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Celebration of Emily Dickinson's Birthday

Held at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, sponsored by the Poetry Project, on December 10, 1979.


  • Complete Recording, Part 1 (48:40): MP3
  • Complete Recording, Part 2 (48:20): MP3


Dickinson poems read by the participants (excerpts from their presentations):

Note: We are providing segmented recordings of individual Dickinson poems, below, primarily as an aid to teachers who are teaching Dickinson and would like students to hear poets performing them. We recommend, however, that the reading of these poems be heard in the context of the commentary each poet provided on this occasion, either in the complete recording or the participant-by-participant segments linked above.

  1. "Wild nights - Wild nights!" [#249] (read by Jan Heller Levi) (0:22): MP3
  2. "How the old Mountains drip with Sunset" [#291] (read by Jan Heller Levi) (1:00): MP3
  3. "I cannot live with You" [#640] (read by Charles Bernstein) (2:02): MP3
  4. "To fill a Gap" [#546] (read by Charles Bernstein) (0:16): MP3
  5. "There is a solitude of space" [#1695] (read by Charles Bernstein) (0:22): MP3
  6. "To make a prairie" [#1755] (read by Susan Leites) (0:13): MP3
  7. "Of Yellow was the outer Sky" [#1676] (read by Susan Leites) (0:11): MP3
  8. "The Definition of Beauty is" [#988] (read by Susan Leites) (0:13): MP3
  9. "These are the days when Birds come back" [#130] (read by Susan Leites) (0:48): MP3
  10. "She rose to His Requirement" [#732] (read by Susan Leites) (0:29): MP3
  11. "A single Clover Plank" [#1343] (read by Virginia Terrace) (0:36): MP3
  12. "Bee! I'm expecting you!" [#1035] (read by Virginia Terrace) (0:25): MP3
  13. "Two Butterflies went out at Noon" [#533] (read by Virginia Terrace) (0:27): MP3
  14. "Not at Home to Callers" [#1590] (read by Virginia Terrace) (0:07): MP3
  15. "He fumbles at your Soul" [#315] (read by Madeleine Keller and Vicki Hudspith) (0:49): MP3
  16. "He showed me Heights I never saw —" [#446*] (read by Madeleine Keller and Vicki Hudspith) (1:00): MP3 [*Note: This version is a slight variant of #446.]
  17. "I would not paint - a picture -" [#505] (read by Madeleine Keller and Vicki Hudspith) (1:11): MP3
  18. "I'm ceded - I've stopped being Theirs -" [#508] (read by Madeleine Keller and Vicki Hudspith) (1:13): MP3
  19. "The Soul's distinct connection" [#974] (read by Madeleine Keller and Vicki Hudspith) (0:25): MP3
  20. "They say that 'Time assuages'" [#686] (read by Armand Schwerner) (0:26): MP3
  21. "I stepped from plank to plank" [#875] (read by Armand Schwerner) (0:24): MP3
  22. "With thee, in the Desert -" [#209] (read by Karen Edwards) (0:11): MP3
  23. "After great pain, a formal feeling comes -" [#341] (read by Karen Edwards) (1:09): MP3
  24. "Because I could not stop for Death" [#712] (read by Susan Howe) (1:23): MP3
  25. "Strong Draughts of Their Refreshing Minds" [#711] (read by Susan Howe) (0:30): MP3

These recordings are from the Maureen Owen Collection of Greenwich Village Poetry, at the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library



These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the participating authors. Used with permission of participating authors and the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Distributed by PennSound.