Acclaimed Author Reimagines Dickinson Love Affair in New Historical Novel


Amherst

March 3, 2015
By Rachel Rogol

Even if you’ve never heard his name, chances are you’re familiar with William Nicholson’s work. An award-winning screenwriter whose film credits include Shadowlands, Gladiator, Elizabeth: the Golden Age and Les Misérables, among others, Nicholson is also an acclaimed author who writes both for adults and younger readers.

His most recent project is Amherst, a historical novel that intersperses a fictional modern-day love story with the historically accurate love affair between Austin Dickinson (brother of Emily Dickinson and Amherst College Treasurer from 1873 until his death in 1895) and his mistress Mabel Loomis Todd (wife of David Todd, Class of 1875, who served the college as Instructor in Astronomy and Director of the Observatory). Both the Dickinson and Todd families were intimately involved in the life of Amherst College from its very beginning.

Nicholson's new novel recreates Austin and Mabel's scandalous affair from numerous letters between the two and cites snippets of Emily Dickinson's poems throughout. "It's in some ways my love letter to the poet Emily Dickinson, who I first encountered over forty years ago," Nicholson wrote on his blog. "Her poems shock and thrill me as much today as they did then."

Visiting Artist Sheila Pepe Creates Social Sculpture in Eli Marsh Gallery

 

February 17, 2015
By Rachel Rogol

Sheila Pepe installationSheila Pepe: From Space to Place, Eli Marsh Gallery, 2015.

“Please don't touch the artwork” is not something you’ll hear when visiting the newest installation in Amherst’s Eli Marsh Gallery.

World-renowned contemporary artist Sheila Pepe—best known for her large-scale and site-specific works of knitting and crocheting—has created a remarkable installation that combines her hand-crocheted materials with artworks by Amherst faculty. The result is an intimate setting that welcomes visitors inside… to sit, to contemplate and, most interestingly, to participate.

15 Things to Do at Amherst in 2015

By William Harvey ’18

amherst-14b_400x267.jpg

The Amherst campus from above (© 2015 AboveSummit)

This year, make it your goal to do the unexpected and break the habits of your everyday life. Whether you’re visiting Amherst for the first time or hoping to find something new on campus, here are 15 things you should do in 2015 at Amherst.

Traveling Exhibition at Beneski Museum Shows Effects of Climate Change on Alaskan Arctic

February 11, 2015
By Rachel Rogol

Then & Now images
Top: McCall Glacier, 1973, photographed by Dennis Trabant; Bottom: McCall Glacier, 2007, photographed by Ken Tape

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Then & Now: The Changing Arctic Landscape—a traveling exhibition from the University of Alaska Museum of the North—speaks volumes about glacial retreat and the consequences of climate change in the Alaskan Arctic.

On view at Amherst College’s Beneski Museum of Natural History through April 19, 2015, Then & Now features photographs and media presentations that illustrate the startling effects of climate change, provide context about the Arctic ecosystem and illuminate the behind-the-photo stories of the consequences of climate change for Arctic indigenous peoples.

Drama in the Bunker, and Romantic Comedy, Too

Submitted on Monday, 2/9/2015, at 1:34 PM

The Samuel French Collection

click for a peek inside the Samuel French collection

by Bill Sweet

In an underground storage facility that is about as far a cry as you can get from the excitement and glamour of live theater, a huge and largely undiscovered treasure trove of history of the American stage has been growing steadily over the past half-century.

Day of Dialogue on Race and Racism

Submitted on Wednesday, 1/28/2015, at 9:10 AM

by Bill Sweet

Discussions about race and racism can be painful, acrimonious or, perhaps worse, avoided all together. However, sensing the need to bring the national discussion here, Amherst College recently stopped everything to thoughtfully consider how this issue plays out on campus.

Studying Amherst's Houses with Blair Kamin

Submitted on Friday, 1/23/2015, at 5:19 PM

by Bill Sweet

When Blair Kamin ’79, the Chicago Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic, recently returned to Amherst College to teach an interterm class, the subject was, naturally enough, architecture. The lessons, however, were in journalism.

“You can do all the research in the world, you can have the most fascinating information, but if you don’t compel the reader to read, you’re dead meat,” Kamin told a group of students who joined him in unpacking the design and history of the campus’s former fraternity houses.

The Moose Abides

Submitted on Thursday, 12/4/2014, at 4:11 PM

The moose in Frost Library

by Bill Sweet

A mysterious moose has taken up residence at Frost Library, and no one is asking him to leave.

Ebola: Amherst Responds

Submitted on Wednesday, 11/5/2014, at 2:34 PM

by Bill Sweet

As the world watches West Africa and beyond for the increasingly concerning news about the outbreak of Ebola, Amherst College does what it always has done: thoughtfully examine the problem, and offer help.

Making Discoveries at the Mead

Submitted on Tuesday, 9/16/2014, at 11:30 AM

A new school year means new works, new classes and new discoveries being made at Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum, starting with an exhibition that simultaneously occupies the gallery space and cyberspace.

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