Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Celebrating Emily Dickinson: Readings, Discussions and a Garden Walk

Celebrating Emily Dickinson: Readings, Discussions and a Garden Walk
May 20, 6-8 p.m., The Visitor Center & Conservatory, $5 includes reception
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, 2450 South Milledge Avenue, Athens

When volunteer Greg Wagstaff approached the State Botanical Garden of Georgia to create an event around Emily Dickinson in the garden, the brainstorming that followed led to "Celebrating Emily Dickinson: Readings, Discussions and a Garden Walk" on May 20, 6-8 p.m.

This $5 event (free for Friends of the Garden) will include an opening reception at 6 pm, a talk by Greg about Dickinson with at 6:30 pm, a guided poetry walk through the State Botanical Garden, and an illustrated brochure that will be available at the Garden’s front desk for the next few weeks. Highlighting the program will be readings by graduate student Emily Stutler, Stephen Corey, Editor of the Georgia Review, and Caroline Jean Bartunek of the Georgia Review. Greg consulted with leading authorities on Emily Dickinson in the Northeast (Dickinson was born in Massachusetts in 1830), garden curators, Master Gardeners, and The Georgia Review staff for direction and ideas.

Scheduling the event seemed to coincide with ‘Celebrating Wildflowers Week’ at the Garden, which included led walks by the Conservation Biologist and working beside the Conservation Horticulturist. Would this fit in with these events?

“Certainly!” Greg replied. “When Emily Dickinson was a student at Amherst Academy, she roamed the woods collecting wildflower specimens and pressing them into her own herbarium.”   Emily's collection can be seen online at:  http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/4184689 

Dickinson’s love of flowers and natural areas are often expressed in her poetry, but she saw very few of her poems published. “During her lifetime, only a few people knew that Emily was a poet, but everyone knew that she was a gardener.” Greg wrote in the brochure.

Join us Tuesday, May 20 for an evening celebrating nature and a lady that many believe to be ‘America’s greatest poet.’ And meet Greg, now on staff at the State Botanical Garden. Information at www.botgarden.uga.edu or (706) 542-9353.

Emily Dickinson poems:

Source: THE POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON, Thomas H. Johnson, ed., Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright © 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.  

J404 - How many Flowers fail in Wood --

How many Flowers fail in Wood --
Or perish from the Hill --
Without the privilege to know
That they are Beautiful -- 

J111 - The Bee is not afraid of me.

The Bee is not afraid of me.
I know the Butterfly.
The pretty people in the Woods
Receive me cordially -- 

J1650 - A lane of Yellow led the eye

A lane of Yellow led the eye
Unto a Purple Wood
Whose soft inhabitants to be
Surpasses solitude 

A useful link to Emily Dickinson activities and lessons:

Other events during ‘Celebrating Wildflowers Week’:
Conservation Work Day
May 20, 9 a.m.-noon
Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Studies
Botanical Garden Wildflower Walk with Conservation Botanist Linda Chafin
May 21, 4:15 p.m.
Meet under the shade arbor beside the Callaway parking lot
RSVP to 706-542-9353
Rock and Shoals Native Plant Walk with Conservation Botanist Linda Chafin
May 22, 9 a.m.
Meet at the Callaway parking lot to carpool to site
RSVP to 706-542-9353

The State Botanical Garden is a public service and outreach unit at the University of Georgia. For more information call 706-542-9353, email garden@uga.edu or see botgarden.uga.edu.

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