'Emily Dickinson Companion' Book Launch to Feature Local Poets Reading Dickinson's Work

December 06, 2006

When: Sunday, Dec. 10, 4-6 p.m.
Where: Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) Conference Center, 145 Ednam Road, next to the Boar’s Head Inn

Several local poets, including U.Va. creative writing professor Gregory Orr, will join U.Va. faculty member Sharon Leiter to celebrate the publication of her new book, “Critical Companion to Emily Dickinson,” on Dickinson’s 176th birthday.

At the book launch, open to the public, Orr, who wrote the preface for Leiter's new book, will join other poets and U.Va. faculty in reading favorite Dickinson poems and discussing this most versatile and intrepid explorer of “the Undiscovered Continent” of the self. 

Leiter teaches in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Program in the U.Va. School of Professional and Continuing Studies. She will be joined by other published authors who teach in the BIS program, including John T. Casteen IV, Kenny Marotta, Charlotte Matthews and Larry Wieder, as well as local poets Lisa Russ Spaar, associate professor of English, Judy Longly, Kevin McFadden, Roberta Culbertson, Susan Shafarzek, Roselyn Elliott and Anne Bromley.

Leiter's 464-page book, “Critical Companion to Emily Dickinson: A Literary Reference to Her Work and Life,” is written for the nonspecialist, with a distinct emphasis on how to read this beloved but difficult poet and make her one's own. Her aim in writing the work was to provide a tool for teachers of Dickinson as well as students.

About Sharon Leiter

Sharon L. Leiter is a faculty member with the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Program of the U.Va. School of Professional and Continuing Studies. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Michigan. She has taught various levels of Russian studies from Introductory Russian to 20th Century Russian Poetry at the graduate level. She  also has served as an assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) Program
U.Va.’s Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Program meets the needs of adult students by offering part-time study with evening classes. Students planning to apply to the BIS program complete 60 transferable credit hours including core and prerequisite requirements, and then transfer to finish their degree at the University of Virginia. Classes, taught in Charlottesville and at Tidewater Community College, are offered year-round. Designed to foster a broad liberal studies education, the BIS degree program offers concentrations in business, humanities and social sciences as well as an education option for those interested in pursuing the Alternative Route to Teacher Licensure in Virginia program