Release Date: July 6, 2009
Media Contact: Dale Johnson, External Relations
E-mail: Dale.Johnson@uregina.ca
Phone: 306-585-5439
Mobile: 306-536-4312
Fax: 306-585-4997
Emily Dickinson scholar guest speaker in Massachusetts

A professor of English at the University of Regina, Dr. Cindy MacKenzie, will be a guest speaker later this month in Massachusetts. Mackenzie, who specializes in the poems and letters of Emily Dickinson, has been invited to speak at a workshop at Amherst College. The event is sponsored by The Emily Dickinson Homestead: The Museum and Evergreens, which received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to host a Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop for Schoolteachers called Emily Dickinson: Person, Poetry and Place.

MacKenzie - the only Canadian who will be making presentations at the event - is one of five scholars taking part. Each day, one of them will provide a lecture and workshop project for a group of 40 high school teachers from across the United States. MacKenzie will give her presentations on July 10 and July 17. MacKenzie earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Regina and her PhD from the University of Colorado. She has written several articles and three books, and made presentations at conferences in the U.S., Europe and Japan. She is currently working on a book that emphasizes the relationship between Dickinson's letters and poems.

"As I read the entire volume of her letters while compiling A Concordance to the Letters of Emily Dickinson, I learned that she has a wide range of emotions, is very sympathetic to the pain of others, and has a good sense of humour," she says.

MacKenzie says the popularity of Dickinson has been increasing in recent years, with references to her popping up in song lyrics, novels and T.V. dramas like ER.

When MacKenzie returns she will be convening the annual meeting of the Emily Dickinson International Society, which will be held in Regina, from July 31 to Aug. 2. It will be the first time the event will be held in Canada, and is expected to attract about 60 Emily Dickinson scholars from Europe and the U.S. There will be several events open to the public, including the play The Belle of Amherst about the life of Emily Dickinson, performed by award-winning actor Barbara Dana. The event will be held at the Schumiatcher Theatre at the MacKenzie Art Gallery on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 8:00 p.m.

For more information please contact MacKenzie before July 8 at her office at (306)-585-4671 or by email at cindy.mackenzie@uregina.ca.