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.

Operating as usual

We're thinking of this one, as Fall approaches 🌅--The Summer that we did not prizeHer treasures were so easyInstructs us...
09/11/2020

We're thinking of this one, as Fall approaches 🌅--

The Summer that we did not prize
Her treasures were so easy
Instructs us by departure now
And recognition lazy -
Bestirs itself - puts on it's Coat
And scans with fatal promptness
for Trains that moments out of sight
Unconscious of his smartness -
(F1622)

Soon the garden will not be so green, and it will be time to move many of the plants indoors -- ah, but Emily anticipates us

Winter under cultivation
Is as arable as Spring
(F1720)

We're almost there! The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival will be here in just a few short days - click that link to le...
09/11/2020

We're almost there! The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival will be here in just a few short days - click that link to let us know you'll be going! Have you signed up for any of our incredible programs yet? Taken a look at the Schedule (http://bit.ly/TellItSlant2020)? Secured a spot in the Marathon, as an audience member for the Open Mic, or any of the other events with our incredible headliners? If not, you still have time! We're so excited to see you there! 🌿📖❤️

Join us for an evening of vibrant poetry and dialogue on the vitality and importance of Black Lives and Black Poetics in...
09/09/2020
Black Lives and Black Poetics Matter: A Reading and Discussion curated by Faraday PublishingSeptember 17, 7:30pm – Emily Dickinson Museum

Join us for an evening of vibrant poetry and dialogue on the vitality and importance of Black Lives and Black Poetics in contemporary America on Sept 17th at 7:30pm! Moderated by Enzo Silon Surin, founder and director of Faraday Publishing, this panel will feature leading Black poets, scholars, and educators, including Dr. Tony Medina, Bonita Lee Penn, Lisa Pegram, and Dr. Shauna Morgan!

Space is limited, register in advance: bit.ly/TIS2020BLM

Part of the The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival !

Black Lives and Black Poetics Matter: A Reading and Discussion curated by Faraday PublishingSeptember 17, 7:30pm Join us for an evening of vibrant poetry and dialogue on the vitality and importance of Black Lives and Black Poetics in contemporary America. Moderated by Enzo Silon Surin, founder and d...

Flowers - well, if anybodyCan the extasy define,Half a transport, half a trouble,With which flowers humble men -Anybody ...
09/08/2020

Flowers - well, if anybody
Can the extasy define,
Half a transport, half a trouble,
With which flowers humble men -
Anybody find the fountain,
From which floods so contra flow,
I will give him all the Daisies,
Which opon the hillside blow!

(excerpt from F95)

Happy to share a peek at some late summer growth we're enjoying at the Museum 🌹🌾

Did you notice you can now check out information about our The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival Masterclass with Jeric...
09/04/2020

Did you notice you can now check out information about our The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival Masterclass with Jericho Brown in its own facebook event?
This year during The Poetry Festival, hone your craft in a Master Class with this Pulitzer Prize–winning poet! As a virtual participant you will engage in writing prompts and exercises at home alongside a panel of students selected to share their work along the way. To sign up follow the link on the event page: Poetry Masterclass with Jericho Brown

We're so excited that the Dickinson television show has been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series in Autostraddle's 3...
09/04/2020
Vote Now In Autostraddle's 3rd Annual Gay Emmys | Autostraddle

We're so excited that the Dickinson television show has been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series in Autostraddle's 3rd annual Gay Emmys! The various ways that we see Emily's story told and retold, and watching new generations getting excited about her life and work, brings us so much joy.

If you're interested in voting for the show, you can check it out over here!
https://www.autostraddle.com/vote-now-in-autostraddles-3rd-annual-gay-emmys/

It's time to cast your vote for the very best in LGBTQ Teevee!

We have a little vegetable garden at the museum, and here is a small bounty gathered recently!“A full fed Rose on meals ...
09/02/2020

We have a little vegetable garden at the museum, and here is a small bounty gathered recently!

“A full fed Rose on meals of Tint
A Dinner for a Bee”
(Excerpt from F1141)

Hello again, intrepid letter writers! Today we thought we’d bring you a little inspiration for writing thank you notes -...
08/31/2020

Hello again, intrepid letter writers!

Today we thought we’d bring you a little inspiration for writing thank you notes -

Wrote Emily to Mrs. Edward Tuckerman in 1878:

“Is it that words are suddenly small or that we are suddenly large, that they cease to suffice us, to thank a friend?
Perhaps it is chiefly both.”
(L556)

To her friend Mrs Holland, in thanks for some bonbons she had sent (also 1878), Emily wrote,

“...The Bonbons were delightful, but better than Bonbons was the love - for that is the basis of of Bonbons...

To never forget you — is all we can —
That is how faint a Stipend —...

I hope you are well — you did not tell me — Thank you peculiarly sweetly — With grief for the eyes only, happy for your happiness,
Emily.”
(Excerpts from L555)

Consider sending a peculiarly sweet thank you to someone dear this week 🌱🌻 (and enjoy this garden check-in from this weekend!)

We’re so excited to be co-hosting a reading by Shayla Lawson from her new essay collection This is Major: Notes on Diana...
08/28/2020

We’re so excited to be co-hosting a reading by Shayla Lawson from her new essay collection This is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope, during Poetry Fest, in an event kicking off the Amherst College Creative Writing Fall Reading Series!
Shayla Lawson is the author of three books of poetry—A Speed Education in Human Being, the chapbook Pantone, and I Think I’m Ready to see Frank Ocean—and the essay collection This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope, which Kirkus called “A hilarious, heartbreaking, and endlessly entertaining homage to black women’s resilience and excellence.”

For more information and to sign up, head over here: http://bit.ly/TellItSlant2020

And to let us know you'll be attending the Festival, check in at our event page! The 2020 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival

"Nature" is what We see -The Hill - the Afternoon -Squirrel - Eclipse -  the Bumble bee -Nay - Nature is Heaven -"Nature...
08/28/2020

"Nature" is what We see -
The Hill - the Afternoon -
Squirrel - Eclipse - the Bumble bee -
Nay - Nature is Heaven -

"Nature" is what We hear -
The Bobolink - the Sea -
Thunder - the Cricket -
Nay - Nature is Harmony -

"Nature" is what We know -
But have no Art to say -
So impotent our Wisdom is -
To Her Sincerity -
(f721)

Have you signed up for a spot in the virtual  Emily Dickinson Marathon yet? Head over to http://bit.ly/TellItSlant2020 t...
08/27/2020

Have you signed up for a spot in the virtual Emily Dickinson Marathon yet? Head over to http://bit.ly/TellItSlant2020 to get in on this wonderful tradition! Every year during our Tell It Slant Poetry Festival, we read all 1789 of ED’s poems over the course of about 14hrs -- this year, we’ll be going in 2-hour chunks throughout the week of the festival, co-hosted by fantastic institutions like the Jones Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Houghton Library at Harvard, The Emily Dickinson International Society, and our local Amherst-Pelham Regional High School!

It's National Dog Day today - a great time to pay a little tribute to Carlo, Emily's enormous Newfoundland dog who lived...
08/26/2020
Carlo (1849-1866), dog – Emily Dickinson Museum

It's National Dog Day today - a great time to pay a little tribute to Carlo, Emily's enormous Newfoundland dog who lived to the ripe old age of 17 as her constant companion.

She's recorded as having said to a neighbor,
“Gracie, do you know that I believe that the first to come and greet me when I go to heaven will be this dear, faithful old friend Carlo?”

For more information on Carlo, check out this link to our profile of him on our website!
https://bit.ly/3hw55wJ

Carlo (1849-1866), dog “My Shaggy Ally” – Emily Dickinson to T. W. Higginson, February 1863 (L280) Newfoundland Dog. Painted by Col. H. Smith, eng. Lizars Carlo was Edward Dickinson’s gift to Emily, his eldest daughter, in the fall of 1849, presumably to accompany her on the long walks she e...

We talked as Girls do -Fond, and late -We speculated fair, on every subject, but the Grave -Of our's, none affair -We ha...
08/26/2020

We talked as Girls do -
Fond, and late -
We speculated fair, on every subject, but the Grave -
Of our's, none affair -

We handled Destinies, as cool -
As we - Disposers - be -
And God, a Quiet Party
to our authority -

But fondest, dwelt opon Ourself
As we eventual - be -
When Girls, to Women, softly raised
We - occupy - Degree -

We parted with a contract
To cherish, and to write
But Heaven made both, impossible
Before another night.
(f392)

Happy Women's Equality Day

I reckon - When I count at all -First - Poets - Then the Sun -Then Summer - Then the Heaven of God -And then - the List ...
08/25/2020

I reckon - When I count at all -
First - Poets - Then the Sun -
Then Summer - Then the Heaven of God -
And then - the List is Done -

But, looking back - the First so seems
To Comprehend the Whole -
The Others look a needless Show -
So I write - Poets - All -
[fr533 excerpt]

One thing we’re especially pleased to bring you during the upcoming Poetry Festival this year is the open mic! Usually we host one every first Thursday, but Covid has put an end to that. No more! If you have longed to share your poetry in a safe and encouraging environment in the time of Covid-19, this is your chance. If you’d like to hear a wide variety of poets bravely sharing their work, be sure to tune in! And we couldn’t ask for a better feature than Franny Choi. Following the open mic, participants will be treated to a poetry reading! For more information on the event and the poet, and to sign up (to read or to be an audience member!), head over here: http://bit.ly/TellItSlant2020

Thinking of writing a letter this week? Want to put a little 19th century flair in your envelope? When Emily wrote lette...
08/24/2020

Thinking of writing a letter this week? Want to put a little 19th century flair in your envelope? When Emily wrote letters to her friends, she often enclosed poems in them, but she also sometimes included pieces of her other great passion - nature and gardening!

In this excerpt from a letter to her friend Abiah Root in May of 1845 (when Emily was 14), you can see what we mean -

“...My plants look finely now. I am going to send you a little geranium leaf in this letter, which you must press for me. Have you made you an Herbarium yet? I hope you will if you have not, it would be such a treasure to you; ‘most all the girls are making one. If you do, perhaps I can make some additions to it from flowers growing around here.” (L6)

This begs a curious question from us - what did that geranium leaf Emily sent Abiah smell like? It’s hard to know, because you can grow a geranium to carry many different scents! 1845 is before Emily had her conservatory, but later she would grow geraniums that smelled like mint, rose, and lemongrass.

So if you send a letter this week, perhaps you can include a little summer leaf or flower - or a fun geranium fact - to brighten your correspondent’s day 🌱💐

Enjoy this interview on "medicine, metaphor, and how literature can even improve patient outcomes" with poet, physician,...
08/18/2020
What Poetry Means for Doctors and Patients During a Pandemic

Enjoy this interview on "medicine, metaphor, and how literature can even improve patient outcomes" with poet, physician, and Friend of the Museum Rafael Campo in WIRED -

"It’s particularly poignant, I think, because we’re so isolated by this virus. We’re all practicing physical distancing and social distancing, so I think poetry becomes a way of connecting with other people and having our story heard. So I find it actually really energizing. It helps me feel less isolated, less disconnected, as I read through these poems."

https://www.wired.com/story/what-poetry-means-for-doctors-and-patients-during-a-pandemic/

The poetry editor of The Journal of the American Medical Association talks about medicine, metaphor, and how literature can even improve patient outcomes.

"She was an artist who knew the full dimensions of her power—as 'genius knows itself.'"Check out this wonderful review o...
08/17/2020
Emily Dickinson Escapes

"She was an artist who knew the full dimensions of her power—as 'genius knows itself.'"

Check out this wonderful review of Apple TV's Dickinson and Martha Ackmann's These Fevered Days in the Boston Review

https://bostonreview.net/arts-society/lynne-feeley-emily-dickinson-escapes

Until recent decades, Dickinson was most often depicted as a sentimental spinster or reclusive eccentric. A new biography and TV show reveal instead a self-aware artist who created a life that defied the limits placed on women.

“Literary worlds, comic universes and lush sonic soundscapes do not die with their creators” - we so enjoyed this articl...
08/14/2020
Beyond the grave: artistic life after bodily death – The Oxford Student

“Literary worlds, comic universes and lush sonic soundscapes do not die with their creators” - we so enjoyed this article on posthumous publication in The Oxford Student this morning

https://www.oxfordstudent.com/2020/08/13/beyond-the-grave-artistic-life-after-bodily-death/

At their best, loving tributes and celebrations of their creators’ lives are produced; at their worst, they are unwelcome intrusions into the sanctity

The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants -At Evening, it is notAt Morning, in a Truffled HutIt stop opon a SpotAs if it tarried...
08/11/2020

The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants -
At Evening, it is not
At Morning, in a Truffled Hut
It stop opon a Spot

As if it tarried always
And yet it's whole Career
Is shorter than a Snake's Delay -
And fleeter than a Tare -

'Tis Vegetation's Juggler -
The Germ of Alibi -
Doth like a Bubble antedate
And like a Bubble, hie -

I feel as if the Grass was pleased
To have it intermit -
This surreptitious Scion
Of Summer's circumspect

Had Nature any supple Face
Or could she one contemn -
Had nature an Apostate -
That Mushroom - it is Him!
(Fr1350)

Today we're excited to introduce you to our new Programs Assistant, Melizza Santram-Chernov! We asked her to write us a ...
08/07/2020

Today we're excited to introduce you to our new Programs Assistant, Melizza Santram-Chernov! We asked her to write us a few lines on how she feels about joining us at the Museum:

"Emily Dickinson’s independence of spirit, her connection to the natural world and certainly
her poems are all reasons that I feel honored hold the position of Program Assistant with
the Emily Dickinson Museum. My commitment to museum and art education has been
ongoing for over a decade. I hope to contribute to the already successful efforts of
Programs in creating a space for voices like that of Emily Dickinson’s to be heard and
experienced."

We're so pleased to have her on our team!

Today we thought we would show you a little behind the scenes spot that’s not on our tours - ever wonder what it would b...
08/05/2020

Today we thought we would show you a little behind the scenes spot that’s not on our tours - ever wonder what it would be like to peek your head up into the cupola at the Evergreens?

At last - to be identified -At last - the Lamps opon your side -The rest of life - to see -Past Midnight - past the Morn...
08/04/2020

At last - to be identified -
At last - the Lamps opon your side -
The rest of life - to see -

Past Midnight - past the Morning Star -
Past Sunrise - Ah, What Leagues there were -
Between Our Feet - and Day!
(fr 172)

07/30/2020

Happy International Friendship Day!

Long Years apart — can make no
Breach a second cannot fill —
The absence of the Witch does not
Invalidate the spell —
The embers of a Thousand Years
Uncovered by the Hand
That fondled them when they were Fire
Will stir and understand —
(f1405)

To learn about Emily's many friendships, check out this section of our website:

https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/emily-dickinson/biography/family-friends/

Yesterday's post with the picture of Emily's hair seemed to interest many of you, so we figured we'd share the text of t...
07/29/2020
Feature: Looking at Emily | 2006: Winter | Amherst College

Yesterday's post with the picture of Emily's hair seemed to interest many of you, so we figured we'd share the text of the letter she sent along with it!

The lock was sent to Emily Dickinson's friend Emily Fowler (Ford), probably sometime in 1853, and the letter that went with it read:

"Dear Emily,
I said when the Barber came, I would save you a little ringlet, and fulfilling my promise, I send you one today. I shall never give you anything again that will be half so full of sunshine as this wee lock of hair, but I wish no hue more sombre might ever fall to you.
All your gifts should be rainbows, if I owned half the skies, and but a bit of sea to furnish raindrops for me. Dear Emily - this is all - It will serve to make you remember me when locks are crisp and gray, and the quiet cap, and the spectacles, and 'John Anderson my Joe' are all that is left of me.
I must have one of yours - Please spare me a little lock sometime when you have your scissors, and there is one to spare.
Your very aff
Emilie -"

(L 99)

We love the little things in this letter - the abbreviation "aff" for "affectionate", Emily experimenting with the spelling of her name.

If you're curious about how the lock of hair came into Amherst's possession, check out the story here:

https://www.amherst.edu/amherst-story/magazine/issues/2006_winter/emily

Looking at Emily By Daria D'Arienzo This daguerreotype image of Emily Dickinson for many years was “lost” within the poet’s family. Click for larger image.© Amherst College Archives and Special CollectionsThis essay was originally delivered as a talk at the unveiling of Guillermo Cuéllar’s...

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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