August 26, 2003
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.- The Emily Dickinson Museum will present the final program in a series called "The Angle of a Landscape," focusing on various aspects of nature and art related to the poet Emily Dickinson and her work, with " 'First - Poets - Then the Sun': Emily Dickinson and Astronomy in Amherst" on Sunday, Sept. 7, from 6 until 8 p.m. The program fee is $15. Because space is limited, advance registration is required; please call 413/542-8161 for reservations and information.
Emily Dickinson's observations of the sky fill her poetry-and that may be no accident. Amherst College in the poet's day was one of the leading institutions for the study of astronomy. The evening program will begin with a consideration of Dickinson's poetic celestial observations led by Martha Ackmann, senior lecturer in women's studies at Mount Holyoke College. Ackmann is a Dickinson scholar and author of The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and the Dream of Space Flight (2003). George Greenstein, Sidney Dillon Professor of Astronomy at Amherst College, will share the rich history of astronomy at Amherst College, including David Todd's contributions to the study of Mars, which passes unusually close to Earth this year. Inspired by these discussions, participants will have an opportunity to gaze at the sky through the refracting telescope at the Amherst College Observatory. Built in 1905 as a technologically advanced astronomy center, the observatory and telescope have been recently restored.
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. Both properties are owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. The Dickinson Homestead was the birthplace and residence of the poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). The Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet's brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson. Beginning Sept. 1, The Emily Dickinson Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 1 until 5 p.m. The Museum also will be open on Sunday, Oct. 12 Visit www.dickinsonhomestead.org, call 413/542-8161 or write 280 Main Street, Amherst, MA 01002 for more information.