Third Annual Amherst Poetry Festival Honors James Tate


Just yesterday the third annual poetry festival kicked off in Amherst, Massachusetts.

This year will differ from the previous two years’ festivals in that the Pulitzer prize winning poet James Tate will be absent. Tate died in July of 2015. Despite his physical absence, however, those attending the festival will participate in a tribute to his life and work. In fact, the Homestead Stage will be dedicated to Tate.

Among the many poets that will be present and celebrating Tate’s life, is poet Dara Wier. Wier is Tate’s wife, and she will deliver featured readings on Friday and Saturday in addition to Richard Michelson, Annie Finch and Deborah Gorlin. She is also a vital component of the festival’s organization, as she has continued to play an active role.

The festival, which will run through the day on Sunday, is taking place on the Emily Dickinson Museum’s grounds. In addition to the Museum’s sponsorship, festival programming is also sponsored by the Amherst Business Improvement District. According to an article in MassLive, readings will take place from 1pm until 7pm on Saturday on the stage dedicated to Tate.

In addition to the readings, vendors and publishers will be selling their wares. There will also be a special series of workshops offered for writers “of all ages and interests,” according to Diane Lederman for MassLive.

For more information or to view a full schedule of events, visit the Emily Dickinson Museum webpage.