Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) is the most popular American poet in U.S. history. Her poetry continues to be as groundbreaking today as when it was written. Dickinson objected to editorial changes to her poems, such as those made by The Springfield Republican. Instead she collected her finished work in hand-sewn fascicles, and in that way “published” her poetry as she wanted it to appear on the page. Susan Huntington Dickinson, Emily Dickinson’s sister-in-law and her closest friend from childhood, was Dickinson’s primary reader and the recipient of her drafts, poems, letter-poems, and letters, which are collected in Open Me Carefully. Dickinson’s work and life reflect her intimate relationship with Sue and her seriousness as a poet.
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