 chapbook, Unslakable, is a 2018 Vella Chapbook Award winner available from Paper Nautilus.

For more information visit: https://www.ragehezekiah.com/


Poet Brionne Janae is pictured reflected in a mirror, holding a coffee in one hand and a phone in the other




Brionne Janae

Brionne Janae is a poet and educator living in Brooklyn. They are a recipient of the 2016 St. Botoloph Emerging Artist award, a Hedgebrook Alum and proud Cave Canem Fellow. Their poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, The Sun Magazine jubilat, Sixth Finch, Plume, The Nashville Review, and Waxwing among others. Brionne’s first full length collection of poetry After Jubilee was published by Boaat Press.

For more information visit: https://www.brionnejanae.com/



   Poet Taylor Johnson looks into the camera in front of a background of foliage

Taylor Johnson

Taylor Johnson is proud of being from Washington, DC. They’ve received fellowships and scholarships from CALLALOO, Cave Canem, Lambda Literary, Tin House, the Vermont Studio Center, Yaddo, the Conversation Literary Festival,  the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, among other organizations. In 2017, Taylor received the Larry Neal Writers’ Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. 

Their poems appear in The Baffler, Indiana Review, Scalawag, and the Paris Review, among other journals and literary magazines. Their first book, Inheritance, will be published November 2020 with Alice James Books. Taylor lives in southern Louisiana where they listen.

For more information visit: http://www.taylorjohnsonpoems.com/

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.

poetry festival

The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival: Hybrid Event

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.

Sign up for our e-newsletter for announcements about the 2023 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival!

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. 

The full line-up features workshops, panels, and readings, by a diverse and talented group of poets from around the world. The cornerstone of the Festival, the Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon, is an epic online reading of all 1,789 of Emily Dickinson’s poems.

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 Jericho Brown, Ocean Vuong, Ada Limón, Tracy K. Smith, Tiana Clark, Sumita Chakraborty, Tess Taylor, Franny Choi, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Paisley Rekdal, Adrian Matejka, Kaveh Akbar, and Shayla Lawson

The Festival programs are hybrid with events happening online, as well as in-person at the Museum.

block party

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:
2022 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival

2021 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival

2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival 
2019 Amherst Poetry Festival