festival season

September 10, 2020

The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival (formerly the Amherst Poetry Festival) is a free event that celebrates the poetic legacy of Emily Dickinson and the contemporary creativity of the Pioneer Valley (Massachusetts) and beyond. This year’s festival will be held remotely, and will take place September 14-20, 2020.

The schedule is out now and includes headliners Ada Limón, Jericho Brown, Kimaya Diggs, Franny Choi, Shayla Lawson, and as is tradition, the Emily Dickinson Marathon.

Space is limited, so make sure to sign up for individual programs in advance.

Send Emily a postcard

December 6, 2019

Emily Dickinson‘s birthday is December 10 and to honor the occasion, The Emily Dickinson Museum, in Amherst, Massachusetts, invites you to send Emily a postcard.

Postcards received by December 10 will be displayed in a special exhibition, “The World Writes Back: Postcards to Emily Dickinson.” (Just learned about this; sorry for the late notice.)

The details and address are here.

on approach…

September 17, 2019

Back in December, we noted that a new Apple TV program, Dickinson, was casting for its 10-episode series. In case you’ve been waiting, feathers a-fluff, you can now watch a trailer for the show. You, and Emily, might be surprised at what’s in store.

Water by Salmon*

August 18, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Phelps McIlvaine
After Emily Dickinson’s “WATER IS TAUGHT BY THIRST”

As life is taught by death,
and the Sun by Space,
So, Clouds are taught by Land
and Rains by Place.

As Mountains are taught by Plains,
and Rivers by Lakes,
So, Trees are taught by Soils,
And Elements by their Weight.

As Deserts are taught by Shores,
and Ocean Waves by Wind,
So, Depth is taught by height,
and Tides by Celestial Spin.

As Sound is taught by Silence,
and Insight by Reason,
So, humans are taught by Water
and Water, by Salmon.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Phelps McIlvaine. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

for your poetry radar

December 13, 2018

Okay, this sounds downright peculiar, but in our commitment to all-things-poetry, we feel it’s only fair to warn you that Apple is currently casting a 10-episode TV series called “Dickinson.” Written by Alena Smith and starring Hailee Steinfeld (as Dickinson) and Jane Krakowski (as Mrs. Dickinson), the series is described by Deadline Hollywood as a comedy “with a modern sensibility and tone. It takes viewers into the world of Emily (Steinfeld), audaciously exploring the constraints of society, gender, and family from the perspective of a budding writer who doesn’t fit in to her own time through her imaginative point of view. Dickinson is Emily’s coming-of-age story — one woman’s fight to get her voice heard.” Release date 2019.

interpretation

November 19, 2018

The reader’s voice can give new meaning, or new appreciation, to a poem. The jazz vocalist/composer Luciana Souza offers yet another take on poetry with her musical interpretations.

In Souza’s latest album, The Book of Longing, she applies her vocal rhythms to poems by Leonard Cohen, Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Christina Rossetti, as well as several of her own poems. But this is not Souza’s first outing with poetry. In Neruda, she interprets 11 poems by Pablo Neruda, and her earlier recordings include other songs and poems by Leonard Cohen.

. . . . .
thanks to Luther Allen for the heads up

today in Amherst

September 22, 2018

Today, Saturday, September 22, 2018, in Amherst, Massachusetts, Emily Dickinson lovers of all ages are contributing their voices to the Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon, a day-long marathon reading of all 1,789 poems by Emily Dickinson. Now in its 14th year, the Marathon is the cornerstone event of the Amherst Poetry Festival, which celebrates the literary legacy of the Pioneer Valley. The Marathon will take place from 6:00am to approximately 9:00pm at the Emily Dickinson Museum.

under wraps

June 28, 2018

It’s not very often that you Google the name of a film and come up with exactly two links (at the time of this writing). So, while we continue on our quest for all things poetry-plus-film, we can’t really tell you very much about “Wild Nights With Emily Dickinson” except that it is a feature film starring Molly Shannon and Dana Melanie.

Poetry Society of America is screening it at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn on Saturday, July 7, 2018, and describes the film as “this irreverent and hilarious SXSW dramatic comedy about Emily Dickinson, and her life-long romance with another woman in a film IndieWire said ‘could forever change the narrative of the world’s most famous woman poet.’”

Dickinson, sung

May 30, 2018

A Certain Slant of Light, a new recording by soprano Lisa Delan, features musical settings of Emily Dickinson poems by four American composers: Aaron Copland, Gordon Getty, Jake Heggie and Michael Tilson Thomas. Delan says:

Emily Dickinson has been a presence in my life from the age of 11, when my Uncle Dan gave me the Johnson edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, newly reprinted that year (1976). Without being aware of her poetry’s innate connection to music, I began setting Emily’s verses, creating simple tunes I sang while accompanying myself on guitar. Emily invited me into the world of poetry and inspired my enduring passion for singing the words of the great poets.

Delan also worked with composer Gordon Getty and pianist Fritz Steinegger on The White Election: A Cycle of 32 Songs for Soprano and Piano, On Poems by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886).

Learn more on Lisa Delan’s website and listen to samples of A Certain Slant of Light on iTunes or Pentatone.

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.”

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