September 5, 2008
Contact: Donna M. Abelli
Development and Marketing Manager

AMHERST, Mass. — Amherst College’s Emily Dickinson Museum will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a day of special events and activities on its grounds Saturday, Sept. 27.  Titled Such a Hurrah!, the festivities will feature the fourth annual Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon, an open house, the premier of a new Dickinson film and special tours, among other activities. All of the events are free and open to the public.

The day’s schedule is as follows:
•    7 a.m.—The Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon, in which all 1,789 of the famous Amherst resident’s poems are read, begins. Poets, writers, journalists, children, college students, families, teachers, poetry lovers and the curious are warmly encouraged to attend the 16-hour event.
•    1 to 1:30 p.m.—The marathon breaks for cake, ice cream and reminisces of the museum’s first years and new initiatives.
•    1:30 p.m.—The marathon resumes.
•    1:30 to 5 p.m.—The Homestead will host an open house.
•    1:30, 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.—The Poet in Her Bedroom, a new 30-minute film about Dickinson, will be shown in the Homestead’s parlors. Produced and written by the Amherst filmmaking team of Ernest Urvater and Terry Allen, the film captures the essence of the poet in her own words.

In addition to the scheduled events, the museum will offer a special tour, titled Home Talk, at The Evergreens throughout the afternoon. Home Talk will enable visitors to learn about the lives and events of the Austin and Susan Dickinson family in their own words and in their own home. A self-guided outdoor exhibit will also mark the museum’s major accomplishments of the last five years with a trail of balloons and “Hurrahs.” (Visitors wishing to take one of the museum’s regular tours, Emily Dickinson’s World and This Was a Poet, can do so between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. with purchased admission.)

The name of the celebrations, Such a Hurrah!, comes from a letter written in 1842 by 11-year-old Emily to her brother Austin, away at boarding school, about the merriment to be expected when the whole family was together: “There was always such a Hurrah wherever you was.”

The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family.  The Dickinson Homestead was the birthplace and residence of the poet (1830-1886). The Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet’s brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson.  They are located at 280 Main Street in Amherst, Mass.

The Emily Dickinson Museum was created in 2003 when the two houses merged under the ownership of Amherst College, and it has been steadily growing and expanding its programs and activities.  With over 43,000 visitors in the past five years and over 2 million hits annually on its Web site, the museum has been building recognition worldwide.

The official museum website is and the phone number is (413) 542-8161. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., March to December.