Submitted by Holly R. Saltrelli

April 24, 2008
Contact: Donna M. Abelli
Development and Marketing Manager
Emily Dickinson Museum

AMHERST, Mass. — Amherst College’s Emily Dickinson Museum will host its annual Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk on Saturday, May 17, at 1 p.m. Featuring 24 teachers from Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Worcester counties who participated in a museum-sponsored yearlong workshop about teaching the work of Emily Dickinson, the walk will stop at historic spots in the town of Amherst significant to the poet and incorporate readings of about 30 of her poems. The event is free and open to the public.

“Emily Dickinson, her home and the home of her brother, Austin, are at the center of Amherst’s identity, both literally and figuratively,” said Jane Wald, executive director of the museum. “The Poetry Walk is a great opportunity to learn more about Emily and the town in which she lived and wrote such poignant poetry.”

Held each year on the Saturday closest to Dickinson’s May 15 death, the Poetry Walk will begin at the Dickinson Homestead at 280 Main Street in Amherst at 1 p.m. and is open to walkers at any point along the route. Some of the tour’s stops include the Amherst Train Station, the Amherst History Museum and the site of Dickinson’s girlhood home on North Pleasant Street. While some of the poetry readers this year include the 24 teachers, everyone will be given an opportunity to read. Participants are also invited to share a non-alcoholic toast to Dickinson at West Cemetery on Triangle Street, where the walk ends at 2:30 p.m.

To celebrate the conclusion of the walk and to commemorate the 122nd anniversary of the poet’s death, an open house will follow at the museum from 3 to 5 p.m. with free self-guided tours. The museum is normally accessible by guided tour only.

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 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), while the Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet’s brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson.
The Emily Dickinson museum is located at 280 Main Street in Amherst, Mass. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through December, with extended hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., June through August.