June 30, 2009
For immediate release
Contact: Donna Abelli

AMHERST, Mass.—The Emily Dickinson Museum will host two Sunday afternoons of poetry readings as part of its annual Poetry in the Garden series. The readings, which will take place on the lawn at the Dickinson Homestead on July 19 and 26 at 2 p.m., will enable the participating artists and authors to share their reflections on the poet’s life and work in the shade of the stunning gardens that inspired her. This year’s featured speakers include Stan Koehler, Sarah Mager and Ann E. Boutelle. All events are free and open to the public. (In case of inclement weather, the programs will take place at the Amherst College Alumni House, a short walk from the Museum.)

On July 19, Koehler and Mager will present “Conversations from the Grave: Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost.” Koehler, professor emeritus of English at the University of Massachusetts, is the author of Countries of the Mind: The Poetry of William Carlos Williams, The Perfect Destroyers: Poems of WWII and The Fact of Fall. He is also a poet with a keen interest in the writings of two of Amherst’s most esteemed poets, Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost. Mager, now a guide at Historic Deerfield, is retired from South Hadley Middle School, where she taught for 35 years. She is a member of the Emily Dickinson Museum’s poetry discussion group.       

Boutelle will present “Exploring Space in Dickinson’s Poems” on July 26. Senior lecturer and founder of the Poetry Center at Smith College, she has published poems in many journals, including The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review and Poetry. Her first book of poems is Becoming Bone: Poems on the Life of Celia Thaxter (University of Arkansas Press). Her second, Nest of Thistles, won the 2005 Samuel French Morse Prize from Northeastern University Press. She will hold the position of Grace Hazard Conkling Poet-in-Residence at Smith College from 2009 to 2011.

The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family. 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 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.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is located at 280 Main St. in Amherst, Mass.  The official museum Web site is www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org, and the phone number is (413) 542-8161. Summer hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Aug. 31. Regular hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., March through December.