Venue Details

Folger Theatre
201 East Capitol Street, SE Washington, DC 20003
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Given annually by poets from diverse backgrounds, this reading celebrates Emily Dickinson’s powerful and compelling influence on American poetry.

Conversation moderated by Judith Farr, author of The Passion of Emily Dickinson and The Gardens of Emily Dickinson.

Richard Howard, Pulitzer prize-winning poet, scholar, teacher, critic, and translator, focuses his insight and appreciation on Emily Dickinson’s work from the year 1862—considered her “flood” year during which she unleashed a torrent of poetry.

Howard teaches at Columbia University, is the poetry editor of The Paris Review, and recently taught a master class on Dickinson for The Poetry Society of America.

Emily Dickinson:

American lyrical poet, a recluse, nicknamed the “nun of Amherst” – only seven of Dickinson’s some 1800 poems were published during her lifetime, five of them in the Springfield Republican. Dickinson never married. She withdrew from social contact and devoted herself in secret into writing.

Dickinson’s works have had considerable influence on modern poetry. Her frequent use of dashes, sporadic capitalization of nouns, off-rhymes, broken metre, unconventional metaphors have contributed her reputation as one of the most innovative poets of 19th-century American literature. Amherst has became a pilgrimage for her fans and aspiring lyricists, her life and work has attracted a number of scholars, and like Sylvia Plath, her poetry has inspired feminist writers. Dickinson is also one of those poets whose words have given much comfort for people who have mental problems.

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