Garrison Keillor receives 2017 Tell it Slant Award

Garrison Keillor


Benefit performance supports work of the Emily Dickinson Museum

 AMHERST, Mass. -  Garrison Keillor returns to Amherst in a benefit performance for the Emily Dickinson Museum on Sunday, October 29 at 6 pm in Amherst College's Johnson Chapel. 

Mr. Keillor, currently in the midst of a cross-country tour of his one-man show, will deliver a special program that weaves Emily Dickinson into an evening of storytelling and song. 


Tickets for the program can be purchased at Johnson Chapel the day of the event.

Tickets for the 6 pm presentation and program cost $70 (fully tax-deductible) per person. Tickets that include a 4 pm reception at the Museum with Mr. Keillor cost $125 ($100 tax-deductible). Patron tickets are $250 ($225 tax-deductible) and Benefactor tickets are $500 ($475 tax-deductible). All ticket proceeds support the work of the Emily Dickinson Museum. Five College students are free with ID. A special group rate is available for bookings of six or more. For more information, contact us at 413.542.5311 or

As part of the program on October 29, Mr. Keillor will receive the museum's Tell It Slant Award. The award honors individuals whose work, in any field, is imbued with the creative spirit of America's greatest poet, Emily Dickinson.

The Tell It Slant Award honors individuals whose work, in any field, is imbued with the creative spirit of America's greatest poet, Emily Dickinson. Presentation of the award to Mr. Keillor will take place at a program on Sunday, October 29, at 6 pm at Amherst College's Johnson Chapel.

Garrison KeillorMr. Keillor, best known for hosting A Prairie Home Companion on Minnesota Public Radio from 1974 through 2016, is host of the daily program The Writer's Almanac and the author of more than a dozen books including Lake Wobegon Days, The Book of Guys, Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance, Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny, and The Keillor Reader. He has been honored with Grammy, Awards for Cable Excellence (ACE), and George Foster Peabody awards, the National Humanities Medal, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Since 2016, Mr. Keillor has also been a columnist for The Washington Post. He resides with his wife in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The name of the award is inspired by the Dickinson poem that begins "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant - / Success in Circuit lies," and concludes with the admonition that "The Truth must dazzle gradually / Or every man be blind - ." Jane Wald, executive director of the Emily Dickinson Museum, says that Mr. Keillor’s fictional central Minnesota town of Lake Wobegon, which provided the setting for Prairie Home Companion as well as many of Mr. Keillor's stories and novels, is a prime example of Dickinson’s notion of telling things “slant.”

"Garrison Keillor has long known the power of using a creative voice to ‘dazzle gradually’ about the most important issues of our day as well as everyday human foibles," says Wald. "The Tell It Slant Award acknowledges his remarkable achievements on the page and on the air, as well as his deep appreciation of Emily Dickinson."

In 2010, Mr. Keillor performed a benefit for the Emily Dickinson Museum at Johnson Chapel. There he commented that the Museum is "the most wonderful author's house anywhere in America. This house encompassed this woman and her work. That's her whole world. You can't say that about any other author's house." 

Past recipients of the Tell It Slant Award, which was first presented in 2012, include documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and poets Kay Ryan and Richard Wilbur.