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 firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a list of poems for discussion. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch. Beverages and a sweet snack are provided.
October’s Poetry Discussion Group will meet on October 18, 2019 at 12PM.
Topic: Who’s Who in the Dickinson Lexicon
What do Queen Elizabeth, Captain Kidd, William Tell, and Sappho have in common? Give up? They are all named in Emily Dickinson poems! We know that Dickinson populated her verse with flora and fauna, but what people did she choose to include – and why? In this session, we will look at the complete list of historical figures mentioned in Dickinson’s poetry (not including biblical or literary characters, family members, and friends) and discuss several poems in which some of them serve as metaphors or analogies.
Facilitator: Bruce M. Penniman taught writing, speech, and literature at Amherst Regional High School from 1971 until 2007. He is the site director of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project and lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 1999 he was Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and a finalist for National Teacher of the Year, and he is the author of Building the English Classroom: Foundations, Support, Success (NCTE, 2009). He has served as a teacher curriculum mentor in all three NEH Emily Dickinson: Person, Poetry, and Place workshops and has facilitated discussions in the Poetry Discussion Group on many topics.
- Center of Humanistic Inquiry Address: 61 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst
- 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.