Author of the Week: Emily Dickinson

Author of the Week: Emily Dickinson

Haeley Gibbs

(Happy New Year MCJH!!)

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10 in 1830. She sadly died at the age of 55 on May 15, 1886, due to poor health.


Emily was born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1830. She was the second of three children, and she lived in a mansion for nine years. In her younger years, she became closely attached to her sister, Lavinia, and her brother, Austin.

When the siblings got older, Lavinia and Emily lived together while Austin got married and moved in next door. Due to her parents view of her, she was mostly stayed home. Once her teachers realized her intelligence, she attended Amherst Academy. Composition was her strong point, but Latin and science was easy for her, too.

Emily left home to attend Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Emily never returned for her second year because of their strict rules and “invasive religious practices”. She also became homesick and rebellious.

Becoming A Poet

Emily wrote in letters until she got to her 20s. One of her father’s law students introduced her to Ralph Waldo Emerson, another poet. In 1858, Emily began to make clean copies of the poems she wrote. She mostly sent her poems to her friends or siblings.

While she was alive, the American Civil War was all everyone talked about. She didn’t write much about the war, but the horrible tragedies inspired some of her writing. In 1862, she met a man named Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and she began sending him samples of her poetry.

Fun Facts

  • Unfortunately, the loss of friends became normal for Emily.
  • Emily’s poems were mostly based on abandonment.
  • Over 7 years, Emily Dickinson made 40 booklets and multiple unsewn sheaves, altogether making 800 poems.