Friday, October 12, 2007

Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon: 23 September

For the third time, in what is becoming a new Amherst tradition, staff and friends of the Emily Dickinson Museum assembled in shifts to read through the entire corpus--1789 pieces--of the author's poetic oeuvre.

This year witnessed several innovations:

The first and second Poetry Marathons (2004, 2006) were held in April, National Poetry Month. The first took place over a span of several days, whereas the second was run as a true marathon: long and nonstop. Both, however, took place at the Dickinson Homestead. This year, not only was the date moved to the fall, so as to coincide with BookMarks, but the readings also rotated among several locations in the Dickinson Historical District and Central Business District: Emily Dickinson Museum, Town Hall, Amherst College Frost Library, and Fiber Art Center.

Beginning the event at 6 a.m. rather than 9 a.m., as last year, may have reduced the number of public participants and onlookers in the early sessions, but assuredly gave the core group of readers (who were not free to head for their beds until approximately 4 a.m. last year) a much-needed chance to recuperate at a decent hour (we sense a new tradition in the making).

The first Marathon in 2004 earned feature coverage from National Public Radio.Listen

The photographs are from the end of the second session at the Dickinson Museum (3-6 p.m.).

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