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A Visit With Emily Dickinson is an informal, interactive presentation that brings the life and works of the great poet to audiences in a very unique manner. Miss Dickinson enters in authentic dress, with her exquisite antique box filled with poems, and engages the audience in a lively discourse on several of her better-known poems, including her famous riddle poems. Listeners are encouraged to ask questions about the poet's life and works, and they are answered with words almost exclusively derived from Dickinson's poems and letters. During the course of the performance, Ms Partnow's true persona is never revealed. She enters and exits the playing area as the venerable Emily (although she is happy to return for an "encore" as herself with adult audiences).
Emily Dickinson, known throughout the English-speaking world as one of the greatest lyric poets, has acquired a reputation as a spinsterish recluse, with all its inherent associations. In bringing her to life, the audience bears witness to the vitality of her daily life, the relationships she shared with her sister Lavinia, her brother Austin, her parents, Edward and Emily, and her many friends, the schools she attended and the studies she followed. In addition, some of her poems, after their recitation, are explored with the audience by Emily, allowing for a more astute understanding of the poet's works, which allows for a greater appreciation of America's greatest short lyric poet.
A true improvision, the program varies from one venue to the next, depending upon the questions asked and the audience's interests and level of understanding. Consequently, this program is appropriate for 4th grade through adult.
Educational materials available with the program include a brief biography and bibliography.