June 21, 2004
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.- The Emily Dickinson Museum will host "To see the Summer Sky is Poetry," a series of Sunday afternoon readings of Dickinson's poems in the Museum garden at 280 Main St. in Amherst, Mass. On Sunday, July 11, Wally Swist, poet-in-residence at Fort Juniper, the Robert Francis House, will explore Dickinson's poems that relate to the nature of love, and present some of his own work. On Sunday, July 18, Lynn Margulis, a distinguished scientist and next-door neighbor to the Emily Dickinson Museum, will share her favorite Dickinson nature poems on a walk around the family property. On Sunday, July 25, Jay Ladin, professor of English at Yeshiva University and a resident of Amherst, will focus on Emily Dickinson's poems about God. He will also read some of his own poems.

All programs begin at 3 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Parking is available on Main Street and side streets throughout downtown Amherst. Some seating will be provided, but audience members are invited to bring blankets or lawn chairs. For more information, contact the Museum at 413/542-8161 or visit the Museum's Website at www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

Wally Swist's poems have appeared in various anthologies and periodicals. His books include The New Life (1998), Veils of the Divine (2003), and The Silence Between Us (forthcoming). In the summer of 2003, he gave the final reading in the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival at the Hillstead Museum in Farmington, Conn.,, and was accompanied by jazz cellist Eugene Friesen, a member of Paul Winter Consort. In residence at the Robert Francis House in Amherst, Swist is also the general book manager of the University Store at the University of Massachusetts.

Lynn Margulis, distinguished professor of geosciences, has taught at the University of Massachusetts since 1988. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and her papers will be archived at the Library of Congress. Her publications span topics that include original contributions to cell biology and microbial ecology. She helps develop hands-on science teaching materials: videos of swimming protists, posters and field guides. As a neighbor of the Emily Dickinson Museum, Margulis has developed a special affinity for the poet and has used Dickinson's quotations extensively in her own writings.

Jay Ladin is Ruth and David Gottesman Professor of English at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University. A long-time Dickinson scholar, he is currently working on a book that deals in part with Dickinson's place in American literary history. His first book of poetry, Alternatives to History, appeared last year, and his poems have been published in many magazines. In 2002, he taught Dickinson and other American poets at Tel Aviv University as a Fulbright Scholar. For several years he also taught a course about Dickinson's poetry at the Dickinson Homestead.