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Kelsey comments on upcoming role

Linda Kelsey will perform "The Belle of Amherst" Jan. 9-18 at The Phipps Center for the Arts, 109 Locust St.

This one-woman play by William Luce celebrates the life of 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson.

"I knew about Emily Dickinson, as we all did, from high school literature class," said Kelsey. "We all know lines from her famous poems. But once I read this play and began to learn more about her extraordinary life, I was tremendously excited by the challenge of playing her.

"She was a recluse, but she still led a very full life. It's easy to say, 'Poor Emily, the eccentric poet living in seclusion,' but what I've found is a life richer than most of us can imagine. You don't feel sorry for her at all once you spend time with her. She's very witty, passionate, endlessly fascinating, and mysterious. And her words just knock you out."

Performances are Jan. 9-18 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for all students with a current I.D., with a $2 discount for seniors on the Sunday matinees. For reservations, contact The Phipps ticket office at (715) 386-8409 or visit www.The