poetry walk

2021 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival Call for Proposals

The Emily Dickinson Museum is now accepting proposals for the ninth annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival (formerly the Amherst Poetry Festival), A VIRTUAL EVENT held September 20-26, 2021! 

Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, with support from the Amherst Business Improvement District, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Jones Library, the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival celebrates the poetic legacy of Emily Dickinson and the contemporary creativity of the Pioneer Valley and beyond.

The Festival’s name “Tell It Slant” (new in 2020), was selected in homage to Dickinson’s poem, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.” This title underscores the revolutionary power of poetry to shift our perspective and reveal new truths. The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival remains committed to featuring and serving established and emerging poets who represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary American poetry scene, and to fostering community by placing poetry in the public sphere. To see our 2020 Festival schedule click here.

The Festival Steering Committee is planning a virtual event to ensure the health and safety of participants. While we are disappointed not to gather together in Amherst, we find (as always) that Dickinson offers inspiration. Dickinson was an engaging correspondent, whose epistolary poems connected her to a wider community of friends and writers. During this time, we call on you to help us carry on Dickinson’s legacy of creating community and sparking the imagination as we shelter in place. We invite you to “dwell in possibility” and submit your most inventive proposals for  audience-centered workshops, panel discussions, and programs.

We are privileging proposals for live, synchronous content, but will also consider asynchronous submissions. Synchronous content includes virtual programs or experiences, including performances, live panels and workshops. Asynchronous content might include a web exhibit or pre-recorded content premiering at the Poetry Festival.

The Steering Committee especially welcomes the following:

  • Submissions from groups of 2 – 5 facilitators
  • Submissions that engage young attendees and those new to poetry
  • Submissions that creatively encourage audience participation or that foster a sense of community or space

Honoraria are provided per event. 

Proposals should be designed for one of the following program slots: (Individuals may submit separate forms if proposing more than one program)

DAYTIME GENERAL AUDIENCE PROGRAMS:

  • Daytime poetry workshops, panels, or participatory programs open to the public. Event sessions are typically 60- to 90-minutes long.
  • $250 honoraria offered per event.

EVENING GENERAL AUDIENCE PERFORMANCES:

  • Evening music, theater, dance, or other performance open to the public. Submissions should be for 60- to 90-minute programs.
  • $500 honorarium offered per event.

HIGH SCHOOL WORKSHOPS (to be scheduled during the school day between Monday, September 20th and Friday, September 24th):

  • Private poetry workshops for classes of high school age students (grades 9-12). 45-minute sessions, to be offered up to four times between 7:50am to 3pm. Partner schools will be shared with selected poets and will include schools in Hampshire and Hampden counties.
  • $350 honorarium is offered for the day’s workshops.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Only submissions made in the online form will be considered. There is no fee to submit proposals.
  • Following your submission, please email your resume/cv to edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org. 
    • Include “POETRY FESTIVAL SUBMISSION” in the title of the e-mail. We can accept .pdf, .doc, .docx files.
      If applicable, you may also submit an image in .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, and .png format.
  • Selected facilitators will be notified by July 23rd and will be asked to sign a letter of agreement confirming their participation in the Festival.
  • Submissions Due: Thursday, July 15, 2021, 11:59 pm EST.

Submissions will be judged on the following:

  • Originality – Is your idea bold and intriguing? Will it offer something new to our Festival?
  • Quality – Does the submission reflect thoughtful preparation? How are you uniquely qualified to facilitate this program?
  • Audience – Have you clearly outlined participatory elements? How does your proposal contribute to community-building for the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival? 
  • Special consideration will be given to Pioneer Valley and Massachusetts-based facilitators.

SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL

Questions? Email us at edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org

Headshots of Alena Smith and Martha Ackmann

A Secret told:
An Evening with Alena Smith and Martha Ackmann
Wednesday, June 30, 7pm

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

Desk

Emily Dickinson is having a moment. The enigmatic poet’s popularity has surged in recent years, thanks in part to fresh interpretations and perspectives offered up by a new wave of curious and talented artists, writers, and thinkers.

We’re delighted to invite our donors to join Museum Director Jane Wald as she welcomes Alena Smith, creator of the award-winning Apple TV+ series Dickinson, and Martha Ackmann, author of These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson, to a virtual event broadcast from the Dickinson Homestead in Amherst, MA.

Enjoy a lively conversation about Emily Dickinson and her enduring legacy, while you sip on the evening’s signature cocktail:

The Bee’s Knees 

  • 2 ounces gin (for mocktail, substitute w/ 2 ounces of ginger ale)
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz honey syrup (1 TBSP honey mixed with 1/2 TBSP warm water)

Combine ingredients and shake with ice. Strain and pour into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.  Enjoy!

This program is free to donors who’ve supported the Museum this past year. To those who have already donated, we sent an email with a complimentary registration link. 
Please contact connect@emilydickinsonmuseum.org if you need another invitation by email.
In case you are unable to attend, a recording of the event will be shared to all those who register for the program.

Not a donor, but still want to attend? You’re invited!
Become a donor today and register.

About the speakers:

Headshot for Alena SmithAlena Smith Alena Smith is a playwright and TV writer. She is the creator, showrunner and executive producer of the critically-acclaimed series “Dickinson” starring Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Dickinson, which recently aired its second season on Apple TV+, and is currently in production on its third. Dickinson won a Peabody Award in the category of Entertainment, and was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy series.Smith previously served as a writer and producer for Showtime’s The Affair and HBO’s The Newsroom. Variety said of her play Icebergs, which had its world premiere in 2016 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, “Smith shows impeccable comic timing, and also knows how to layer her drama with pathos.” Other published plays include The Bad Guys, Plucker, The Lacy Project, and The New Sincerity, which The New York Times called “Splendid… entertaining and thought-provoking… comedy with a poignant edge.”
Learn more: New Yorker

 

Headshot Martha Ackmann

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. 
Learn more: marthaackmann.com

 

Two Anenomes grow in front of the Homestead

“Bloom – is Result – to meet a Flower”: Dickinson’s Flowering Favorites with Marta McDowell
Friday, June 25, 12:30pm

Anemone grows in the garden beside the Homestead

 

 

Bloom – is Result – to meet a Flower
And casually glance
Would cause one scarcely to suspect
The minor Circumstance

Assisting in the Bright Affair
So intricately done
Then offered as a Butterfly
To the Meridian –

(Excerpt Fr1308)

This program is free of charge, but participants must register in advance and donations are encouraged. 
Register

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

In this beloved poem, Emily Dickinson ends, “To be a Flower, is profound Responsibility – “. Indeed, as the poet knelt on her red wool army blanket to tend her garden across the seasons, she understood the weight of each bloom in her hands as a miraculous force. Observing keenly the lifespan of every blossom, the weather it endured and the fauna it encountered, Dickinson transformed her garden knowledge into hundreds of poems inspired directly by her garden.

In this virtual program, join Marta McDowell, master gardener, landscape historian, and author of Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life for a close look at blooming cultivars from the Homestead in Amherst. We’ll spend an hour savoring blossoms, stories, and verse gathered from Dickinson’s gardens. Learn to identify these Dickinsonian varieties and listen to the language they inspired from our favorite garden poet.

About Marta McDowell:
Marta McDowell teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and consults for private clients and public gardens. Her book Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life, was published in 2019. Timber Press also published The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, New York Times-bestselling All the Presidents’ Gardens, and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life, now in its seventh printing. Marta’s newest book, Unearthing The Secret Garden about author Frances Hodgson Burnett, is due out from Timber Press in September 2021. She is the 2019 recipient of the Garden Club of America’s Sarah Chapman Francis Medal for outstanding literary achievement.

To learn more about Marta or purchase her books visit www.martamcdowell.com

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Events & News

See what’s happening! Discussion groups, reading series, story projects, and more.

Phosphorescence

Poetry Reading Series
Every last Thursday each month

Visit

The Homestead and Evergreens are currently closed to the public.

Restoration Project

The Emily Dickinson Museum is embarking on the most significant restoration project to date of the revered poet’s Homestead.

Virtual Programming

See online exhibits and join us for virtual events.

Support

With your support, the Emily Dickinson Museum has become the essential place for study, work, and play in the Dickinson world.

Education

Sparking an interest in Emily Dickinson’s life and work among learners of all ages is central to the Museum’s mission.

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Accesibilidad

El Museo Emily Dickinson da la bienvenida a todos.

In English

Accesibilidad física

El centro de guías, las plantas bajas del Homestead (la casa familiar) y de The Evergreens y una parte de los terrenos del museo son accesibles para sillas de ruedas. Debido a su arquitectura histórica, las primeras plantas de las dos casas no son completamente accesibles para los usuarios de sillas de ruedas y otros visitantes que necesiten evitar las escaleras.

Tenga en cuenta lo siguiente antes de su visita:

  • Debido al carácter histórico de las dos casas de Dickinson, ninguna de las dos incluye ascensor.
  • La planta baja del Homestead incluye el Centro de Guías, los salones y la biblioteca. Se accede al dormitorio de Emily Dickinson por una escalera de quince escalones con barandillas por ambos lados.
  • The Evergreens está ubicado aproximadamente a una distancia de 5-10 minutos del Homestead y esa distancia se puede comunicar por una vía pavimentada o un camino cubierto con pajote. Los visitantes con discapacidades pueden estacionarse en el camino de entrada de The Evergreens con una solicitud adelantada. La planta baja es accesible para sillas de ruedas. Al primer piso se accede por una escalera de trece escalones con barandilla a un lado.
  • Debido a la cantidad de materiales originales en The Evergreens, la calidad de aire puede incomodar a los visitantes que tengan dificultades respiratorias.
  • A los visitantes que no pueden acceder al piso superior entregamos cuadernos ilustrados que describen las exhibiciones del piso superior de las dos casas, además que un iPad con una vista completa del dormitorio de Emily Dickinson. El personal está presente para contestar a preguntas sobre los espacios.
  • Se proporcionan sillas modernas en cada habitación para la comodidad de los visitantes.

Interpretación de lenguaje de señas

  • La interpretación en lenguaje de señas está disponible como un servicio gratuito para visitas guiadas y todos los programas del museo a pedido con dos semanas de anticipación. Si se requieren otros servicios de interpretación, contáctenos y buscamos una solución.

Animales de servicio

  • Los perros de servicio son bienvenidos en todo el establecimiento.

Socios de visitantes con discapacidades

  • Los acompañantes de los visitantes con discapacidades serán admitidos de forma gratuita.

Estacionamiento accesible

  • Hay dos espacios de estacionamiento reservados para visitantes con discapacidades cerca de la entrada del Museo. Si uno de ellos no está disponible a su llegada, llame al número (413) 542-2947 y le ayudaremos.

Si tiene alguna pregunta acerca de la accesibilidad o una sugerencia para mejorar la experiencia de su visita, comuníquese con el museo al correo siguiente: bsteinhauser@emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

Traducción por Javier Whitaker-Castañeda

Color-By-Numbers Craft

Color your own Emily Dickinson portrait by paint, crayon, or any media you can get your hands on!
Download here

Share your creation by tagging us on Facebook (@emily.dickinson.museum), Instagram (@emilydickinson.museum), or Twitter (@DickinsonMuseum).

 

Past Virtual Programs Archive

Missed an online program? No fear! Rewatch a selection of archived programs here.

The Props assist the House -: Restoring the Homestead (Part 1)

July 15, 2021
The first of a three-part series, go behind the scenes of the restoration of Emily Dickinson’s home with Museum Director Jane Wald and 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.

“Bloom – is Result – to meet a Flower”: Dickinson’s Flowering Favorites with Marta McDowell

June 25, 2021
Spend an hour savoring blossoms, stories, and verse gathered from Dickinson’s gardens with Marta McDowell,Marta McDowell, master gardener, landscape historian, and author of Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life.

“Called Back”: A Virtual Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk

May 15, 2021
The Annual Poetry Walk: an engaging virtual poetry reading and “walk” through Amherst, the town she called “paradise.”

A Poetry Month Archives Tour at Houghton Library

April 14, 2021
A very special behind the scenes look at the Dickinson collection at Harvard University’s Houghton Library.

Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series

July 2021
Featured poets: Jacqueline Balderrama, Ida Stewart and Lynne Thompson.

June 2021
Featured poets: Gail Thomas, Nicole M. Young and Amina Jordan Mendez.

May 2021
Featured poets: Melissa Range and Erica Charis-Molling.

April 2021
Featured poets: Jennifer Franklin, Philip F. Clark, Fred Marchant and Mervyn Taylor.

March 2021
Featured poets: Teri Ellen Cross Davis, Amy Dryansky, and W. Todd Kaneko.

Emily Dickinson’s Amherst College

February 27, 2021
In partnership with Amherst College’s LitFest, join Museum staff for a talk about the impact of the College on the life of poet Emily Dickinson.

Emily Dickinson 190th Birthday Celebration

December 10, 2020
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. 

Tell It Slant Poetry Festival 2020 

Behind the Scenes with Emily Dickinson at the Frost Library’s Special Collections
September 14, 12-1:15pm
A very special behind the scenes look at the holdings of Amherst College Frost Library’s Special Collections Head of Archives and Special Collections, Mike Kelly.

 

Black Lives and Black Poetics Matter: A Reading and Discussion curated by Faraday Publishing
September 17, 7:30pm
An evening of vibrant poetry and dialogue on the vitality and importance of Black Lives and Black Poetics in contemporary America. Moderated by Enzo Silon Surin, founder and director of Faraday Publishing, and featuring leading Black poets, scholars, and educators, including Dr. Tony Medina, Bonita Lee Penn, Lisa Pegram, and Dr. Shauna Morgan.

 

Franny Choi
September 18, 7-8:45pm
Festival headliner, Franny Choi, wraps up Open Mic night with a reading from her recently published book, Soft Science (Alice James Books, 2019), and selected newly written works. This recording began after the open mic concluded.

 

Behind the Scenes with Emily Dickinson at the Jones Library’s Special Collections
September 20, 9-10:15am
A very special behind the scenes look at the holdings of the Jones Library’s Special Collections in Amherst, Massachusetts. Head of Special Collections, Cyndi Harbeson.

 

 

Amherst Arts Nights Virtual Readings

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).

December 2020
Featuring 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. 

November 2020
“Emily Dickinson in Translation” – 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. Featuring Adalberto Müller and Marcel Riera i Bou.

October 2020
Readings from Rage Hezekiah, Brionne Janae, and Taylor Johnson. (content warning: some adult language throughout, sexuality at 15:15)

 

September 2020
Readings from Kathryn Holzman, Cheryl J. Fish, and Eileen P. Kennedy.

 

August 2020
Readings from Rebecca Hart Olander, Leah Umansky, and Omotara James.

 

July 2020
Readings from Michael Mercurio, Hannah Larrabee, and Nathan McClain.

 

June 2020
Readings from Eliza Brewer, Kalidas Shanti, Brenna Macaray, Kiera Alventosa, Anna Plummer, and Haoran Tong.

 

May 2020
Readings from Rosie McMahan, Rich Puchalsky, Marian Kent, Lanette Sweeney, Eileen P. Kennedy, Howie Faerstein, Brooks Robards, Linda Bratcher, Michael Favala Goldman, Lori Desrosiers.

 

Other Programs

A Poetry Month Archives Tour at Houghton Library, April 14, 2021
A very special behind the scenes look at the Dickinson collection at Harvard University’s Houghton Library.

Emily Dickinson’s Amherst College, December 4, 2020
A lively lunchtime talk about the impact of Amherst College on the life of poet Emily Dickinson.

Martha Ackmann Virtual Book Talk and Q&A, August 16, 2020
A virtual reading and Q&A with Martha Ackmann, author of the recently released These Fevered Days (W.W. Norton, 2020).

 

Summer in the Poet’s Garden with Marta McDowell, July 17, 2020
Marta McDowell, master gardener, landscape historian, and author of Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life takes viewers on a virtual stroll through the Homestead gardens.

 

Emily Dickinson Virtual Poetry Walk, May 15, 2020
A beloved annual tradition honoring the 134th anniversary of the poet’s death with readings of her poetry at historic sites around Amherst.

 

Join us for upcoming events.

Emilytober 2020 Gallery

We want to thank everyone who participated in #Emilytober this year! This gallery will continue to be updated through the month of October, 2020, as more pieces roll in. Enjoy browsing through this fantastic collection of Emily-inspired art! 

 

 

Click on an image to see multiple pieces by an artist and full-sized images.

Handmade postcard depicting original print of Dickinson's face

Postcard front:
Let me not mar that perfect dream
By an auroral stain But so adjust my
daily night That it will come again.

35/35  DREAMER  J. Hamilton

Postcard verso:
Happy
Birthday
Emily!
Love,
Jim Hamilton
Marshfield, MA

Virtual Poetry Walk Registration – Closes 12pm May 14

Please use the following form to register for the Virtual Poetry Walk, held May 15, 2020 from 12pm to 1pm EST.
Upon your successful registration, you will receive a thank you message. The Museum will e-mail the program link and any reading assignments to participants by 5pm EST on May 14, 2020.

Registration for this program is closed.

Questions? Please write edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org