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.
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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.

Loving this nod to Emily Dickinson in Ada Limon's latest poem in The New Yorker. What other lines and allusions do you r...
04/28/2020
“The End of Poetry”

Loving this nod to Emily Dickinson in Ada Limon's latest poem in The New Yorker. What other lines and allusions do you recognize?

Poetry by Ada Limón: “Enough of osseous and chickadee and sunflower.”

Celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 30 with the Emily Dickinson Museum! Join us for our virtual story ho...
04/28/2020

Celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 30 with the Emily Dickinson Museum! Join us for our virtual story hour at 11:00 a.m. for a reading of On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson, written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Becca Stadtlander. Tune in to the Emily Dickinson Museum page to attend this story hour live, and visit our website for other fun crafts, activities, and ways to celebrate from home! https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/poem-in-your-pocket-day-2020/

This is going to be incredible. Tomorrow! 4:30 p.m.! Online! Don't miss it! "Expect readings of Walt Whitman, Emily Dick...
04/24/2020
The Universe in Verse

This is going to be incredible. Tomorrow! 4:30 p.m.! Online! Don't miss it!

"Expect readings of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich, Pablo Neruda, June Jordan, Mary Oliver, Audre Lorde, Wendell Berry, Hafiz, Rachel Carson, James Baldwin, and other titans of poetic perspective, performed by a largehearted cast of scientists and artists, astronauts and poets, Nobel laureates and Grammy winners: Physicists Janna Levin, Kip Thorne, and Brian Greene, musicians Rosanne Cash, Patti Smith, Amanda Palmer, Zoë Keating, Morley, and Cécile McLorin Salvant, poets Jane Hirshfield, Ross Gay, Marie Howe, and Natalie Diaz, astronomers Natalie Batalha and Jill Tarter, authors Rebecca Solnit, Elizabeth Gilbert, Masha Gessen, Roxane Gay, Robert Macfarlane, and Neil Gaiman, astronaut Leland Melvin, playwright and activist V (formerly Eve Ensler), actor Natascha McElhone, entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, artists Debbie Millman, Dustin Yellin, and Lia Halloran, cartoonist Alison Bechdel, radio-enchanters Krista Tippett and Jad Abumrad, and composer Paola Prestini with the Young People’s Chorus."

A charitable celebration of science and nature through poetry. Highlights from the show can be seen here. APRIL 25, 2020 (WORLDWIDE) Since 2017, The Universe in Verse has been celebrating the natur…

"When I hoped, I recollect⁣Just the place I stood -⁣At a Window facing West -⁣Roughest Air - was good -⁣⁣Not a Sleet cou...
04/23/2020

"When I hoped, I recollect⁣
Just the place I stood -⁣
At a Window facing West -⁣
Roughest Air - was good -⁣

Not a Sleet could bite me -⁣
Not a frost could cool -⁣
Hope it was that kept me warm -⁣
Not Merino shawl -⁣

When I feared - I recollect⁣
Just the Day it was -⁣
Worlds were lying out to Sun -⁣
Yet how Nature froze -⁣

"Icicles opon my soul⁣
Prickled Blue and cool -⁣
Bird went praising everywhere -⁣
Only Me - was still -⁣

And the Day that I despaired -⁣
This - if I forget⁣
Nature will - that it be Night⁣
After Sun has set -⁣

Darkness intersect her face -⁣
And put out her eye -⁣
Nature hesitate - before⁣
Memory and I -"⁣

(Fr493A - "When I hoped, I recollect")⁣

#PoemsforComfort

Located off the kitchen in the Evergreens, a small pantry is lined with 19th century cookware, including bread pans, gel...
04/23/2020

Located off the kitchen in the Evergreens, a small pantry is lined with 19th century cookware, including bread pans, gelatin and meringue molds, trays, and utensils. These utilitarian spaces served vital functional needs of the Dickinson family. Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson was a celebrated hostess, and her carefully planned dinner parties at The Evergreens could not be accomplished without tools such as these. #MuseumfromHome

Today we check in with DeMisty D. Bellinger, a poet, short story writer, and essayist. Her work can be found online in v...
04/23/2020
DeMisty D. Bellinger

Today we check in with DeMisty D. Bellinger, a poet, short story writer, and essayist. Her work can be found online in various publications, including Helen, Necessary Fiction, Driftless Review, WhiskeyPaper, Blue Fifth Review, and Former People: A Journal of Bangs and Whimpers. You can find links to many of her works at www.demistybellinger.com.

How has your work changed with your new reality?

Writing is slower. Most of the time and energy I could be used for writing is being used for homeschooling instead. Or meal planning. This is familiar for me: in 2016, my writing took a shift when I came to feel that my poetry was frivolous. My subject matter changed and I departed from forms even more than before. This moment feels like that. After I’ve written myself out of 2016, I moved to more historical subjects and looked towards other art and writing for inspiration.

I believe these external changes—political and natural—force me to learn how to write again, every time. I have to think about what is needed and if it matters what I think is needed. I mean, I write poetry and fiction. The world needs more than that now, right?

I don’t want to write about being sequestered. I think a lot of people will be doing that in many genres and that’s fine; we need those stories. I don’t want to write about what I’m missing (and I’m missing a lot! Including a residency in Iceland, which is postponed to 2021). Now, I want to listen. I have been listening to lots of music, from Bach to Thundercat. I’m falling into bands like The Bad Plus and musicians like Björk and Xenia Rubinas. But mostly, I’m listening to jazz and classical (I’m stuck on the Baroque and Classical period lately). I’m trying to find normalcy in those sounds and write from that.

So maybe my work will feel more balanced after this? Maybe my endings will always resolve.

Or maybe I’ll just offer false cadences.

How has poetry provided you with comfort/sustained you in these last weeks?

I’m reading a lot of poetry. I have time to read a lot of poetry! I’ve finally had the chance to sit down with Jericho Brown’s The Tradition, Margot Douaihy and Bri Hermanson’s Scranton Lace, and a few anthologies, including From the Ashes: An International Anthology of Womxn’s Poetry published by Animal Heart Press. I’m looking forward to ordering more single-author collections, too, including Natalie Diaz's Postcolonial Love Poem. I’m also catching up with online and print journals, The Poetry Foundation’s Poem of the Day, and the Academy of American Poetry’s poem-a-day.

The poet Tara Skurtu, who I follow on Twitter, started the International Poetry Circle in response to our sequestering during the COVID-19 pandemic. Poets and lovers of poetry around the world post videos of themselves reading their own poems or their favorite poems. It’s very encouraging to witness this in real time.

Is there an Emily Dickinson poem that you think speaks to these strange days or that has helped you in any way to get through?

I know everyone is going to say “Hope is the thing with feathers,” as they should; we all need hope now, and without hope, we’re lost. Gravely, though, “I felt a funeral in my brain” also comes to mind, especially since, essentially, we cannot properly mourn our dead when we’re supposed to be six feet apart. And we are so alone. I don’t want to be morbid. I don’t want to say “It was not death,” but I feel despair.

I have twin daughters should be at school and in fifth grade, but like every school-aged kid in Massachusetts, they are home. I never lie to my girls, but I do sometimes soften the truth. So I try to give them hope and, while telling them why we’re home, why they can’t visit friends and their friends can’t visit them, and why we can’t go out west to visit family, I take Emily Dickinson's advice: I tell them the truth, but I tell it slant.

Bio DeMisty D. Bellinger was born and raised in Milwaukee. She went to the magnet schools that focused on art and graduated from the Milwaukee High School of the Arts. After taking a year off, DeMisty studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She went on to receive an MFA in Creati...

Fill your home with the sound of Emily Dickinson's poetry and the music that her life and work inspired. House Manager M...
04/22/2020

Fill your home with the sound of Emily Dickinson's poetry and the music that her life and work inspired. House Manager Margaret created three new Spotify playlists that celebrate the connection between Emily Dickinson and music. The playlists include covers of songs the poet played in her lifetime, compositions set to her verse, and contemporary music inspired by her life and work. You'll need to create a free Spotify account if you do not already have one. To listen, visit the link: https://open.spotify.com/user/ij0rpyntijuxhezbx97ct9llo?si=jIijSt73SvaguK0KxGGUlA

"The earth has many keys.⁣Where melody is not⁣Is the unknown peninsula.⁣beauty is nature's fact.⁣⁣But witness for her la...
04/22/2020

"The earth has many keys.⁣
Where melody is not⁣
Is the unknown peninsula.⁣
beauty is nature's fact.⁣

But witness for her land⁣
And witness for her sea,⁣
The cricket is her utmost⁣
Of elegy to me."⁣

(J1775 - "The earth has many keys")⁣

#EarthDay #EarthDay2020

Artweek
04/22/2020
Artweek

Artweek

Communities are continuing to connect through art, and just in time to celebrate Earth Day this week. Read details about the great work some of our friends like Studios Without Walls, Springfield Museums, The Emily Dickinson Museum, Climate Creatives, Miranda's Hearth, and more are up to this week via our latest blog post: https://bit.ly/2XQURjq

During this time of social distancing, we've been reaching out to contemporary poets who are working and writing through...
04/17/2020

During this time of social distancing, we've been reaching out to contemporary poets who are working and writing through the pandemic. These poets are some of the Museum's dearest friends, and we're happy to share their thoughts about living and creating through our current reality. ⁣

Here's Joy Ladin, a poet whose work is devotional and often based in history and sacred Jewish texts:⁣

How has your work changed with your new reality?⁣

Like most of ours lives, my life has been transformed due to the social distancing required to slow the spread of COVID-19. For me, the biggest change has been that my classes (I teach full-time at a university) have moved online, a shift that requires a lot less transportation time but a lot more preparation and energy. The effect on my writing has been mixed. I have to devote more whole days to teaching-related activities than I did before, but when I can spend time on writing, I bring much more focus to it. That has enabled me to leap ahead on a book-length project I've been working on for the past year or so. Another change that has affected my work has been the enormous efforts others are making to share poetry online. It's inspiring to see that so many people see poetry as vital, and to have so many fantastic poets and poems brought to my attention.⁣

How has poetry provided you with comfort/sustained you in these last weeks?⁣

Though I have struggled to find consistent time and energy for writing lately, I've been reading more poems – particularly short poems, because they fit my fragmented, anxious attention. I read poems that appear in my Inbox, between harrowing headlines, many of which remind me that the world I mostly glimpse through my windows is still growing, still luminous, as profound and beautiful as ever. I have turned back to favorite poets (including Dickinson, of course!) whose work has always summoned me to a larger perspective, challenged me to be more alive, more aware, more engaged with the terrors and wonders of existence... ⁣

(More in the comments!)

"Spring comes on the World -⁣I sight the Aprils -⁣Hueless to me, until thou come⁣As, till the Bee⁣Blossoms stand negativ...
04/16/2020

"Spring comes on the World -⁣
I sight the Aprils -⁣
Hueless to me, until thou come⁣
As, till the Bee⁣
Blossoms stand negative,⁣
Touched to Conditions⁣
By a Hum -"⁣

(Fr999A - "Spring comes on the world")⁣

#poemsforcomfort

We know focus and creativity are hard to come by these days, which is why our wonderful and talented staff has created p...
04/16/2020

We know focus and creativity are hard to come by these days, which is why our wonderful and talented staff has created printable Emily Dickinson coloring sheets! Visit the link in our bio to start coloring today. And if you feel inclined to share your final product, tag us and we'll share! We can't wait to see what you create.
https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/printable-coloring-sheets/

04/16/2020

The staff of the Emily Dickinson Museum is pleased to present a reading of “I felt my life with both my hands". Thanks to @taraskurtu and #internationalpoetrycircle for inviting us to participate!

It's finally that time of year when daily walks are punctuated by the brilliance of daffodils.⁣⁣"What I can do - I will ...
04/14/2020

It's finally that time of year when daily walks are punctuated by the brilliance of daffodils.⁣

"What I can do - I will -⁣
Though it be little as a Daffodil -⁣
That I cannot - must be⁣
Unknown to possibility -"⁣

(Fr641)⁣

#natureiswhatwesee

Some good news for struggling writers and artists, Mass Cultural Council will be supporting individuals whose creative p...
04/14/2020
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals – Mass Cultural Council

Some good news for struggling writers and artists, Mass Cultural Council will be supporting individuals whose creative practices and incomes are adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Grants of $1,000 will be available to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures.

We know that the COVID-19 crisis has caused major disruptions for the careers of individuals who earn income through their work in the cultural sector. In response, we have launched a relief fund for individuals.

Here’s what our Marketing and PR Coordinator, Emily Lackey, is reading while in quarantine. Of the stack she says, “I ha...
04/10/2020

Here’s what our Marketing and PR Coordinator, Emily Lackey, is reading while in quarantine. Of the stack she says, “I have really strong cravings when it comes to what I read, and lately all I’ve been wanting is fiction that transports me to somewhere other than the confines of my small apartment. Spending a few minutes each day reading the works of Ruth Ozeki, Louise Erdrich, or Min Jin Lee is exactly what my mind and body needs to feel like I’m not stuck in one place. As Emily Dickinson said, ‘There is no Frigate like a Book / To take us Lands away’ (Fr1286). I’ve also been using this time at home to work on a memoir about relationships, creativity, writing stories, and solitude. It’s an interesting time to be writing about being alone (a little too on the nose?), but my reading list is always sprinkled with research on the topic because of it.”

One of the most common questions we get from students is why Emily Dickinson didn't publish more poems in her lifetime. ...
04/10/2020
The Publication Question – Emily Dickinson Museum

One of the most common questions we get from students is why Emily Dickinson didn't publish more poems in her lifetime. In today's educational resource, we offer more insight into this question, including links to the fascinating story of the posthumous publication of her poetry. https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/emily-dickinson/poetry/the-poet-at-work/the-publication-question/

The Publication Question “I had told you I did not print” —Emily Dickinson to T. W. Higginson (L316) “Flowers – well, if anybody” (Fr95) as published in the Springfield Republican Did Emily Dickinson want to publish her poetry? No one knows for sure. Throughout her life, her work circula...

The Emily Dickinson Museum is now accepting proposals for the eighth annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival (formerly the ...
04/09/2020
Tell It Slant Poetry Festival Call for Proposals: April 9 – May 4, 2020 – Emily Dickinson Museum

The Emily Dickinson Museum is now accepting proposals for the eighth annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival (formerly the Amherst Poetry Festival), between now and May 4! Proposals for audience-centered workshops, panel discussions, and participatory programs are welcome.
https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/tell-it-slant-poetry-festival-call-for-proposals/

Tell It Slant Poetry Festival Call for Proposals: April 9 – May 4, 2020 The Emily Dickinson Museum is now accepting proposals for the eighth annual Tell It Slant Poetry Festival (formerly the Amherst Poetry Festival), September 17-20, 2020! Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, with support from...

During "The World Writes Back: Postcards to Emily Dickinson," the Museum received hundreds of postcards from around the ...
04/08/2020

During "The World Writes Back: Postcards to Emily Dickinson," the Museum received hundreds of postcards from around the world. In this time of isolation, we'll be revisiting some of our favorites, including this one from New York City. Reading your words (sometimes with original verse!) helps us to feel even more connected, especially now that we are apart.

"This is my letter to the one
Who wrote all her life to Me -
The deepest corners of my heart -
She sounded utterly
To tell Her, there is nothing
Her message transcends time
For love of Her - Sweet - poetess
I wrote this little - rhyme

#theworldwritesback
#postcardstoemily
#postcardart

“'A Wounded deer leaps highest,' Emily Dickinson wrote. What about a wounded moose?"A daily account of pandemic life fro...
04/08/2020
Pandemic Journal

“'A Wounded deer leaps highest,' Emily Dickinson wrote. What about a wounded moose?"

A daily account of pandemic life from Amherst, MA in The New York Review of Books.

The latest edition in a running series of dispatches by New York Review writers documenting the coronavirus outbreak with updates from around the world, including Christopher Benfey in Amherst, Mira Kamdar in Videlles, Arthur Longworth in Monroe.

"Within my reach!⁣I could have touched!⁣I might have chanced that way!⁣Soft sauntered thro' the village -⁣Sauntered as s...
04/07/2020

"Within my reach!⁣
I could have touched!⁣
I might have chanced that way!⁣
Soft sauntered thro' the village -⁣
Sauntered as soft away!⁣
So unsuspected Violets⁣
Within the meadows go -⁣
Too late for striving fingers⁣
That passed, an hour ago!"⁣

(Fr69 - "Within my reach!")

"We remain the students, understudies, of these makers, the furnishings they made things on. Seeing the perfect square o...
04/07/2020
THE LAYING ON OF HANDS: On “Physical Distancing” as an Ethics of the Archive

"We remain the students, understudies, of these makers, the furnishings they made things on. Seeing the perfect square of Dickinson’s desk at Houghton within feet of me in the dedicated room, her tableau felt similarly aloft. What is it about the place where these poets nested, back curved, hovered to write, that underscores their tangible habitation, the ethereal aspects they convey on these finite surfaces?”

In these intangible, at times untenable days—the duration of which keeps extending its parenthesis—days in which we’re instructed not to touch, or greet within six feet, in which we’re made increas…

Address

280 Main St
Amherst, MA
01002

Opening Hours

Wednesday 11:00 - 16:00
Thursday 11:00 - 16:00
Friday 11:00 - 16:00
Saturday 11:00 - 16:00
Sunday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(413) 542-8161

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Our Story

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. Our mission is to spark the imagination by amplifying Emily Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice from the place she called home.

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