March 5, 2004
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.- "Always Going Back and Forth Between," the story of three Dickinson generations told in their own words, will be performed on Saturday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church (165 Main Street in Amherst). The staged reading is sponsored by The Emily Dickinson Museum.

Compiled and edited by Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College, the dramatic reading includes the words of Edward and Emily Norcross Dickinson, the poet's parents; Austin and Lavinia Dickinson, the poet's siblings; her sister-in-law Susan Dickinson; the poet's nephews, Ned and Gilbert, and niece, Martha; Mabel Loomis Todd; as well as the poet herself. Readers assuming these historic roles are Doris Abramson, professor emeritus of theater at the University of Massachusetts; Mary Elizabeth Bernhard, independent scholar and Emily Dickinson Museum guide; Ellen Louise Hart, Dickinson scholar at the University of California at Santa Cruz; Bob Paquette from public radio station WFCR; Stan Rosenberg, state senator; Susan Snively, poet and the director of Amherst College Writing Center; Ellen Story, state representative from Amherst; and Dara Wier, poet and professor in the University of Massachusetts-Amherst MFA Program for Poets & Writers.

Musical interludes between readings will evoke music enjoyed by the Dickinson family. William Jordan will perform several piano pieces from the 19th century, and Diane Sanabria will perform on banjo, an instrument favored by the poet's nephew Ned.

The evening will conclude with a new song cycle based on Dickinson poems and composed by Willis Bridegam, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the librarian of Amherst College. The piece will be performed by soprano Anita Cooper, director of the Amherst Regional High School Chorale, and Grant Moss, organist at Smith College.

"Always" is the last in a series of events that will take place during the week of March 28 and April 3, in a program titled " 'A little Madness in the Spring': Celebrating History and Poetry at The Emily Dickinson Museum."

For more information about this reading and the rest of the week's events at the Dickinson Museum, visit