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, and will take place September 14-20, 2020.
Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, with support from the Amherst Business Improvement District, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and in partnership with the 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 new name “Tell It Slant,” was selected in homage to 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. The Tell It Slant Poetry Festival remains committed to featuring and serving established and emerging poets who represent the diversity of the contemporary American poetry landscape and to fostering community by placing poetry in the public sphere. The annual event attracts a diverse regional audience of poetry-lovers, including families, students, educators, aspiring writers, and those who are new to poetry and literary events. Past Festival headliners have included James Tate, Dara Weir, Martín Espada, Kaveh Akbar, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Adrian Matejka, Shayla Lawson, and Ocean Vuong.
Please note: The Festival Steering Committee is planning a virtual 2020 event to ensure the health and safety of participants during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are disappointed not to gather together in Amherst, we find (as always) that Dickinson, the original queen of social distancing, offers inspiration. 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.
Admission to all Festival events is free, but your support makes the Amherst Poetry Festival possible. Online donations ahead of the festival will give supporters exclusive access to events and the ability to pre-register for limited seating workshops and panels. Show your support of poetry by being a part of this beloved annual festival!
The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival will be held remotely. Full schedule and registration links will go live in mid-August!