Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens Mark Emily Dickinson’s Birthday Dec. 14

November 19, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-The Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens will host an annual Open House on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 1 to 4 p.m. in honor of Emily Dickinson's birthday (December 10, 1830). The event is free and open to the public. The Homestead was the poet's birthplace and home. The Evergreens, next door to the Homestead, was the home of Austin and Susan Dickinson, the poet's brother and sister-in-law.

Visitors can enjoy the two houses on self-guided tours. At the Homestead, an anonymous donor will once again offer a gift of roses to the first 172 visitors to the Homestead. Visitors also have the chance to sample caramel candy from Emily Dickinson's recipe and her neighbor's coconut cake. An activity guide is available for children. At The Evergreens, visitors will hear how Amherst residents celebrated Christmas in the second half of the nineteenth century and about Susan Dickinson's innovative holiday decorations that "scandalized" the family's puritan neighbors.

The Evergreens' Open House will feature special guest John R. Nelson, a cultural historian of toys and toymaking and author of American Folk Toys: Easy-to-Build Toys for Kids of All Ages. Professor Nelson, who has taught American Literature at the University of Massachusetts since 1967 and is director of its Professional Writing Program, will discuss and demonstrate toys from his own collection during the Open House. The exchange of gifts"particularly toys for young children" was an increasingly important tradition in nineteenth-century holiday celebrations.

The Homestead has a new orientation exhibit in its recently completed Tour Center. The Homestead also has a new roof of wood shingles, reminiscent of the roof that covered the house during the poet's lifetime.

The Homestead and The Evergreens are located on Main Street in Amherst. For more information about the Open House, please call the Homestead at (413) 542-8161, The Evergreens at (413) 256-3925, or visit http://www.dickinsonhomestead.org. The Homestead is wheelchair-accessible on the first floor. 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. For more information about special needs or other questions, please call the Homestead at (413) 542-8161. The Homestead and The Evergreens will be closed for the winter from December 15, 2002, through February 28, 2003.

The Homestead is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. The Evergreens is owned by the Martha Dickinson Bianchi Trust.

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Mabrito To Speak on "Objectivity, Ethics, and Belief" Dec. 6 at Amherst College

November 19, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Robert Mabrito, a visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Tufts University, will present a lecture on "Objectivity, Ethics, and Belief" on Friday, Dec. 6, at 4:30 p.m. in Pruyne Lecture Hall (115) in Fayerweather Hall at Amherst College. His talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry Fund in Philosophy and Science as part of a series on "Objectivity in Science and Ethics," will be free and open to the public.

Mabrito's research interests are in ethics and the philosophy of language. In ethics, he explores the plausibility of non-cognitivist (some might say subjectivist) theories of ethical practice, considering the question of the proper role of personal considerations in ethical thought. The philosophy of language interests Mabrito because he believes that, once we properly understand what it is for meaning to be a part of ethics, we will see that much else-emotions, for example-is ethical in the same way.

Mabrito received a B.A. (1990) from Yale University, and M.A. (1994) and Ph.D. (2001) degrees, all in philosophy, from the University of Michigan.

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Christmas Vespers at Amherst College Dec. 8

November 15, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-The annual Christmas Vespers service will be held on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 4 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. The "Festival of Lessons and Carols" is sponsored by the Amherst College Christian Fellowship, the Newman Club and the Protestant and Roman Catholic Religious Advisors. Admission is free, and the public is invited.

Mallorie Chernin will direct the Amherst College Choral Society, assisted by Bradford Tilden '02. Whitney Cox '03 and Alison Kaufman '03 will direct the Amherst College Madrigal Singers. Other musicians will include James Maes and Douglas Purcell of the Amherst College Music Department.

The Choral Society will perform music of Aguiar, David Willocks, Steven Sametz and others, and also folk songs of Bulgaria and South Africa. Members of the college community will read the scripture lessons. The congregation will be asked to join in the singing of traditional carols and the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah.

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Emily Dickinson Biographer Polly Longsworth To Speak at Amherst College Dec. 10

November 15, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Polly Longsworth will deliver a talk titled "Abyss Has No Biographer: Researching the Hidden Life of Emily Dickinson" on the 172nd anniversary of Dickinson's birth, Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m. in the Archives and Special Collections of the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College. Longsworth is an independent scholar and author of a forthcoming biography of the poet. The Amherst College Library, through its May H. and Albert M. Morris '13 fund, is the sponsor of Longsworth's talk, one of a series by scholars using the college library's resources. A selection of Dickinson manuscripts will be on display at the event, which is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the talk.

Educated at Smith College, Longsworth contributed an essay to last year's volume of photographs by Jerome Liebling, The Dickinsons of Amherst, and is the author of The World of Emily Dickinson (1990). Her 1994 work, Austin and Mabel: The Amherst Love Affair and Love Letters of Austin Dickinson and Mabel Loomis Todd, is "one of the most explosive books ever published about social and sexual mores in nineteenth-century America," according to the New York Review of Books. She also has written and spoken frequently about Emily Dickinson.

Chris Benfey, a Dickinson scholar and professor of English at Mount Holyoke College who also contributed to The Dickinsons of Amherst, says, "Polly brings a rare combination of passion and skepticism to the biographer's task. She's always asking what we really know, beneath the legends and myths and half-truths, about Emily Dickinson. Everyone who works on Dickinson depends on Polly's fresh research, probing questions, and convincing conclusions."

Longsworth is a trustee of the Martha Dickinson Bianchi Trust, which administers The Evergreens in Amherst, and served on the boards of the Friends of the Amherst College Library, the Dickinson Homestead Advisory Board and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and the American Antiquarian Society, among others. The Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens will celebrate the poet's birthday with an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.

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Poet Brigit Kelly To Read at Amherst College Dec. 2

November 15, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- The Amherst College Creative Writing Center will conclude its Fall Reading Series with an appearance by poet Brigit Pegeen Kelly on Monday, Dec. 2, at 8 p.m. in the Babbott Room at the Octagon.

Poet James Merrill admired Kelly's "exuberant way with words" and her poetic reflection of "the wild, transforming eye of childhood." He was not alone; Kelly's astonishing, visionary poetry has won a number of awards. Her collection Song was the 1994 Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets, and her first book of poems, To the Place of Trumpets, was selected by Merrill in 1988 for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Kelly teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center puts on a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. The Center's Website is at http://www.amherst.edu/~cwc.

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Vladimir Feltsman Presents Music at Amherst Dec. 7

November 15, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- In the next concert in the Music at Amherst series, Vladimir Feltsman will perform an evening of piano pieces, including Bach's Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major and Partita No. 2 in C minor and Mussorgsky's "Pictures at An Exhibition." The concert is on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College.

An artist of immense range and insight, Feltsman is recognized as one of the most imaginative and constantly interesting musicians of our time. Feltsman, whose diverse repertoire includes everything from the Baroque to 20th-century composers, debuted with the Moscow Philharmonic at the age of 11. After studying piano and conducting at the Moscow State Conservatory of Music and the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Conservatory, Feltsman won the 1971 Grand Prix at the Marguerite Long International Piano Competition and toured throughout Europe, Japan and the former Soviet Union. Having expressed his unhappiness with the Soviet government's rigid control of the arts in 1979, Feltsman was banned from performing in public and was only granted permission to leave the country eight years later. Since then he has toured worldwide, and has been a regular guest soloist with every leading orchestra in the United States.

According to The New York Times, "Feltsman is quite simply an amazing pianist."

Admission to the concert is $21, senior citizens $18, and students $5. Tickets may be reserved by calling 413/542-2195 on weekday mornings. The Amherst College Concert Office has a Website at http://www.amherst.edu/~concerts/.

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Annual “Voices for the Voiceless” Poetry Reading at Amherst College Nov. 15

November 11, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-La Causa will present "Voices for the Voiceless: The Freedom Song." Fifteen nationally recognized poets will appear on stage for an evening of literary and cultural entertainment on Friday, Nov. 15 from 6 until 10 p.m. in the Frontroom of the Keefe Campus Center at Amherst College. In addition to the poetry reading, the event will feature a Mexican buffet courtesy of La Veracruzana restaurant, an appearance by DJ Big Phil, book signings and an album release party.

This year "Voices for the Voiceless" will honor Raul Salinas, one of the founders of the Chicano Literary Movement, as the recipient of the Louis Reyes Rivera Lifetime Achievement Award.

The fifteen poets who will read from their work are all members of ALANA, the African/Latino/Asian/Native American association. They include Giles Lung-Hwa Li, Raul Salinas, Ivan Miller, Monique Jarvis, Crystal Senter-Brown, Steven "Bonafide" Rojas, Kevin Coval, Jaime "Shaggy" Flores, Crystal Lee Endsley, Bassey Ikpi, Ed Garcia, E. Omar Telan, Soulfighter, Dennis Kim and Reginald Harris.

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Poet Matthew Zapruder '89 To Read at Amherst College Nov. 20

November 11, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- The Amherst College Creative Writing Center will continue its Fall Reading Series with an appearance by poet Matthew Zapruder on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. in the Amherst Center for Russian Culture (Webster 202). The Center is co-sponsoring the event.

A 1989 graduate of Amherst College, Zapruder returns to read from his first book of poems, American Linden, which won the 2001 Tupelo Press Editors' Prize. Zapruder, whose poems have been published in the New Yorker, the New Republic, and the Harvard Review, is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Verse Press, an independent publishing house. He teaches poetry at the New School and will be the James Merrill-Visiting Writer in Stonington, CT next year.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center puts on a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. The Center's Website is at http://www.amherst.edu/~cwc.

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Sharon Street To Speak on “A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories About Reasons” at Amherst College Nov. 14

November 4, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass. - Philosopher Sharon Street, an instructor in philosophy at New York University and a 1995 graduate of Amherst College, will talk about "A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories About Reasons" on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall. Her talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry Fund in Philosophy and Science as part of a series on "Objectivity in Science and Ethics," will be free and open to the public.

Street specializes in ethics. Her current research focuses on whether and in what sense normative judgments can be objectively correct, and on the implications of evolutionary biology for this question. While her primary research interests are thus meta-ethical "or, more accurately, meta-normative, concerning the nature of both practical and epistemic reasons" she also is interested in normative ethics, the history of ethics, and political philosophy.

After earning a B.A in philosophy from Amherst, Street is completing a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

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