The easiest advice to give about writing is telling someone they should read the kind of books they want to write, and that’s a very true statement. I’d even add to that you should read books about the kinds of things you want to write about. And that’s exactly what I did when I was researching for Dickinstein.
The first book I read is an easy guess. I re-read Emily’s collected poems. I own about three different editions of her poetry, so I’d read it all before. While I was researching, I bought one of them simply for an introduction that was written by one of her editors back in the day, a personal acquaintance of hers who explains the first time he met Emily. He even makes an appearance in my book.
I use various poems by Emily throughout the book, quoting them and also showing what inspired her…
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