Mary Loeffelholz, Professor of English; Dean of College of Professional Studies
The Value of Emily Dickinson is the first compact introduction to Dickinson to focus primarily on her poems and why they have held and continue to hold such significance for readers. It addresses the question of literary value in light of current controversies dividing scholars, including those surrounding the critical issue of whether her writings are best appreciated as visual works of manuscript art or as rhymed and metered poems intended for the inner ear. Mary Loeffelholz deftly incorporates Dickinson’s distinctive biography and her historical, religious, and cultural contexts into close readings, tracing the evolution of Dickinson’s style. This volume – which considers not only the complex history of Dickinson’s poems in print, but also their future in digital formats – will be an invaluable resource for undergraduate and graduate students seeking to better understand the importance of this seminal American poet.