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Emily Dickinson birthday bash in Tucson

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(Read caption) Emily Dickinson's work is inspiring a dance show, recipes and new works by local writers in Tucson, Ariz.

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Emily Dickinson, the famously reclusive poet, would probably be overwhelmed by all this attention.

Kore Press, which publishes works by female authors, created "Big Read Tucson" in association with "The Big Read," a program by the National Endowment for the Arts that encourages reading for all ages. "Big Read Tucson," which focuses on Dickinson's work, started on Sept. 22. It will conclude on Dec. 10, the poet’s birthday, with a party to celebrate the Massachusetts poet. 

Events and activities include poems by Dickinson appearing on the city’s Sun Tran buses as well as being projected onto buildings; workshops that interpret Dickinson’s poems as slam poetry; a dance show that is inspired by her work; and recording sessions in which participants can record themselves reading her poems and letters. Local artists and students are creating portraits of Dickinson, libraries will feature workshops and discussions based around the poet’s work, even as chefs at local restaurants are making dishes inspired by the reclusive writer.

It's all about finding new ways to celebrate the life and work of a great author. “You don't want to put somebody up on a pedestal and pay homage,” Lisa Bowden, co-founder of Kore Press and organizer of "Big Read Tucson," said of the unusual events in an interview with NPR. “That's not very interesting.”

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