About Susan Snively

Susan Snively

Susan Snively grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and now lives in New England where she is a guide, discussion leader, and film script writer for the Emily Dickinson Museum. She was the founder and first director of the Writing Center at Amherst College, where she worked from 1981 until 2008.  She taught courses in writing and autobiographies of women, and has published four collections of poems: From This Distance (1981), Voices in the House (1988), The Undertow (1998), and Skeptic Traveler (2005.)  View her complete bibliography.

Susan Snively has received numerous Prizes and Awards for her writing, and continues to lecture and give readings.  See her accomplishments and past events.

Besides her four books of poetry, Snively has published essays both personal and critical, and recently completed a novel, The Heart Has Many Doors, about the love affair between Emily Dickinson and Judge Otis Phillips Lord. She is the screenwriter and narrator of two documentary films on Dickinson: "Seeing New Englandly" (2010) and "My Business is to Sing" (2012), co-produced with Ernest Urvater.  She lives in Amherst with her husband, Peter Czap.


The Heart Has Many Doors, Susan Snively's first novel, published on February 14, 2015, by White River Press, is now available on Amazon.com.


At home in Amherst:

By the Emily Oak - the offspring of an oak at the Dickinson homesteadChef Peter, my husband


Here is Susan with a young sapling in her yard, "born" from an oak at the Dickinson Homestead.


Susan's husband Peter...

A Valentine's Day breakfast, with a buttered crumpet and bacon "heart."

Part of a giant puffball mushroom given to us by Kitty Florey, alongside Peter's peppers.



Kitty's mushroom & Peter's peppers

Our house in summer and our yard in winter—yes, those are turkeys!

Our house AmherstTurkeys in the snow


Susan standing by the Lord monument
in Harmony Grove Cemetery in Salem.
Lord Monument

Here is that sapling again—"Emily Oak Jr."
—in Autumn.
Emily Oak Jr. in Autumn