American poet Emily Dickinson was born December 10, 1830 in Amherst, MA. During her lifetime, she only published only seven poems, but after her death, her sister Lavinia Dickinson discovered more than a thousand poems, many of them hand bound into little books. In the 1890's Lavinia had the poems edited and published in three editions. Emily Dickinson's fame grew considerably in the twentieth century, however, when Thomas H. Johnson published an unedited collection of all 1775 of her poems in a single edition in 1960.
This scholarly Emily Dickinson archive challenges common misconceptions about her, including the"fact" that she was isolated, morbid, or did not have a sense of humor. Start by studying the correspondence between Emily and her sister-in-law Susan Dickinson (Emily Dickinson Writing a Poem) as Emily edits the poem "Safe in their Alabaster Chambers." Next, peruse Letter-Poem and ask yourself where the poem ends and the personal correspondence begins. Teachers will not want to miss Teaching with the Archives, which includes resources from a variety of external websites.
Visit Modern American Poetry for two Dickinson biographies and twenty articles of literary commentary submitted by users. "Dickinson's poetry is remarkable for its emotional and intellectual energy as well as its extreme distillation. In form, everything about it is tightly condensed. Words and phrases are set off by dashes, stanzas are brief, and the longest poem occupies less than two printed pages."
At WiredforBooks.org, Laura Lee Parrotti reads 184 Emily Dickinson poems. Each audio clip is available in RealAudio format for online or offline listening. I wish they were in MP3 format (it would make it easier to play them offline) and that the written versions were available alongside the audio. You can, however, find the Series 1 poems at Bartleby.com and all three Series at Online-Literature.com.
Poets.org has a Dickinson biography and a dozen poems, but the best clicks are hidden away under the Related Pages sub-heading in the left-hand column. There you will find the Emily Dickinson Reading Guide, which includes an introduction to the poet, an analytic look at "I Cannot Live With You", and eight discussion questions. The whole thing is also available in PDF for easy printing and distribution.