Annual Poetry Walk

Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

The Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk marks the anniversary of the poet’s death (on May 15, 1886) with readings of her poetry at historic sites in Amherst. This spring’s Walk will feature Dickinson’s works inspired by the natural world and the plants she grew in her conservatory at the Homestead, which was restored in 2017.

The Poetry Walk will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Homestead lawn and proceeds through Amherst, stopping at sites significant in Dickinson’s life, and concluding at the poet’s grave in West Cemetary. At the cemetary, participants are invited to join in the traditional light-hearted toast to the Poet and to read a favorite Dickinson poem. The walk lasts about an hour.

The stops will be announced on this page in advance of the walk. Latecomers are welcome to join the tour at any stop. This year’s selection of poems will be read by volunteers from the audience. Participants may wish to bring their own copy of Dickinson's poems to follow along. All who would like to read should arrive at the Homestead at 10:15 a.m. to receive an assignment; poems will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participants are encouraged to carpool. Wheelchair accessible parking is available at the Homestead; all other vehicles are asked to park on the street or use town parking downtown, a short walk from the Museum. For more information about accessibility on the Walk, call 413-542-2034.

The Poetry Walk takes place rain or shine.

Update 5/11: Though rain is on the forecast for tomorrow, the Walk will proceed as planned. Participants are advised to dress accordingly and to bring umbrellas. In the unlikely event of lightening or thunder, the Walk will be cancelled.   


Celebrating Harrison Gregg, Poetry Walk organizer and Dickinson devotee: This year's Walk will include a toast to Harrison Gregg with readings of Dickinson poems by his friends. This will take place in West Cemetery towards the end of the Poetry Walk. Those wishing to join the group at that time should plan to be at the Cemetery at 11:40PM.