Emily Dickinson was an American poet. She published few poems during her lifetime, but she is now one of the best-known versifiers of our times.BeginningsEmily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830. Her grandfather, Samuel Fowler Dickinson, was a founder of Amherst College. Her father, Edward Dickinson, was the college's lawyer and treasurer. Emily's sister, Lavinia Norcross Dickinson, collaborated with Susan to publish a large part of Emily’s work posthumously.Emily received her early education at Amherst Academy from 1834 to 1847. She never returned to school.A cloistered existenceThroughout Dickinson's life, she seldom left home, and visitors were rare. Lord, a Massachusetts Supreme Court Judge, and Samuel Bowles, editor of the Springfield Republican.By the 1860s, Dickinson lived in nearly total isolation from the outside world. Like Emily, her sister also lived at home for her entire life.Dickinson's poetry frequently reflects her loneliness, but her verse also is marked by the possibility of happiness. She also was an admirer of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, as well as John Keats.During her lifetime, Dickinson was not a recognized poet. Dickinson wrote more than 1,700 poems, but only seven were published while she was alive, five of them in the Springfield Republican.A quiet life closesEmily Dickinson died in Amherst on May 15, 1886. In the early decades of the 20th century, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, Dickinson’s niece, transcribed and published more poems, and in 1945, the release of Bolts Of Melody completed the task of bringing her poems to the public. Johnson's 1955 edition of Emily Dickinson's poems finally gave readers a complete and accurate text.Dickinson’s work has exerted a considerable influence on modern verse.