Annual Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk To Commemorate Poet’s Death May 13

May 5, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst will sponsor the annual Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. The walk honors the memory of poet Emily Dickinson, who died on May 15, 1886. The event is free and open to the public. This year’s readings will feature poems that Dickinson sent to her family members who lived at The Evergreens, which was built 150 years ago.

The Poetry Walk will begin at 1 p.m. in the Homestead garden at the Museum, and will proceed through Amherst, stopping at various sites significant in Dickinson’s life. (A full schedule follows.) Members of the Amherst community will read a selection of Dickinson’s poems at each location. Readers include members of the museum’s guiding staff, poetry discussion group, “Kinsmen of the Shelf” book discussion group and a Dickinson reading circle based in Heath, Mass. At 2:30 p.m. the procession will arrive at the West Cemetery on Triangle Street to gather at the Dickinson grave, where all are welcome to read their favorite poems and to join in a lighthearted toast to the poet’s memory.

The Emily Dickinson Museum will host an Open House after the Walk, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The houses will be open for self-guided tours during that time, and guides will be available to answer questions. Admission is free.

Programs and maps of the one-mile route of the Poetry Walk will be available at the Museum. Participants are welcome to join the walk at any point along the route. Those who wish to participate only in the cemetery reading should meet at the Dickinson grave in West Cemetery on Triangle Street at 2:30 p.m.

The Emily Dickinson Museum, comprising the Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens, two historic house museums in Amherst, is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family and is located at 280 Main Street in Amherst. The Dickinson Homestead was the birthplace and residence of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), and The Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet’s brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson. Both properties are owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. For more information, call the Museum at 413/542-8161 or visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org. Wheelchair-accessible parking is available at the Homestead; all other vehicles are asked to park on the street or in an Amherst College lot on Spring Street. Call for more information about accessibility.

Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk
Schedule of Readings
1 p.m. Dickinson Homestead Garden, 280 Main Street
1:20 p.m. Amherst Train Station, Railroad Street
1:40 p.m. Front steps of the Evergreens, 214 Main Street
2 p.m. Front lawn of the Jones Library, 43 Amity Street
2:20 p.m. Parking lot behind Zanna, 187 North Pleasant Street (next to Ren’s Mobil Service, site of Dickinson’s home)
2:30 p.m. Dickinson’s grave site, West Cemetery, Triangle Street

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“Springtime Jazz” to Continue with Jazz Combos at Amherst College May 7-12

May 5, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Springtime Jazz series at Amherst College continues the week of Sunday, May 7 with three concerts featuring the Amherst College Jazz Combos. All concerts will take place in the Friedmann Room of the Keefe Campus Center at Amherst College and are free and open to the public.

The Blue Nomads will begin the week of performances at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, featuring original jazz compositions by group members. The series continues at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10 with both Jeff and the Gang and Rotisserie Chicken to perform, and concludes at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 12 with Catfish and Another Shade of Blue. The concerts will feature music by great jazz artists such as George Benson, Duke Ellington, Jeff Lorber, Stevie Wonder and Michel LeGrand, as well as original compositions by group members.

The Amherst College Jazz Combos are small ensembles dedicated to studying the great artists of jazz and exploring their legacy through innovative journeys into improvisation. The combos are coached by Amherst College Jazz Director Bruce Diehl and jazz bassist Genevieve Rose.

For more information about these concerts, please contact Bruce Diehl at
413/542-8303 or visit http://www.amherst.edu/~jazz.

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Symposia in Honor of Benjamin DeMott at Amherst College June 1 and 2

May 5, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College will present two symposia in honor of Benjamin DeMott, the novelist, social and literary critic who died last year. An emeritus professor of English at Amherst at the time of his death, DeMott is remembered as a legendary teacher who brought his strikingly original mind to the reading of texts of all kinds. Part of the Amherst College Reunion Weekend, both events are free and open to the general public.

The first symposium, titled “Education, Educational Reform and the Liberal Arts,” will take place at 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The panelists will include the poet Philip Levine, emeritus professor of English at California State University, Fresno; Anthony W. Marx, professor of political science and president of Amherst College; Deborah Meier, professor of education at New York University; and Kim Townsend, the Class of 1959 Professor of English at Amherst, who was a colleague of DeMott’s.

“Social Class and Moral Character in Contemporary American Society” is the theme of the second symposium, which will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 2, in the Cole Assembly Room. Panelists will include Norman Birnbaum, professor emeritus at the Georgetown University Law Center and a colleague of DeMott’s at Amherst from 1968 to 1979; Adolph Reed, professor of political science in the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science of the New School University and at the University of Pennsylvania; and Richard Sennett, professor of sociology at the London School of Economics and of sociology and urban studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Born in 1924, DeMott studied as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University, where he earned a B.A. degree in 1949. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1953. DeMott taught at Amherst from 1951 until his retirement in 1990. A trenchant observer of the American scene, he wrote several works of cultural criticism, including Junk Politics: The Trashing of the American Mind (2005), Killer Woman Blues: Why Americans Can’t Think Straight about Gender and Power (2000) and The Trouble With Friendship: Why Americans Can’t Think Straight about Race (1995).

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Amherst College To Present “Magic Drums of India” May 5

May 2, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The semester-long Festival of Indian Music at Amherst College concludes with “Magic Drums of India,” a concert featuring a tabla duet by Sanket Acharya and Rohit Panchakshari, and a mridangam and ghatam duet by Copeland Fellow Umayalpuram Mali and Dan Reck, at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 5, at Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. The concert is free and open to the public.

Sanket Acharya of Nasik, India is a tabla soloist and a ganda-bandh (officially accepted) student of the legendary late maestro Ustad Allarakha. A molecular biology major at Hampshire College, Sanket has performed tabla solos and accompanied various artists in India, the United States, Canada and Europe.

Rohit Panchakshari, also of Nasik, India, has achieved high acclaim as a percussionist both in India and abroad. A disciple of Pandit Naren Khot, Rohit is especially interested in manipulating combinations of rhythm and melody on the tabla. Rohit is a first-year student at Hampshire College and plans to study computer and biological sciences.

Umayalpuram Mali, a disciple of Umayalpuram Sivaraman, is one of the leading percussionists in South India today. Featured in concerts worldwide, Mali is currently in residence as a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College. Dan Reck, a disciple of Mali, specializes in the ghatam and mridangam. He has been studying South Indian percussion since 2002.

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Amherst College Women’s Chorus To Perform May 6 and Concert Choir May 7

May 2, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Women’s Chorus will present a concert of choral music by Gwyneth Walker, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Michael Torke, sung in Chinese, Spanish and Yiddish, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, in Buckley Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. The Amherst College Concert Choir will present a program at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, in Buckley. The Sunday program will feature music by Henry Purcell (“When I am Laid” with Julia Fox, soloist, and “With Drooping Wings” from Dido and Aeneas), Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, Rene Clausen and Frank Ticheli (“There Will be Rest”). The program also will offer music of Estonia.

Admission is free and open to the public.

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New Amherst Art Walk to Kick off Downtown May 4

May 2, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst museums, galleries, shops and restaurants will be opening their doors to the Amherst Art Walk, formerly known as Amherst Gallery Walk,from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 4. The Amherst Art Walk is funded by The Valley Advocate, Promoting Downtown Amherst, Mead Art Museum, Fiber Art Center, The Fine Arts Center, Tiger Press and Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Amherst Art Walk provides an excellent opportunity for area residents to leisurely explore and celebrate the arts of downtown Amherst. The event, which is to take place on the first Thursday of every month, is coordinated by Donna M. Abelli of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Susan Loring-Wells of the Fiber Art Center and Eva Fierst of the University Gallery at University of Massachusetts.

For additional information, visit the Amherst Chamber of Commerce Website at www.amherstarea.com.

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Contact

Peter Rooney
Director of Public Affairs
(413) 542-2321
prooney@amherst.edu