Posted on April 15, 2022 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Journalist and writer Martha Ackmann released These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson back in early 2020.

This excerpt from it, though, is still timely.

Ackmann writes that essayist Thomas Wentworth Higginson had written an advice column for aspiring authors in the Atlantic Monthly.

"This American literature of ours will be just as classic a thing, if we do our part,” he wrote. “If, therefore, duty and opportunity call, count it a privilege to obtain your share.”

On April 15, 1862, Dickinson wrote a short note to Higginson asking him to advise her on whether the four poems she had enclosed were "alive."

Read more about this fateful letter from Dickinson at Literary Hub. 

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