“Poetry 101: How to Read an Emily Dickinson Poem” Sunday, Sept. 23

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

September 4, 2007
Contact: Donna M. Abelli
Development and Marketing Manager
The Emily Dickinson Museum
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs

AMHERST, Mass.Join writer and scholar Joanne Dobson for a discussion of the joys—and some of the problems—of reading Dickinson’s brilliant poems. “This is my letter to the World”: How to Read an Emily Dickinson Poem will take place free of charge at the Amherst Women’s Club, 35 Triangle St., Amherst, Mass., at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23.

During the afternoon, participants will read a few key poems in light of the nature of manuscript poetry, the tradition of social circulation of private texts and publishing practices of Emily Dickinson’s day. This program is perfect for those new to Dickinson, as well as those with experience wrestling with her verse.

Dobson is the author of Dickinson and the Strategies of Reticence: The Woman Writer in Nineteenth-Century America. She is co-founder and for 10 years was editor of Legacy—A Journal of American Women Writers. Until recently, she taught creative writing and literature at Fordham University. She now writes full time and is the author of the Professor Karen Pelletier academic mystery series.

The Emily Dickinson Museum, made up of 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 museum is overseen by a separate board of governors charged with raising its operating and capital funds. 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.

This program is part of “BookMarks: A Celebration of the Art of the Book,” a region-wide festival from September 2007 to January 2008 that will bring to life the Pioneer Valley’s great literary traditions through film, family events, lectures and readings. This initiative is sponsored by the Emily Dickinson Museum and Museums10, a partnership of 10 museums and friends (including Amherst College’s Frost Library, the Mead Art Museum and the Museum of Natural History) within the Pioneer Valley. More information about “BookMarks” is available on the Museums10 Website, www.museums10.org.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is located at 280 Main St. in Amherst, Mass., and the official museum Website is at www.emilydickinsonmusuem.org. Hours for September through October are Wednesday through Sunday, 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; for November through December 8, hours are Wednesday and Saturday, 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The museum will hold extended hours to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, and will be closed the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.