Lesson Ideas: Studying Biography

Because Emily Dickinson's life and work are intimately connected, introducing the person behind the poems to students can be a powerful way to make connections.

Emily Dickinson's bedroom


However, students also need to understand that Dickinson's poems should not be read as autobiography. Poetry may be informed by, and is often a reflection on, personal experience, but it should not be read as a diary. Educators should keep this in mind as they talk with their students about Dickinson and her work.

Here are some ideas for introducing Dickinson's biography: