now that you mention her…

December 11, 2017

As long as we’re on the topic of Emily Dickinson (yesterday being her birthday)… If you are an Emily fan (aren’t we all, in some way, indebted to her?) or if you are a note scratcher or a collage maker, this might be a good time to go back and read Dan Chiasson’s article in The New Yorker, “Emily Dickinson’s Singular Scrap Poetry.”


on poetry

December 10, 2017

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?”
Emily Dickinson
(December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886)

. . . . .

What are your plans for Earth Day? Saturday’s weather should be mild and cloudy in Buffalo, New York. But actually weather won’t be much of a concern if you decide to attend the Emily Dickinson Community Marathon Reading. From 8:00am to 9:30pm, local celebs, poets and other Emily fans will read all 1789 of Dickinson’s poems. Plus, from 1:00 to 1:30pm, there will be a break in the readings to celebrate Dickinson with song and comedy improvs!

That’s this Saturday, April 22, 2017, at the Westminster Presbyterian Church. It’s free and you do not need to register or contact anyone to participate. Just show up and join in the reading. More details here.

Swinging seal engraved Emily, Gold and citrine; English or American, ca. 1850. Houghton Library, Harvard University.

On exhibit now through May 28, 2017, at the Morgan Library & Museum is “I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson.” Bringing together nearly one hundred rarely seen items, including manuscripts and letters, I’m Nobody! Who are you? — a title taken from her popular poem — is the most ambitious exhibition on Dickinson to date. It 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 closely examines twenty-four poems in various draft states, with corresponding audio stops. In addition to her writings, the show also features an array of visual material, 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.

Accompanying the exhibition is a variety of gallery talks, discussions, tours, a concert (Tuesday, March 21, 2017) — In Poetry and Song: An Evening with Patti Smith and Jesse Paris Smith — a film, workshop, and an audio selection of poems by Emily Dickinson read by contemporary poet Lee Ann Brown. A substantial amount of the exhibit is available online, with images of many of Dickinson’s draft pages, as well as audio and transcribed versions.

See the full details on The Morgan Library & Museum website.

Emily Dickinson silhouette

Today, May 15, 2016, marks the 130th anniversary of Emily Dickinson’s death. In case you missed it, “The Lost Gardens of Emily Dickinson” appeared in the Science section of The New York Times this week, describing the work underway in the gardens, orchard and greenhouse at Dickinson’s home in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Archaeologists are examining the property for clues about the position and contents of the poet’s garden, which the Emily Dickinson Museum hopes to restore by the end of the year. This project offers more than the re-creation of a pretty site. As author Ferris Jabr says of Dickinson’s combined interests in botany and poetry, “Her passion for all things botanical is essential for a complete understanding of her personality, spirituality and verse.”

Read the article.

. . . . .
Silhouette of Emily Dickinson cut by Charles Temple, 1845

for your watch list

March 11, 2016

A Quiet Passion

Based on the life and work of Emily Dickinson, the Terence Davies-directed film “A Quiet Passion” is on the festival circuit and expected to be released in September. The buzz is favorable. Read Richard Brody’s “A Masterly Emily Dickinson Movie” in The New Yorker and put “A Quiet Passion” on your watch list.

Alice and Emily

February 23, 2016

Parker and Dickinson

Be among the first to hear a premier work by 90-years-young American composer Alice Parker at “The Eternal Soul,” the spring performance of the Whatcom Chorale. Parker’s song cycle “Heavenly Hurt: Songs of Love and Loss” explores the profound and the ephemeral in poetry by Emily Dickinson. Additional selections by Brahms and Schubert promise lush, romantic harmonies to portray the conflicting moods of exuberance and hesitancy inspired by love.

The performance will be held on Sunday, March 13, 2016, at 3:00pm, at the First Congregational Church in Bellingham, Washington.

Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets and at Village Books, Piper Music, Everybody’s Store, The Greenhouse, and the Food Co-Op stores. Tickets will be sold at the door if available.

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