Teacher Guide

Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems Lesson Plan

About the Author

Emily Dickinson’s life has always fascinated people, even before she was famous for her poetry. She was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, a small farming village, on December 10, 1830, to Edward and Emily Norcross Dickinson. Edward Dickinson was a well-respected lawyer and politician, descended from a prominent Amherst family; his father was a founder of Amherst College, where Edward was treasurer.

Emily was the middle child, and was very close to her brother, Austin, and sister, Lavinia. Emily spent almost all of her life in her parents’ home in Amherst, with the exception of the year she spent in boarding school—she left ostensibly because of illness, although it is more likely that it...

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