Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (1830-1886) was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. Little recognized during her life, she is now regarded as one of the most important American poets.
Dickinson lived most of her life in quiet isolation, and was considered an eccentric by local people. She never married, almost always wore white and, at least later in life, she rarely left her bedroom.
Typically lacking titles and using unconventional punctuation, her short lyrics were considered way ahead of their time when she was writing in the mid 19th century. Themes include death and immortality, aesthetics, society, nature and spirituality. Many mock the sentimentality of the time, challenge the existing definitions of poetry and the poet's work and some are religiously heretical. Her honest, subversive and uninhibited writing have led many to view her as a feminist writer.
During her lifetime Dickinson published just 10 of her nearly 1800 poems, and it was not until after her death in 1886—when Lavinia, Dickinson's younger sister, discovered her cache of poems—that her work became public. Her first volume was published 4 years after her death. Since 1890 Dickinson has remained continuously in print and her poems are widely read, taught, and studied.
So why not celebrate a wonderful poet with our Emily Dickinson tea towel, which features her much-anthologised poem '"Hope" is the thing with feathers'.