NEH Landmarks Workshop for Schoolteachers 2017

Emily Dickinson:  Person, Poetry, and Place

Karen Sanchez-Eppler's Poetry Lecture

photo by Steve Fratoni


Workshop Information:

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Martha Ackmann is a journalist and author who writes about women who have changed America. Her books include The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight and Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, First Woman to Play Professional Baseball in the Negro League.  She is working on a new book about Emily Dickinson, Vesuvius at Home, to be published by Norton in 2018.  A Guggenheim Fellow and Scholar in Non-Fiction at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Ackmann has taught for over a decade a Mount Holyoke College seminar on Dickinson in the Homestead at the Emily Dickinson Museum. She will facilitate Monday afternoon's tour of Amherst, lead Wednesday and Thursday poetry groups, and deliver Wednesday's lecture on Mary Lyon, Emily Dickinson, and Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary.

Joanne Dobson, writer and Dickinson scholar, is the author of Dickinson and the Strategies of Reticence: The Woman Writer in Nineteenth-Century America and the Professor Karen Pelletier academic mystery series. Dobson joined the Landmarks Workshop faculty in 2011, and 2014, and serves on the Museum’s Interpretation, Education, and Programming Committee.  Dobson is a retired Fordham University English professor. She will give the workshop’s introductory lecture on Monday.  

Cristanne Miller is Edward H. Butler Professor of English and Chair of the Department at the University at Buffalo in New York. Miller established her reputation as a foremost scholar of Emily Dickinson with the publication in 1987 of Emily Dickinson: A Poet's Grammar. She has served as President of the Emily Dickinson International Society. She currently serves on the advisory board for the Emily Dickinson Archive. Miller is the author of a new edition of the complete poems, Emily Dickinson's Poems: As She Preserved Them (2016 Harvard University Press). In 2017, Miller will facilitate poetry discussions on Wednesday and Thursday as well as delivering her lecture, “Editing Dickinson.”

Jane Wald is Executive Director of the Emily Dickinson Museum. Before beginning her tenure at the Dickinson sites in 2001, she worked at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. She has been responsible for several major restoration and documentation studies at the Museum and is the author of “’Pretty much all real life’: The Material World of the Dickinson Family,” in the Blackwell Companion to Emily Dickinson (2008). Wald was a faculty member in 2009, 2011, and 2014. In 2017 she will offer “What Happened to Emily Dickinson’s Stuff?” on Monday, and will co-lead three sessions of Tuesday object workshops.

Marta Werner is a professor of English at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York, where she teaches American literature, poetry and poetics, critical theory, and writing. She is the author/editor of Emily Dickinson’s Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing (1995), Radical Scatters: An Electronic Archive of Emily Dickinson’s Late Fragments and Related Texts, 1870-1886 (1999). Werner is co-editor of “The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope-Poems” (Granary Books 2012/ New Directions 2013). She has been awarded the Fredson Bowers Memorial Prize and the Jo Ann Boydston Prize for her work as a textual scholar. In 2017 Werner will lead poetry workshops in the Amherst College special collections and archive, and will deliver her lecture, “The Weather (of) Documents” on the Tuesday of each workshop week.

Nan Wolverton is director of the Center for Historic American Visual Culture at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts; director of Historic Northampton; and a lecturer at Smith College. From 1996 to 2003 she was Curator of Decorative Arts at Old Sturbridge Village.  In 2007 she completed a furnishing plan for the Emily Dickinson Museum.  Her book, American Historical Prints: An Anthology of Visual Culture, is forthcoming from UNC Press. As in 2009, 2011, and 2014 with Jane Wald, she will co-lead three sessions of the Tuesday object study workshops.

Curriculum Group Leaders

 Monica Bhowmik joins the mentor teacher team in 2017 working with elementary school educators and librarians. Bhowmik has been a second and fourth grade classroom teacher at Fort River Elementary School in Amherst, Massachusetts since 2008. During her time as a second grade curriculum leader, Bhowmik co-lead a workshop on developing second grade poetry units. In addition to planning visits to the Emily Dickinson House for Amherst elementary school students, she also planned and taught a unit on Amherst Community which involved a study of Emily Dickinson.

Wendy Kohler is an educational consultant and lecturer in the School of Education at UMass/Amherst. She retired in 2009 from her position as the Executive Director for Curriculum and Program Development for the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District, where she held various administrative and social studies teaching positions since 1976. A member of the Emily Dickinson Museum’s IEP Committee, Kohler served as curriculum initiatives liaison between the school district and the Museum. In 1991 Kohler directed an NEH Summer Institute on Emily Dickinson and has served as a consultant to several Dickinson-related arts and humanities projects since. For the Landmarks Workshop she will serve as lead mentor teacher, facilitating one curriculum group each week, and co-facilitating Thursday's hands-on workshop at the Jones Library.

Rosemary Loomis returns to Emily Dickinson: Person, Poetry, and Place as a mentor teacher, after participating as a Summer Scholar in the 2009 Workshop. Loomis currently teaches literature and creative writing to 12th grade students at Lexington High School in Lexington, Massachusetts.  She has been a mentor teacher for her peers since 2012 and has focused on designing and teaching elective courses. Loomis joined former Workshop project director, Cindy Dickinson, in presenting on Emily Dickinson in the classroom at the 2013 conference of the National Council of Teachers of English.


Bruce M. Penniman returns to the Workshop as a mentor teacher for secondary school participants. Penniman will also create and facilitate each morning’s writing prompt. He taught writing, speech, and literature at Amherst Regional High School from 1971 until 2007; in 1999 he was Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and a finalist for National Teacher of the Year. Penniman is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Professional Development Coordinator of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project.


Project Director

Brooke Steinhauser is the Program Director at the Emily Dickinson Museum and is primarily in charge of the Museum's guided tours, public programs, and educational outreach efforts. She will serve as project director for the NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop in 2017.