Emily Dickinson - Life Stories, Books, and Links
Biographical Information

Stories about Emily Dickinson

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Selected books about / related to this author

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Picture of Emily Dickinson, poet; nineteenth century American Literature and poetry
Emily Dickinson   (1830 - 1886)
Category:  American Literature
Born:  December 10, 1830
Amerst, Massachusetts, United States
Died:  May 15, 1886
Amherst, Massachusetts, United States
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Emily Dickinson - LIFE STORIES
3/1/1862     Emily Dickinson, "Alabaster Chambers"
On this day in 1862, Emily Dickinson's "Safe in Their Alabaster Chambers" was published. This was the second of only a handful of poems published in Dickinson's lifetime, all of them anonymously and, most think, without her knowledge. Six weeks later she sent her famous letter to the critic Thomas Wentworth Higginson: "Are you too deeply occupied to say if my Verse is alive?"
4/15/1862     Emily Dickinson: "My Barefoot Rank is Better"
In a letter dated April 15, 1862, the thirty-one year old Emily Dickinson sent four poems and a short note to Thomas Higginson, the author of a recent magazine article advising young writers how to get published. His answering letter has not survived, but it contained enough discouragement to send Dickinson back into her "Barefoot Rank," and to stay there for good.
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Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
poetry, anthology
Emily Dickinson: Selected Letters
by Emily Dickinson, Thomas Johnson (Editor)
Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson
by Emily Dickinson, Ellen Louise Hart (Editor), Martha Nell Smith (Editor)
The Poems of Emily Dickinson [Abridged]
by Emily Dickinson, Glenda Jackson (Performer), Meryl Streep (Performer)
audio CD
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Emily Dickinson: A Collection of Critical Essays
by Judith Farr (Editor)
literary criticism
My Emily Dickinson
by Susan Howe
literary criticism
My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson
by Alfred Habegger
The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson
by Wendy Martin (Editor)
guide, biography
The Life of Emily Dickinson
by Richard Benson Sewall
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Academy of American Poets
Dickinson biography, poetry, bibliography, and links. Selected poems include "Fame is a fickle food," "I heard a Fly buzz," "The Soul unto itself," and "I'm Nobody! Who are you?"

"Her poetry reflects her loneliness and the speakers of her poems generally live in a state of want; but her poems are also marked by the intimate recollection of inspirational moments which are decidedly life-giving and suggest the possibility of future happiness. Her work was heavily influenced by the Metaphysical poets of seventeenth-century England, as well as by her Puritan upbringing and the Book of Revelation. She admired the poetry of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and John Keats. Though she was dissuaded from reading the verse of her contemporary Walt Whitman by rumor of its disgracefulness, the two poets are now connected by the distinguished place they hold as the founders of a uniquely American poetic voice."
Dickinson Electronic Archives
This extensive offers is rich in resources for teachers, students, and fans of Dickinson's works: writings by the author and her family; reponses to her writing; teaching resources; and literary criticism and analysis.

"... a website devoted to the study of Emily Dickinson, her writing practices, writings directly influencing her work, and critical and creative writings generated by her work."
Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database (New York University)
Offers synopses and commentary from a medical perspective on poems including:

  • "After great pain, a formal feeling comes"

  • "Because I could not stop for death"

  • "Death is like the insect"

  • "The heart asks pleasure first"

  • "I felt a cleaving in my mind"

  • "I felt a funeral in my brain"

  • "I heard a fly buzz when I died"

  • "Just lost when I was saved"

  • "Much madness is divinest sense"

  • "My life closed twice"

  • "Pain has an element of blank"
  • Neurotic Poets
    This biographical essay explores the hidden and sheltered life of this "eccentric recluse."

    "Dickinson had many correspondences with prominent journalists, editors and writers of the time, but met or spoke with only a few. In her later years she would sometimes refuse to see visitors that came to her home, only talking to them from behind a door or shouting to them from upstairs. Her last known travels of any distance were some 1864 and 1865 visits to a doctor in Boston for eye troubles. After the late 1860's, she never left the bounds of the family property, occupying herself with her poetry, letters, baking, and tending the family garden. The most prevalent speculation is that Emily Dickinson suffered from some form of agoraphobia or anxiety disorder."
    The Atlantic Monthly
    A reprint of a 1913 critique of Dickinson's poetry. Provides insight and analysis and a nice comparison to more recent criticism.

    "Without elaborate philosophy, yet with irresistible ways of expression, Emily Dickinson's poems have true lyric appeal, because they make abstractions, such as love, hope, loneliness, death, and immortality, seem near and intimate and faithful."
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    November 25, 2015
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