Poet Daniel Hall To Read at Amherst College April 16

April 10, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Poet Daniel Hall, a writer-in-residence at Amherst College and the author of a new collection, Under Sleep (2007), will read from his work at 8 p.m. on Monday, April 16, in the Alumni House at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Center at Amherst College, Hall’s reading is free and open to the public.

Hall’s first book, Hermit with Landscape (1990), was chosen by James Merrill for the Yale Series of Younger Poets, and his second, Strange Relation (1996), was selected for The National Poetry Series. Of his newest, Under Sleep, Richard Wilbur praises the collection’s “rich account of consciousness and of the density of any experience,” and Stephen Yenser calls it a “splendid new book, at once so sad, witty and exquisitely made.

Hall, who has taught at Amherst since the spring of 2000, began writing in 1979. He received the Great Lakes College Association New Writer Award in 1990, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant in 1991, an award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1995 and the Whiting Foundation Award in 1998-99. He also was awarded a 2002 Fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Hall’s poems, memoirs and book reviews have been published in the National Poetry Series, the Yale Review, Verse and Parnassus.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center sponsors a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. For more information, see their Website at www.amherst.edu/~cwc/ or please call 413/542-8200.


Historian Simon Schama on "Abolition of the Slave Trade"

April 6, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Historian Simon Schama will give a talk titled “Righteous Uproar or Deafening Silence: Remembering the Abolition of the Slave Trade in America and Britain,” at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Victor S. Johnson Lectureship Fund at Amherst, Schama’s talk is free and open to the public.

Between 1999 and 2002 Schama created the 15-part A History of Britain for BBC Television and the History Channel. He was nominated for an Emmy for the series in 2003. Three volumes of A History of Britain connected with the series (At the Edge of the World, The British Wars and The Fate of Empire) were published between 1999 and 2002. Schama is currently at work on a book about the Anglo-American relationship and an eight-part television series for the BBC, The Power of Art. An art critic for the New Yorker, he also writes frequently for The New Republic, The New York Review of Books and The Guardian.

A university professor at Columbia University, Simon Schama last month received the National Book Critics Award for Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution. An expert in European cultural and environmental history and the history of art, he received his degrees from Cambridge in 1966 and 1969. His books include Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands, 1780–1813 (1977), Two Rothschilds and the Land of Israel (1978), The Embarrassment of Riches: an Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (1987), Citizens: a Chronicle of the French Revolution (1989), Dead Certainties: Unwarranted Speculations (1991), Landscape and Memory (1995), Rembrandt’s Eyes (1999) and Hang-Ups : A Collection of Essays on Art (2004).

The Victor S. Johnson Lectureship Fund was established in memory of Victor S. Johnson (1882-1943) by his sons for the purpose of “bringing to the campus each year a stimulating individual worthy of the lectureship’s purpose of serving the best tradition of the liberal arts and individual freedom.”


Bernard Harcourt To Speak at Amherst College on “Miscarriages of Justice” April 16

April 6, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Bernard E. Harcourt, the Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Criminology and the director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Chicago, will give a talk titled “Flipping a Coin, Throwing the Dice: Miscarriages of Justice and the Sentencing Lottery” at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 16, in the Babbott Room in the Octagon at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Croxton Lectureship, Harcourt’s talk will be free and open to the public.

Harcourt’s scholarship focuses on issues of crime and punishment from an empirical and social theoretic perspective. He is the author of Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing and Punishing in an Actuarial Age (2007), Language of the Gun: Youth, Crime, and Public Policy (2005) and Illusion of Order: The False Promise of Broken-Windows Policing (2001). He is also the editor of a collection of essays on Guns, Crime and Punishment in America (2003) and of the journal The Carceral Notebooks. Harcourt received a B.A. in political theory from Princeton University, a law degree from Harvard Law School, and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University.

The Croxton Lectureship was established in 1988 by William M. Croxton ’36 in memory of his parents, Ruth L. and Hugh W. Croxton, to bring to campus well-known speakers who focus on topical issues.


“A little Madness in the Spring” Turns Emily Dickinson Museum Upside Down April 28 & 29; Dickinson Museum Goes to the Dogs

April 4, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—The Emily Dickinson Museum’s celebration of National Poetry Month, appropriately named after Dickinson’s poem “A little Madness in the Spring,” takes over Amherst on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, with a range of lectures, programs and outdoor events that will inspire even the most canine of poetry fans.

“This year, we’re paying special tribute to the poet’s dog Carlo. Carlo became a fixture in the poet’s life from 1850 to his death in 1866 and was a source of constant companionship for Dickinson,” said Jane Wald, executive director of the Emily Dickinson Museum. “To that end, we’ve created a program on Sunday that even dogs can enjoy.”

The weekend opens on Saturday with an 11 a.m. talk by writer Jeanne Braham and artist Barry Moser at the Amherst Women’s Club. Together, Braham and Moser collaborated on a recently released book, The Light within the Light: Portraits of Donald Hall, Richard Wilbur, Maxine Kumin and Stanley Kunitz, which examines portraiture created with both words and art. Former U.S. poet laureate, Richard Wilbur will introduce the program with some of his own poetic portraits. A reception and book signing will follow the program.

On Saturday afternoon, the sometimes silly, sometimes serious program focuses on the landscape of both Dickinson homes. Landscape consultant Marta McDowell, author of Emily Dickinson’s Gardens, will give a lecture on Dickinson’s herbarium at 2 p.m. at the Amherst Women’s Club. Following the lecture, participants can choose between two hands-on workshops at the Homestead at 3:30 p.m., one on establishing an herbarium garden and another on planting a container conservatory much like the one Dickinson kept.

At 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, poet Mary Jo Salter will launch the museum’s new landscape audio tour, “Grounds of Memory,” with a short reading on the museum grounds. The tour, which was funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, was recorded with the help of WFCR 88.5FM and features the voices of Richard Wilbur, Mary Jo Salter, John Martin, Jane Wald, Marta McDowell and Walter Carroll. The tour includes 18 stops significant to the poet’s family and is free throughout the weekend on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Emily Dickinson’s poetry celebrates the landscape and natural world with such depth and nuance. The landscape was so meaningful to each member of her family in his or her own way,” said Wald. “We’re so excited to be able to help visitors make meaningful connections with the land as well as the two Dickinson family homes.”

Two Juniper Literary Festival lectures will take place on Saturday, April 28, at the Emily Dickinson Museum in conjunction with “A little Madness in the Spring.” Weird War: The Politics of Whimsy will investigate contemporary world events and the literary responses to them at 2:15 p.m. in the Homestead Tour Center. In the same location at 3:30 p.m., Going Viral: The Internet and New Literary Criticism will explore the intersection of the literary Website with traditional media.

On Sunday afternoon, “A little Madness in the Spring” goes to the dogs with an outdoor celebration of the poet’s dog Carlo that begins at 12:30 p.m. on the museum grounds. Visitors are invited to bring their dogs out for a number of 19th-century dog amusements and a dog parade in honor of the poet’s walks with Carlo. A real “Carlo” will meet and greet guests. All canine guests are required to be on short leashes, and for children in want of a four-legged friend, stuffed animals are also welcome. Owners are encouraged to register their pets in advance by calling 413/542-2034.

For dog’s best friend, a lecture by professor and author Katherine C. Grier titled “The Dog is the noblest work of Art” will take place at 3 p.m. at the Amherst Women’s Club. Grier is the author of the recently published book Pets in America and a professor in the Office of Academic Programs at the Winterthur Museum. She will give a history of the domesticated dog in the United States. A book signing will follow.

All “Madness” events are free and open to the general public, with the exception of the gardening workshops, which require pre-registration and a materials fee. To register, call 413/542-2034 or e-mail nfischlein@emilydickinsonmuseum.org. For a full schedule of events, visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/events.html.

“A little Madness in the Spring” is made possible by the generous support of the Valley Advocate, WFCR 88.5FM, NPR News and Music for Western New England, Jones Town & Country Realty, The Lord Jeffery Inn, Tiger Press and the Amherst College Department of English.





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