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An important and engaging study of the original work and writings of Martha Dickinson Bianchi, the niece of poet Emily Dickinson. This book establishes Martha as a prolific poet, novelist, essayist and translator. As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Great War, this study helps us to rethink how women experienced that war through the writing of a significant woman poet who published during the first two decades of the 20th century but whose work has largely been ignored.Being the niece of a prolific but secretive poet could not have been easy, but Martha Gilbert Dickinson was fascinated by her aunt Emily Dickinson and admired her craft. Although she considered a career in piano, Martha found herself writing poems in the late 1880's and was published in a major magazine, The Century, by the end of the next decade and saw her first book of poems published in 1899, which publicly established her career as a poet. For the next 25 years, Martha Dickinson Bianchi (as she became with her marriage) was a prolific poet, novelist, essayist and translator. Her career shifted as she took on the editing and preservation of Emily's legacy and her own original writing was limited to that legacy. Martha's poems were well-received by the reading public but they were lost to posterity, as were the poems of many women of her era. This close look at her volumes of poetry establishes her place as a peer in the coterie of early 20th-century American women poets.
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Dr. Marcy L. Tanter received her Ph.D. in English with specialization in 19th Century American Literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is currently an Associate Professor of English at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Tx.Review:
"American women poets are largely absent from the anthologies prior to 1970, an indication of sexism inherent in the publishing world... Marcy Tanter recovers the original work of Martha Dickinson Bianchi, a woman who is known to history as the niece of Emily Dickinson but who also had her own poetic career before she took over the editing and publishing of Dickinson's work... Bianchi was a serious career poet worthy of recovery." - Professor Brian Fehler, Associate Professor of English, Texas Woman's University. "Bianchi's own life and work provides a window for readers into times of radical change in the American historical, cultural, and literary landscape, a world in which Bianchi was an active and public participant... Tanter honors her purpose in recovering Bianchi's story by relating the poet's own words with fresh critical interpretations of them.... This book does indeed provide an intriguing invitation for more bio/critical study of Bianchi's life and work." - Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D., Independent Scholar.
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