November 17, 2000
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—The Emily Dickinson Homestead will host its annual Open House on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 1 to 5 p.m., in honor of Emily Dickinson’s birthday (Dec. 10, 1830.) The event is free and open to the public.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour through the house, Emily Dickinson’s birthplace and home. Those returning to the Homestead may notice some changes. On the day of the Open House only, the furnishings in Emily Dickinson’s bedroom, where the poet wrote most of her work, will be rearranged. The changes will reflect the findings in preservationist Kristin Herron’s recently completed report, based on historical research, which outlines an exhibit plan for the room to look more as it did in the poet’s lifetime. Visitors will have an opportunity to comment on the changes.

Throughout the afternoon, visitors can taste gingerbread made from Emily Dickinson’s recipe and listen to her poetry. An anonymous admirer of Emily Dickinson’s poetry will give away 170 long-stemmed roses, in honor of the poet’s 170th. Next door to the Homestead, The Evergreens, home of Emily Dickinson’s brother and sister-in-law, will also be open to the public from 2 to 4 p.m., at no charge.

At the end of the day, visitors can take a short drive to hear Dickinson’s poetry in song. On Saturday evening at 8 p.m., in the Greenfield High School Auditorium in Greenfield, Mass., the Pioneer Valley Symphony and Chorus will present “A New England Celebration” of music and art from Amherst and the surrounding region. The program will include New England works, including Aaron Copland’s “Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson.” The acclaimed mezzo-soprano D’Anna Fortunato will be the soloist. For more information on the concert, contact the Pioneer Valley Symphony office at 413/773-3664.

The Homestead is located at 280 Main Street in Amherst. For more information, please call the Homestead at 413/542-8161, or visit its Website at The Homestead will be closed for the winter from Dec. 10, 2000, through March 2, 2001. The Homestead is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Trustees of Amherst College.