poetry discussion group

Cancelled: Poetry Discussion Group, April 17, 2020

poetry discussion group

The 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.

Out of an abundance of caution, we will be cancelling our public programs through April 30, 2020. 

We understand this schedule change may affect previous plans. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to welcoming you to the Emily Dickinson Museum as soon as we are able.

arts night 3

Postponed: Amherst Arts Night Plus Open Mic, April 2, 2020 c and Features, April 2, 2020

arts night 3Monthly Amherst Arts Night Plus at the Emily Dickinson Museum celebrates contemporary art and poetry in our historic setting. From 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., view the pop-up, contemporary art exhibition in the Homestead by our monthly featured artist. Poets, writers, and performers of any kind are welcome to share work at our open mic, which begins at 6:00 p.m. Stay after the open mic for the featured reader of the month. Open mic sign-ups are between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. This program is free and open to the public.

Featured Poets: Terry Johnson and Rebecca Hart Olander

Terry S. Johnson, a forty year resident of Amherst, began her career as a concert harpsichordist before finding her true calling as a sixth grade public school teacher. In the last two decades, she also discovered the challenges and joys of writing poetry. She received a Master of Fine Arts from Vermont College and has published extensively in many journals and anthologies. Coalescence, her first poetry collection, won an honorable mention award in the New England Book Festival. In Terry’s second book entitled Plunge (Off the Common Books, 2019) , she explores her father’s war time experiences as a pilot shot down over northern Italy as well as her journeys to meet his saviors and her namesakes, gradually becoming a member of village life.  Gracefully weaving memory, research and first-hand experience, Terry creates an Italian cultural feast employing both lyric and narrative poetry. 

Rebecca Hart Olander is a poet, teacher, and editor based in Western Massachusetts. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and her poetry has appeared recently in Crab Creek Review, llanot Review, Plath Poetry Project, Solstice, SWWIM Every Day, and Yemassee Journal, among others. Rebecca won the 2013 Women’s National Book Association poetry contest.  In 2019 her poem “Wellfleet,” published in Parks & Points, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the editor/director of Perugia Press, a small press publishing first and second books of poetry by women. Her chapbook, Dressing the Wounds, was published in 2019 by Dancing Girl Press and her full-length poetry collection Uncertain Acrobats is forthcoming from Cavan Kerry Press in 2021.

Out of an abundance of caution, we will be cancelling our public programs through April 30, 2020. 

We understand this schedule change may affect previous plans. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to welcoming you to the Emily Dickinson Museum as soon as we are able.

Cancelled: Poetry Discussion Group, March 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. 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.

Out of an abundance of caution, we will be cancelling our public programs through April 30, 2020. 

We understand this schedule change may affect previous plans. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to welcoming you to the Emily Dickinson Museum as soon as we are able. 

arts night

Amherst Arts Night Plus Open Mic and Features, March 5, 2020

arts nightMonthly Amherst Arts Night Plus at the Emily Dickinson Museum celebrates contemporary art and poetry in our historic setting. From 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., view the pop-up, contemporary art exhibition in the Homestead by our monthly featured artist. Poets, writers, and performers of any kind are welcome to share work at our open mic, which begins at 6:00 p.m. Stay after the open mic for the featured reader of the month. Open mic sign-ups are between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.. This program is free and open to the public.

Featured Poet: Karen Skolfield

Skolfield_2012_lo-rez

Karen Skolfield’s book Battle Dress (W. W. Norton, 2019) won the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her book Frost in the Low Areas (Zone 3 Press) won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry and the First Book Award from Zone 3 Press, and is a Massachusetts “Must Read” selection. She is the poet laureate for Northampton, Massachusetts, for 2019-2021.

Skolfield is the winner of the 2016 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in poetry from The Missouri Review, the 2015 Robert H. Winner award from the Poetry Society of America, and the 2015 Arts & Humanities Award from New England Public Radio. She’s received fellowships and awards  from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Split This Rock, Ucross Foundation, Hedgebrook, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center. Skolfield is a U.S. Army veteran and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts.

Featured Artist: Mary Ellen Kelly

Mary Ellen Kelly is a western Massachusetts photographer and former professor of literature at Greenfield Community College. This body of work captures three years of the Women’s March in three different cities: Boston, New York, and Washington DC. Kelly says, “A feminist, writer, and amateur photographer, I continue to research, photograph, and write about this protest that demands inclusion and safety for all and celebrates the voices of women and our allies. While much work still needs to be done to keep the dialogue open and ongoing, I have hope that this Women’s March movement can produce dramatic and positive change.”

 

litfest

LitFest, February 27-March 1, 2020

litfestFrom February 27 through March 1, LitFest returns to Amherst College. Celebrate the extraordinary literary life at the college with distinguished authors and editors who will discuss the pleasures and challenges of verbal expression. This year’s festival features Jesmyn Ward, winner of a 2017 National Book Award (NBA) for fiction, 2019 NBA Fiction Winner Susan Choi and finalist Laila Lalami, and memoirist Ben Rhodes, former speechwriter and deputy national security advisor to President Barack Obama.

For more information, please visit the Amherst College LitFest webpage

poetry

Poetry Discussion Group, February 21, 2020

The 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.

The February Poetry Discussion Group will meet on February 21, 2020 from 12PM to 2pm. 

In this session, we will take a fresh look at Emily Dickinson’s poetry in the context of the lives, loves, and writing of two prominent contemporaries—Margaret Fuller and Julia Ward Howe.  Like Dickinson, these two women rebelled against the social and intellectual fetters imposed by the gender assumptions of their time. All three lived lives of longing and disappointment; all three found a positive way forward through the written word. 

Facilitator: Polly Peterson

Meeting Notes

  • Center of Humanistic Inquiry Address: 61 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst. This event will meet at the Think Tank, the lounge across from the staircase to the second floor.
  • Parking – attendees may park in the Amherst College Alumni Lot and walk to the library free of charge. Metered parking is available closer to campus on the Town Common. Some select spots and accessible parking are available on campus, around the quad and behind the Frost Library. Participants with a state-issued handicap placard may park in any accessible spaces on campus. See the Amherst College campus parking map for more information.
  • Program cost – Drop-in fees are as follows: $12 for EDM Friends (Members); $15 for Non-Members.
poetry discussion group

Poetry Discussion Group, January 17, 2020

The 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.

January Poetry Discussion Group will meet on January 17 2020 from 12pm to 2pm. 

Dickinson and the Law

Lawyers and legal discourse surrounded the poet. Emily had three lawyers in her immediate family, a love interest who worked as her father’s law clerk, and another romantic relationship with an esteemed Salem judge. Naturally, she picked up on legal language and concepts—in particular, those of property interests, crime, and contractual obligations. Many of Emily’s legal references make us laugh, such as the spider squatting on her toilet in a case of adverse possession, or the dying speaker surrounded by friends and flies who has assigned all parts of her that were assignable. There are over a hundred legal terms in her work, and many more poems than we can “do justice to” in one sitting. We will muse together over some of the more humorous instances of legal words and concepts in her opus.

Facilitator: Jill Franks is a recovering attorney, previously licensed in the state of Massachusetts, who changed careers in 1987. While a lawyer, she had a general practice in Northampton and served also at Legal Services Offices, UMass, as an advocate for students. Starting in 1987, Jill studied English Literature, earning a PhD from Rutgers in 1992 and subsequently teaching at University of British Columbia and Austin Peay State University. She is the author of several monographs about literary figures and cinematic auteurs. Her most recent publication is a travel/literary book about her hike on the Coast to Coast trail of northern England (Every Stranger a God: Hiking the English Moors, available at Amazon). Jill guides at the Emily Dickinson Museum and appreciates the enthusiasm and scholarship of the Poetry Discussion Group.

Meeting Notes

  • Center of Humanistic Inquiry Address: 61 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst. This event will be held in the seminar room, the classroom on the left at the top of the stairs.
  • Parking – attendees may park in the Amherst College Alumni Lot and walk to the library free of charge. Metered parking is available closer to campus on the Town Common. Some select spots and accessible parking are available on campus, around the quad and behind the Frost Library. Participants with a state-issued handicap placard may park in any accessible spaces on campus. See the Amherst College campus parking map for more information.
  • Program cost – Drop-in fees are as follows: $12 for EDM Friends (Members); $15 for Non-Members.

“The World Writes Back: Postcards to Emily Dickinson,” 2019

This is my letter to the World 
That never wrote to Me –
The simple News that Nature told – 
With tender Majesty

(Fr519) 

craft project

When Emily Dickinson wrote her “letter to the World,” she wrote to a world “That never wrote to Me.” Now the world has the opportunity to write back! In honor of the poet’s birthday on December 10, 2019, the Emily Dickinson Museum invites you to contribute to the celebratory exhibit, “The World Writes Back: Postcards to Emily Dickinson.” Send us a postcard, and your work and words will be on display in the Homestead where Dickinson wrote almost all of her 1,789 poems!

 

 

How to participate:

  1. Purchase or create an original postcard representing your corner of the world.
  2. Write down some thoughts! You might share how you discovered Emily Dickinson, how you’ve been inspired by her life and work, and/or send us original poetry of your own! If you like, snap a photo of your postcard and share to social media using #PostcardstoEmily.
  3. Mail your work to the Emily Dickinson Museum. Postcards received by December 10 will be included in the exhibit. Please mail postcards to:
    Emily Dickinson Museum
    280 Main Street
    Amherst, MA 01002
  4. Follow along on the Museum’s social media to see your work displayed in the Homestead! @EmilyDickinson.Museum on Instagram, @DickinsonMuseum on Twitter, and @Emily.Dickinson.Museum on Facebook. Or follow the hashtags #PostcardstoEmily and #TheWorldWritesBack.

Please note: Postcards will be displayed during family events. Please refrain from using explicit language or images. By sending us your postcard, you give the Emily Dickinson Museum the right to share your work in the exhibit and via social media. Please sign your card as you would like to be attributed.

Questions can be directed to edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org

Lesley Dill Tell it Slant

Lesley Dill to Receive This Year’s ‘Tell It Slant’ Award

THE EMILY DICKINSON MUSEUM WILL AWARD THIS YEAR’S ‘TELL IT SLANT’ AWARD
TO ARTIST LESLEY DILL

The artist will receive the award at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute

Lesley Dill Tell It Slant(AMHERST, Mass., October 7, 2019) – Today the Emily Dickinson Museum announced the winner of the 2019 Tell It Slant Award. The award honors individuals whose work is imbued with the creative spirit of Emily Dickinson. This year’s recipient is Lesley Dill, a prominent American artist working at the intersection of language and fine art. Dill’s work has been exhibited around the world, and her art is in collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her opera based on Dickinson’s poems, Divide Light, was performed by New York’s New Camerata Opera Company in 2018. 

The Tell It Slant Award, which was created in 2012 by the Emily Dickinson Museum’s Board of Governors, takes its name from the well-known poem, “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant – / Success in Circuit lies / Too bright for our infirm Delight / The Truth’s superb surprise.” Past award winners include Pulitzer prize-winning poet Kay Ryan, former Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, and writer and A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor. Each year, recipients are chosen from a talented and diverse pool of individuals by the Museum’s board. This year’s winner is particularly deserving of the award.

Lesley Dill’s elegant work invests new meaning in the human form. By using paper, wire, horsehair, photography, foil, bronze, and music to convey the complexity of communication, much of her work alludes to or draws directly from the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Like the Amherst poet herself, Dill uses her provocative and intricate art to challenge the viewer to confront their linguistic relationships and perceptions of language.

“Using the written word as both a signifier and a kind of decorative motif,” Michael O’Sullivan writes for The Washington Post, “Dill covers everything she does with a seeming jumble of often illegible letters. Forcing the viewer to squint, stoop and search, sometimes in vain, for recognizable sentences, the artist creates messages that are as much a kind of linguistic code—marks representing ideas—as they are mute blemishes, abstractions whose resonance has more to do with emotion than rhetoric.”

If “language is just a series of symbols imbued with the meaning and power we give them,” Lennie Bennett writes for The Times, then Dill’s use of language as art “seeks a different affirmation, a more private pact that doesn’t require one necessarily to know a language, only to understand its intent.”

Dill will receive the award during the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute on December 9. The annual celebration brings together speakers, scholars, and fans of Emily Dickinson’s work to celebrate the illustrious poet and her writing. This year’s tribute will feature poet Tom Sleigh, who will read his favorite Dickinson poems and share from his own work, and Dill, who will discuss her Dickinson-inspired work. Following the presentation, the two artists will have a conversation about their shared muse.

Since its inception, the Emily Dickinson Museum has welcomed more than 150,000 visitors from 50 countries and serves as the premier center for study, interpretation, and celebration of Emily Dickinson’s place in literature, history, and culture. These awards will support the Museum’s mission to spark the imagination by amplifying Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice from the place she called home. The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more at www.EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org.

 

wild nights

‘Wild Nights with Emily’ Screening and Director’s Q&A, October 26, 2019

wild nights with emilyJoin us for free screening of the SxSW dramatic comedy ‘Wild Nights with Emily,’ — starring Molly Shannon as the beloved poet Emily Dickinson. Followed by a Q&A with director Madeleine Olnek, and Emily Dickinson Museum curator Jane Wald. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the movie IndieWire called “hilarious” and “touching”! 

Location: The screening will take place in Lipton Lecture Hall in the Amherst College Science Center on the east side of campus from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The hall is room E110 and is located on the first floor by the cafe.

Parking: Parking is available along East Drive and Merrill Science Drive and no permit is required (even if indicated).

About the Film

In the mid-19th century, Emily Dickinson is writing prolifically, baking gingerbread, and enjoying a passionate, lifelong relationship with another woman, her friend and sister-in-law Susan. Beloved comic Molly Shannon leads in this humorous yet bold reappraisal of Dickinson, informed by her private letters. While seeking publication of some of the 1,789 poems written during her lifetime, Emily (Shannon) finds herself facing a troupe of male literary gatekeepers too confused by her genius to take her work seriously. Instead her work attracts the attention of an ambitious woman editor, who also sees Emily as a convenient cover for her own role in buttoned-up Amherst’s most bizarre love triangle.

About the Filmmaker

Madeleine Olnek is a New York City based playwright and filmmaker. Her third feature film, Wild Nights With Emily, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and awards from NYSCA and Jerome Foundation funds. Her second feature, The Foxy Merkins, included screenings at Sundance 2014, BAM Cinemafest, Lincoln Center, and an NYC theatrical run at IFP. The film had its international premiere at the Moscow Film Festival. Her debut feature, Codependent Lesbian Sex Alien Seeks Same, premiered at Sundance 2011. Its screening included MoMa, The Viennale and the Festival do Rio. Nominated for a Gotham award, it had theatrical runs in LA and NYC. Her award-winning and widely screened comedy shorts, “Countertransference” (2009), and “Hold Up” (2006), were official selections of Sundance; “Make Room For Phyllis” (2007) premiered at Sarasota. Olnek was awarded best female short film director at Sundance in 2009, by LA’s Women In Film organization.