poetry festival

The 2020 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, and will take place September 14-20, 2020. The schedule is now live and includes headliners Ada Limón, Jericho Brown, Kimaya Diggs, Franny Choi, Shayla Lawson, and, as is tradition, the Emily Dickinson Marathon.

View the 2020 Festival Schedule

About the Festival:

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.

block party

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.

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:
2019 Amherst Poetry Festival


Thank you to the supporters of The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival:
Arun Prakash Sanghvi, I am Nobody!
David Banach
Paola Vavrusova
Yamini Pathak
Beth Curran
Carri Lynn George
Catherine A Kreyche
Daniel M. Perrine
David M Williams
David M. Clayton
Deborah Polansky
Doris W Brogan in memory of Sandra Lamb
Emily Lackey in celebration of The Emily Dickinson Museum Staff
Erika Hendra in memory of Jason Ram
Florencia Milito
Harbour Fraser Hodder
Jac-Lynn Stark
Jenna Schiappacasse
Joshua T. Platt
Karen M Homer in memory of Andrew Peik
Kellie L. Burdg
Laura Johnson in celebration of Molly Shedek-Alexander
Laurel Radzieski
Lynette Terrell
Marcia Camino in memory of Michael Mason
Margaret M Stawowy in honor of Doris Stawowy
Nicole Pura Heath
Nora Maroulis in honor of Mary Carr Trebbe
Paul Telles
Robert L. Gamble
Stacy Evans
Steven John Wagner

Posted in Past Events.