Emily Dickinson The enigmatic poet Emily Dickinson may not have ever spent a significant amount of time in New York City, but, this spring, some of her writings will. A selection from the College’s collection of Emily Dickinson materials—long recognized as one of the largest of its kind in the world—will be incorporated into an upcoming exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum.

Bringing together nearly 100 rarely seen items, including manuscripts and letters, the exhibition, "I’m Nobody! Who are you?"—a title taken from her popular poem—explores a side of her life that is seldom acknowledged: one filled with rich friendships and long-lasting relationships with mentors and editors. The exhibition will run from Jan. 20 to May 21 at the Morgan.

“This is the most ambitious Emily Dickinson exhibition ever assembled, and it includes many never-before-exhibited items, including several that were acquired by the College during the last 15 years,” said Michael Kelly, head of Archives and Special Collections at Amherst, who curated the exhibition in conjunction with the museum.

The exhibition closely examines 24 poems in various draft states, with corresponding audio stops. In addition to the Dickinson writings, the show features an array of visual material associated with the poet, including hand-cut silhouettes, photographs and daguerreotypes, contemporary illustrations, and other items that speak to the rich intellectual and cultural environment in which Dickinson lived and worked.

“This collection of material also showcases the degree to which Amherst was a major part of Dickinson’s life,” Kelly said. “In addition to her father serving as College treasurer for nearly 40 years, Dickinson’s brother Austin was a member of the class of 1850. Dickinson’s first appearance in print was in an Amherst student publication – The Indicator (Feb 1850) – and two Amherst alumni edited newspapers in which her poems appeared in the 1860s.”

In celebration of the opening of the exhibition, Kelly will give an illustrated talk on Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Morgan. He will explore the deeper stories of several objects included in the exhibition, as well as ongoing efforts to make the full range of Dickinson’s manuscript and editorial history widely available and better understood.

For a complete list of activities and a description of the exhibition, go to http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/emily-dickinson.

I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson is made possible with generous support from the Ricciardi Family Exhibition Fund, the Lohf Fund for Poetry, the Caroline Macomber Fund, and Rudy and Sally Ruggles, and assistance from the Acriel Foundation and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

 


 

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