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

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:


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:



   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:

poetry festival

The 2021 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.
View the 2021 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival Schedule


About the Festival:

The Emily Dickinson Museum has announced the program line-up, headliners, and other details of its 9th Annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival, 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 September 20 – 26 online, 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. 

 Headlining this year’s festivities is a joint reading by former United States Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith and award-winning poet Tiana Clark, and a masterclass with Tess Taylor. The full line-up features workshops, panels, and readings, by a diverse and talented group of 35 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 hosted by collaborators including Amherst’s Jones Library, the Amherst College Frost Library, Harvard University’s Houghton Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Emily Dickinson International Society.

 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 Ada Limón, Jericho Brown, Franny Choi, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Paisley Rekdal, Adrian Matejka, Kaveh Akbar, Ocean Vuong, and Shayla Lawson. Due to the Museum’s current restoration of Emily Dickinson’s Homestead, the 2021 Festival will be an entirely virtual event and all programs are free and open to the public.

 This year’s Festival is hosted on Cadence. From this web-based platform, attendees are able to register for the Festival, build a schedule of events to attend, and engage with the Museum and other Festival-goers. 

The 2021 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival is made possible in part by support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Apple TV+ series Dickinson and wiip Productions, Levenger Company, the Amherst College Bicentennial, and Amherst College English Department.

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:
2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival 
2019 Amherst Poetry Festival


EMILYTOBER: A collection of prompts for Artober

#Emilytober Prompt List – Be Inspired, October 1st – 31st!

Artists wrestled here!
Lo, a tint Cashmere!
Lo, a Rose!
Student of the Year!
For the Easel here,
Say Repose!



Since 2009, artists from all over the world have chosen to spend October participating in challenges based on lists of prompts put together by other artists and institutions. Some make a piece of work every day, some every other day, and others are happy to simply take inspiration from all the lists floating around. We’re so excited to be participating in this year’s #Artober by releasing our own list of prompts consisting of phrases from Dickinson poems! We encourage you to pick and choose from the prompts, to work from either the lines we’ve provided or from the whole poems from which they’ve been plucked, and to create in any medium you desire. We look forward to seeing what you create—make sure to tag us on social media so we catch your work! You can tag your pieces with #artober2020, #emilytober, and We’ll share our favorites from our instagram account, and feature some of them here on our website!

Update! The #Emilytober Gallery is live!
Check out all the fantastic work here!


Emilytober #Artober Prompt List, 2020

The prompts are arranged in a grid over an orange background featuring a faded image of a mushroom, and framed by images of a skull, flowers, and vines

Full text of each prompt, in order, with Franklin edition reference numbers

  1. F32 The maple wears a gayer scarf –
  2. F1158 Best Witchcraft is Geometry
  3. F1350 The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants –
  4. F168 Ah, Necromancy Sweet!
  5. F1286 There is no Frigate like a Book
  6. F407 One need not be a Chamber – to be Haunted
  7. F796 The Lightning showed a Yellow Beak And then a livid Claw –
  8. F111 Artists wrestled here!
  9. F1268 A Word dropped careless on a Page
  10. F1199 For Captain was the Butterfly
  11. F1163 A Spider sewed at Night
  12. F166 Dust is the only Secret.
  13. F260 I’m Nobody! Who are you?
  14. F1393 Those Cattle smaller than a Bee
  15. F656 the Mermaids in the Basement/Came out to look at me –
  16. F1426 Buccaneers of Buzz –
  17. F140 Bring me the sunset in a cup –
  18. F1394 The long sigh of the Frog
  19. F916 Or Porch of Gnome
  20. F918 We met as Sparks – Diverging Flints
  21. F479 The Carriage held but just Ourselves – And Immortality.
  22. F162 From some old Fortress on the sun
  23. F1311 Art thou the thing I wanted?
  24. F1489 A Route of Evanescence,
  25. F296 Where ships of purple gently toss
  26. F1649 Back from the Cordial Grave I drag thee
  27. F1402 His Heart was darker than the starless night
  28. F1405 The absence of the Witch does not Invalidate the spell –
  29. F200 The Rose did caper on her cheek –
  30. F89 Imps in eager caucus
  31. F710 Where Squirrels play – and Berries dye – And Hemlocks – bow – to God
  32. F43 The Satyrs fingers beckoned
  33. F1747 That Love is all there is/Is all we know of Love,
  34. F509 A curious Cloud surprised the Sky
  35. F510 Upholsterer of the Pines – is He –
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 to receive a list of poems for discussion. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch. Beverages and a sweet snack are provided.

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



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

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

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

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 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 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:
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.