Writing in Time: Emily Dickinson’s Master Hours

Wed, Apr 7 2021 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm

For more than half a century, the story of Emily Dickinson’s “Master” documents has been the largely biographical tale of three letters to an unidentified individual. Writing in Time seeks to tell a different story—the story of the documents themselves. Rather than presenting the “Master” documents as quarantined from Dickinson’s larger scene of textual production, Marta Werner’s innovative new edition proposes reading them next to Dickinson’s other major textual experiment in the years between ca. 1858–1861: the Fascicles. In both, Dickinson can be seen testing the limits of address and genre in order to escape bibliographical determination and the very coordinates of “mastery” itself. A major event in Dickinson scholarship, Writing in Time proposes new constellations of Dickinson’s work as well as exciting new methodologies for textual scholarship as an act of “intimate editorial investigation.” Join Dickinson scholar Marta Werner in conversation with Peter Gizzi about her forthcoming book Writing in Time: Emily Dickinson’s Master Hours (Amherst College Press, 2021).

Marta Werner is the Martin J. Svaglic Chair in Textual Studies and Loyola University Chicago. Her previous publications include, with Jen Bervin, The Gorgeous Nothings (Granary Books, 2012; New Directions, 2013); Radical Scatters: An Electronic Archive of Emily Dickinson’s Late Fragments and Related Texts (University of Michigan Press, 1999; republished by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2010); with Nicholas Lawrence, Ordinary Mysteries: The Common Journal of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne (The American Philosophical Society, 2006); and Emily Dickinson’s Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing (University of Michigan Press, 1995). She also co-edited The Networked Recluse (Amherst College Press, 2017), which accompanied The Morgan Library exhibition, “’I’m Nobody—Who are You’: The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson.”

Peter Gizzi is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including most recently Now It's Dark (Wesleyan, 2020), Sky Burial: New and Collected Poems (Carcanet UK, 2020), and Archeophonics (Wesleyan, 2016), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. His editing projects include o·blēk: a journal of language arts (1987-1993), The House That Jack Built: The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan, 1998), and with Kevin Killian, My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan, 2008). He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Co-Sponsored by the Amherst College Press and the Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Amherst College.

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