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.
poetry discussion group

Poetry Discussion Group, October 18, 2019

poetry discussion groupThe 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.

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.

Meeting Notes

  • 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.

 

poetry discussion group

Poetry Discussion Group, September 20, 2019

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion Group meets monthly, September through May, for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters.

Location: The Center for Humanistic Inquiry, on the second floor of Amherst College’s Frost Library.
Time: 12pm to 2pm (plan to arrive early to check in)

  • $12 Friends, $15 Public
  • 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. Poems will be distributed one week in advance of the program.
  • Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch. Beverages and a sweet snack are provided

This month’s discussion will center on poems that highlight the bee as protagonist or speaker. Because of her fascination with botany and the garden, Dickinson constantly transformed the figure of the bee. Bees are viewed in various guises, including artists, pirates, gentle or jealous lovers, and even cheerful correspondents. This program will unpack how a poet (or anyone) can view one creature through many lenses. 

Facilitator: Susan Goldwitzis an award-winning poet who, after teaching literature on the university level, has expanded her expected circumference to include a new passion, beekeeping, which she has practiced for eight years. She is continually inspired by Emily Dickinson’s ability to view this one little creature in many aspects.

poetry

Poetry Discussion Group – May 17, 2019

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion group meets monthly September through May (except for December) for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters.  Featured facilitators each month offer fresh perspectives on Dickinson’s poetry. While no RSVP is required, participants are invited to e-mail the Program Department to receive a list of poems for discussion.

Topic: How dreary–to be–Somebody!//How public–like a Frog–“: On uses of of nature, subjectivity and observation in E.D.
This discussion will explore Dickinson’s method of observation through a sampling of well-loved and lesser known poems. What natural elements or “characters” attract her atttention? After something captures her notice, what methods does she use to register it?

Polina Barskova, Associate Professor of Russian literature at Hampshire College, received her B.A. from St. Petersburg University and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkely. Her scholarly publications include articles on Nabokov, the Bakhtin brothers, early Soviet film, and the aestheticization of historical trauma, primarily, culture of the Siege of Leningrad (1941-1944). She has also authored eight books of poetry and one book of prose in Russian. Three books of her poetry in English translation were published recently: This Lamentable City (Tupelo Press), Zoo in Winter (Melville House Press), Relocations (Zephyr Press).

Time: Noon – 2 p.m.

Location: The Poetry Discussion Group meets at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, on the second floor of Amherst College’s Frost Library. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch; beverages and a sweet snack are provided. Participants should report directly to the Library, and do not need to stop at the Museum.

Parking: Free parking for this program is available in the Amherst College Alumni Lot. Visitors to campus with any official state-issued Handicapped placards are permitted to park in any marked handicapped spot on campus without obtaining any additional permits from Amherst College.

See a campus map parking map.

Fee: The fee for Museum Friends is $12/session; the general fee is $15/session. Season subscriptions are $80 for Museum members and $105 for non-members. To become a Friend of the Emily Dickinson Museum and enjoy member discounts, click here.

For more information, contact the Program Department: edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or call (413) 542-2034.