The Emily Dickinson Museum

The Emily Dickinson Museum Welcome to the official page for The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens! The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm.

The Emily Dickinson Museum comprises two historic houses in the center of Amherst, Massachusetts associated with the poet Emily Dickinson and members of her family during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Homestead was the birthplace and home of the poet Emily Dickinson. The Evergreens, next door, was home to her brother Austin, his wife Susan, and their three children. The Museum was created in 2003 when the two houses merged under the ownership of Amherst College. Its mission is to educate diverse audiences about Emily Dickinson’s life, family, creative work, times, and enduring relevance, and to preserve and interpret the Homestead and The Evergreens as historical resources for the benefit of scholars and the general public.

"I heard a Fly buzz - whenI died - The Stillness in the Room Was like the Stillness in the Air - Between the Heaves of S...
05/15/2019

"I heard a Fly buzz - when
I died -
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air -
Between the Heaves of Storm -

The Eyes around - had wrung them
dry -
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset - when the King
Be witnessed - in the Room -

I willed my Keepsakes - Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable - and then it was
There interposed a Fly -

With Blue - uncertain - stumbling Buzz -
Between the light - and me -
And then the Windows failed - and then
I could not see to see -"

Often, readers think of "I heard a Fly buzz" as one of Dickinson's darker poems. Like much of her writing, it confronts the "stillness" and visceral grief of death directly. But unlike her poems that wrestle with similar themes, there is hope in "I heard a fly buzz." A continuing on. The speaker is recounting her death retrospectively, after all, continuing to "buzz" persistently, even after "the Windows" fail. It is through poetry and her "Keepsakes" - those nearly 1,800 poems that were found in her bureau days after her death - that the poet lives on.

On the anniversary of Emily Dickinson's death, we are more aware than ever of the importance of carrying Dickinson's powerful poetic voice into the future. Through preservation efforts, programs that connect enthusiasts with her work, and opportunities to inspire a new generation of poets and artists, we strive to celebrate Dickinson every day. Today, we hope that you will join us in doing the same.

(Fr591A - "I heard a fly buzz when I died")

Local artist and photographer Aaron Schuman explores the secrets of small-town life in his new book 'Slant,' a photobook...
05/14/2019
Small-Town Secrets by Sarah Rose Sharp

Local artist and photographer Aaron Schuman explores the secrets of small-town life in his new book 'Slant,' a photobook that combines photography and found poetry excerpted from the Amherst newspaper police blotter. In his epigraph to 'Slant,' Schuman invokes Emily Dickinson: “Tell all the truth / but tell it slant–.”

Like Dickinson, Sarah Rose Sharp writes in in interview, Schuman "invites readers to consider images that have a plainspoken surface but evoke deeper complexities. His photographs and police clippings are quotidian yet incongruous, creating a kind of visual poetry from what seems like the straightforward stuff of daily life."

A new photobook captures Emily Dickinson's hometown through a crooked lens.

"Sweet hours have perished here, This is a timid room - Within its precincts hopes have played Now fallow in the tomb." ...
05/14/2019

"Sweet hours have perished here,
This is a timid room -
Within its precincts hopes have played
Now fallow in the tomb."

(Fr1785A - "Sweet hours have perished here")

Tomorrow marks the 133rd anniversary of Emily Dickinson's death, and on the eve of this occasion, we're taking a moment to honor the hours she spent in this small room. For museum visitors, stepping into Emily Dickinson’s bedroom is a deeply memorable part of the Homestead tours, and our work to restore it wouldn't have been possible without the support of our visitors and friends.

"So has a Daisy vanished From the fields today - So tiptoed many a slipper To Paradise away -Oozed so, in crimson bubble...
05/13/2019

"So has a Daisy vanished
From the fields today -
So tiptoed many a slipper
To Paradise away -

Oozed so, in crimson bubbles
Day's departing tide -
Blooming - tripping - flowing -
Are ye then with God?"

(Fr 19A - "So has a Daisy vanished")

Each year, the Emily Dickinson Museum hosts the Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk to honor the anniversary of the poet's death. This spring, the Walk will explore the poet’s many local sources of inspiration around Amherst, including the arts, nature, relationships and cherished books. Free and open to all, the Poetry Walk begins at 10:15 a.m. on May 18 on the Homestead lawn and proceeds on foot through Amherst, stopping at sites significant in Dickinson’s life and concluding at the poet’s grave in West Cemetery.

Ocean Vuong's novel 'On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous' has been named one of the most anticipated books of the year. If y...
05/13/2019
Event RSVP | The Odyssey Bookshop

Ocean Vuong's novel 'On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous' has been named one of the most anticipated books of the year. If you're in the Pioneer Valley, you can hear him read on June 2 at Odyssey Bookshop! Vuong briefly from the book last fall during The Amherst Poetry Festival, so we can assure you this event will be worth attending. But be sure to RSVP soon. Seats and spots are limited. https://www.odysseybks.com/node/510/done?sid=751

Thank you for your submission. Your name has been added to the RSVP list for this event and you are guaranteed a seat(s). We ask that attendees claim their seats 15 minutes before the event start time, otherwise seats will be released on a first come, first serve basis. If you have any specific quer...

“It makes no difference abroad - The Seasons - fit - the same - The Mornings blossom intoNoons - And split their Pods ...
05/10/2019

“It makes no difference abroad -
The Seasons - fit - the same -
The Mornings blossom into
Noons -
And split their Pods of Flame -

Wild flowers - kindle in the
Woods -
The Brooks slam - all the Day -
No Black bird bates His
Banjo -
For passing Calvary -

Auto da Fe - and Judgment -
Are nothing to the Bee -
His separation from His Rose -
To Him - sums Misery -“

The cultivated world of plants, as well as the wildflowers, trees, and shrubs that made up Emily Dickinson’s Amherst, provided the poet with a constant source of inspiration and companionship. Free and open to all, the gardens at the Emily Dickinson Museum today are filled with the wildflowers that Emily loved. In honor of #nationalwildflowerweek, we invite you all to stop by the gardens this week and enjoy the landscape that inspired Dickinson’s poetry.

(Fr 686A - "It makes no difference abroad")

Of her teachers at Amherst Academy (pictured here), Emily Dickinson wrote, "you know I am always in love with my teacher...
05/09/2019

Of her teachers at Amherst Academy (pictured here), Emily Dickinson wrote, "you know I am always in love with my teachers" (L15). During her younger years, Dickinson was a student at the Academy, where many of the teachers were recent graduates of Amherst College or female seminaries. Teachers there taught for a year or less, but they were young and intellectually curious, and their progressive teaching styles gave Emily a sense of academic freedom that proved invaluable to her poetic work.

#emilydickinson #teacherappreciationweek #teacherappreciation

Emily Dickinson once referred to books as “The strongest Friends of the Soul.” Since May is #nationalgetcaughtreadin...
05/08/2019

Emily Dickinson once referred to books as “The strongest Friends of the Soul.”

Since May is #nationalgetcaughtreadingmonth, we couldn't celebrate without sharing an image from Emily Dickinson's family library. This small room is on the first floor of the Homestead and, in Emily's life, would have been full of an ample and eclectic collection.

We at the Museum dream of restoring the books to these shelves, and, with the help of the Polly Longsworth Replenishing the Shelves project, have begun to do just that. For more information and guidelines on how you can contribute to this preservation project, please visit our website.

#Writers, have you written today? Here is a prompt inspired by Emily Dickinson if you need a little help to get going. h...
05/08/2019
Read Emily’s Mind - The American Scholar

#Writers, have you written today? Here is a prompt inspired by Emily Dickinson if you need a little help to get going. https://theamericanscholar.org/read-emilys-mind/?utm_source=social_media&medium=twitter#.XNMAkY5KjIU

Fragments are underrated. Among aspiring poets, who wouldn’t be tempted to finish what an admirable precursor began and abandoned? If the best prompts are also the most challenging, it would be hard to outdo an Emily Dickinson fragment. You can only guess at what she might have written, though you...

On the Literary Hub today, Emily Temple shares sixteen poet biopics (including two about Emily Dickinson) and discusses ...
05/08/2019
16 Poet Biopics, Ranked

On the Literary Hub today, Emily Temple shares sixteen poet biopics (including two about Emily Dickinson) and discusses the difficulty of translating a literary life into film: "Writing is a famously difficult pursuit to capture on screen, and artists in general—but poets in particular—are too often subject to a tender, teary cultural mythologizing."

Which ones have you seen? Are your favorites missing from this list?

Most movies about poets are . . . not great. Writing is a famously difficult pursuit to capture on screen, and artists in general—but poets in particular—are too often subject to a tender, teary cu…

Everyone has a place that is important to them. Everyone has a place that matters. For us, the Emily Dickinson Museum is...
05/07/2019

Everyone has a place that is important to them. Everyone has a place that matters. For us, the Emily Dickinson Museum is that place. Because of your support, the Emily Dickinson Museum has become a center for work, study, research, and play.

In celebration of the National Trust's #thisplacematters campaign, we're honoring the place that means the most to us. This Place Matters is a national campaign that encourages people to celebrate the places that are meaningful to them and to their communities. What are the places that matter to you? As you spread the word, make sure to use the #ThisPlaceMatters hashtag, and visit the link in our comments to learn more about supporting the places that matter most.

That’s a wrap on the #artofrainpoetry! Thank you to all who spotted our poems around Amherst and tagged us on social m...
05/06/2019

That’s a wrap on the #artofrainpoetry! Thank you to all who spotted our poems around Amherst and tagged us on social media. Thank you, too, to all the poets who submitted their incredible work! What a great way to wrap up a very rainy Artweek.

If you missed the poems or couldn’t find them yourselves, don’t fret! We’ve compiled some of them here for prosperity.

“We should not mind so small a flower - Except it quiet bring Our little garden that we lost Back to the Lawn again - ...
05/06/2019

“We should not mind so small a flower -
Except it quiet bring
Our little garden that we lost
Back to the Lawn again -

So spicy her Carnations nod -
So drunken reel her Bees -
So silver, steal a hundred Flutes
From out a hundred trees -

That whoso sees this little flower
By faith, may clear behold
The Bobolinks around the throne
And Dandelions gold.”

(Fr82A - "We should not mind so small a flower")

#poems #poetry #poet #poemoftheday #dandelion #emilydickinson #amherstma

We know, we know. We're one day early, but we can't help ourselves from posting our favorite poem about force..."Such is...
05/03/2019

We know, we know. We're one day early, but we can't help ourselves from posting our favorite poem about force.
.
.
"Such is the Force of
Happiness -
The Least - can lift a
ton
Assisted by it's stimulus -

Who Misery - sustain -
No Sinew can afford -
The Cargo of Themselves -
Too infinite for
Consciousness'
benumbed abilities - Slow capabilities -"
.
.
(F889A - "Such is the force of happiness")

Photo credit: @lucylarken
.
.
#maythe4thbewithyou #maythefourthbewithyou #maytheforcebewithyou #emilydickinson #poetry #amherstma #northamptonma

Parents: this is a wonderful list of short books that will make a big impact on your children, including 'Sweeping Up th...
05/03/2019
Short Books for Kids That Make a Big Impact

Parents: this is a wonderful list of short books that will make a big impact on your children, including 'Sweeping Up the Heart' by Kevin Henkes, a book about an awkward and isolated girl who develops a strong kinship with Emily Dickinson. Sounds like a story line we can relate to!

In refreshingly brief new novels, kids solve family mysteries, save younger siblings and help a grandparent break out of a hospital.

“There is no Frigatelike a Book To take us Landsaway Nor any Coursers likea Page Of prancing Poetry - This Travel may ...
05/02/2019

“There is no Frigate
like a Book
To take us Lands
away
Nor any Coursers like
a Page
Of prancing Poetry -
This Travel may the
poorest take
Without offence of Toll -
How frugal is the
Chariot
That bears the Human Soul -“

Books were vital in the Dickinson home—a source of pride, pleasure, discussion, and even competitiveness among family members. Through the three decades that Emily Dickinson wrote her poetry, ample, eclectic libraries stood open to her perusal in the Homestead and The Evergreens. The books pictured here can be found on display in Emily Dickinson's newly restored bedroom and serve as an invitation to take the reader "lands away."

(F1286B - "There is no frigate like a book")

#emilydickinson #nationalgetcaughtreadingmonth #getcaughtreading #getcaughtreadingmonth #books #bookshelves

Thanks to Novel Destinations for naming us one of the eight best places to celebrate American poets! We're biased, of co...
05/02/2019
8 Places to Celebrate American Poets

Thanks to Novel Destinations for naming us one of the eight best places to celebrate American poets! We're biased, of course, but we wholeheartedly agree.

Where better to read Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” than in the setting that inspired the author to put pen to paper. Or stand in the cozy study in the house (pictured above) where Henry Wadsworth L…

For Emily Dickinson, a regular writing practice began with writing letters. From the time she was a child, she set aside...
05/01/2019

For Emily Dickinson, a regular writing practice began with writing letters. From the time she was a child, she set aside entire mornings or afternoons to pen intimate missives to friends and family members. Not one for fancy stationery, she wrote most of her letters on sheets of plain paper, oftentimes venturing onto the envelopes to document her sensitive observations of the world and her place in it.

#nationalstationeryweek #nationalstationeryday #emilydickinson #letters #thelettersofemilydickinson

Good luck to the nine students who are competing today in the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest to be Nationa...
05/01/2019
These High Schoolers Have A Passion For 'Poetry Out Loud'

Good luck to the nine students who are competing today in the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest to be National Champions! For the competition this year, students memorized and will recite classic poetry, including William Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, and Emily Dickinson.

The Poetry Out Loud contest is kind of like a poetry spelling bee. Kids from across the country compete at reciting their chosen poems, and the winner takes home a prize of $20,000.

"A word is dead, when it is said Some say - I say it just begins to live That day"(F278A - "A word is dead when it is sa...
05/01/2019
We Added New Words to the Dictionary in April 2019

"A word is dead, when it is said
Some say -
I say it just begins to live
That day"

(F278A - "A word is dead when it is said")

More than 640 new words, from 'bioabsorbable' to 'bottle episode'

“By Chivalries as tiny,A Blossom, or a Book,The seeds of smiles are planted —Which blossom in the dark.”(J55 - “...
04/30/2019

“By Chivalries as tiny,
A Blossom, or a Book,
The seeds of smiles are planted —
Which blossom in the dark.”

(J55 - “By Chivalries as tiny”)

Don’t forget: tomorrow is the last day to apply for our Homestead Conservatory Art Installation. The selected artist’s work will be on display during the summer of 2019 and should reflect the importance of this diminutive space in the life of Emily Dickinson. Visit our website for more information.

Who was Emily Dickinson writing to? In the case of her letters, her audience was sometimes obvious, but when it comes to...
04/30/2019
Public by Varying Degrees: Understanding Audience in Relation to Emily Dickinson's Artistic Subject « Kenyon Review Blog

Who was Emily Dickinson writing to? In the case of her letters, her audience was sometimes obvious, but when it comes to the poems she hid in her bureau, who she intended to read them was less apparent. In this essay, Kristina Marie Darling argues that her audience included "herself, God, posterity, and those with whom she corresponded directly."

Because Dickinson sent poems dealing with immortality to more public literary figures, keeping poems about death and uncertainty for herself, I believe that it is entirely plausible that Dickinson conceived of her poems in various categories, some suited to a more public audience than others.

Congratulations to Sunny McGovern and Alex Olkovsky, who were engaged in our garden this weekend! What a beautiful place...
04/29/2019

Congratulations to Sunny McGovern and Alex Olkovsky, who were engaged in our garden this weekend! What a beautiful place to celebrate and solidify your love. Best wishes to you both!

“Love - thou art high -
I cannot climb thee -
But, were it Two -
Who knows but we -
Taking turns - at the Chim -
borazo -
Ducal - at last - stand
up by thee -

Love - thou art deep -
I cannot cross thee -
But, were there Two
Instead of One -
Rower, and Yacht - some
sovreign Summer -
Who knows - but we'd reach
the Sun?”

Excerpt from Fr452A, "Love thou art high.” Photo credit: Deb Hanna Photography.

What a wonderful collection of poems to honor and celebrate the insect world from Carol Ann Duffy. We of course have a f...
04/29/2019
Into thin air: Carol Ann Duffy presents poems about our vanishing insect world

What a wonderful collection of poems to honor and celebrate the insect world from Carol Ann Duffy. We of course have a favorite, too:

"Death is like the insect
Menacing the tree,
Competent to kill it,
But decoyed may be.

Bait it with the balsam
Seek it with the saw,
Baffle, if it cost you
Everything you are.

Then, if it have burrowed
Out of reach of skill -
Wring the tree and leave it.
'Tis the vermin's will."

(Fr1783A, "Death is like the insect")

To mark the end of her poet laureateship, Duffy introduces new poems celebrating the beauty and variety of an insect world facing extinction by Alice Oswald, Daljit Nagra, Paul Muldoon and more

"Should we brazenly ditch the adverb?" Gary Nunn asks in this playful piece, citing Emily Dickinson's "Because I could n...
04/29/2019
Don't ditch the adverb, the emoji of writing | Gary Nunn

"Should we brazenly ditch the adverb?" Gary Nunn asks in this playful piece, citing Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me" as reason why we shouldn't.

The adverb gets people fired up, and the chorus calling for a ban is getting too loud to ignore

We had a great time at the Florence Poetry Carnival today! It was wonderful to see so many of our poetry partners repren...
04/27/2019

We had a great time at the Florence Poetry Carnival today! It was wonderful to see so many of our poetry partners reprented there like @forbeslibrary, @florencepiebar, @artweekma, Perugia Press, Florence Poetry Society, and more! A special shout out to @redbrickpoetryproject and artist Bob Ziller for our poetry exchange box. Thank you @florence_poetry_carnival and we hope to be back next year! #ArtweekMA #florencepoetrycarnival #EmilyDickinson #EmilyDickinsonMuseum #florencema #redbrickpoetrybox7

Address

280 Main St
Amherst, MA
01002

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Emily Dickinson Museum posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to The Emily Dickinson Museum:

Videos

Category

Nearby museums


Other History Museums in Amherst

Show All