Founded in 1988 and now celebrating its 25th year of existence, the Emily Dickinson International Society (EDIS) encourages the continuing study of our great poet's life and works.
Their presence is felt in local chapters worldwide, through continued publication of scholarly papers published in journals, sponsoring international conferences and awarding scholarships to promote the continued study of Emily's impact not only in the literary world but on the world stage.
The University of Maryland at College Park hosted this year's international conference from August 8-11th. A gathering of Emily scholars celebrated "Emily Dickinson, World Citizen" with research papers, panel discussions, creative presentations and performances by a variety of actors and musicians.
To fit into an evening of Emily Dickinson musical performances, Barbara Dana trimmed "Wider Than the Sky" to 30 minutes highlighting scenes from the show. Again, we had the lovely Elizabeth Morton as Emily and Martin Hennessy playing piano. Jamie Smithson and Laurie McCants joined us to create several characters in Emily's life.
Having an audience filled with Emily Dickinson scholars and afficianados could be a bit daunting. Yet, they were attentive and drawn into the story and show Barbara and I have developed. What a pleasure it was to bring a new facet of Emily to the Emily Dickinson International Society conference.
"Wider Than the Sky", as I've said several times, continues to be a work in progress and a journey ever so worth the process!