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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Biographical
  • Language:English
  • Pages:208
  • eBook ISBN:9781483506456

The Story of Emily Dickinson's Master: "WILD NIGHTS! WILD NIGHTS!"

Emily Dickinson: Lover of Science & Scientist in Dark Days of the Republic

by Daniela Gioseffi

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THE STORY OF EMILY DICKINSON'S MASTER: WILD NIGHTS! WILD NIGHTS! is a biographical novel based on its non-fiction forward on the most iconic of all American poets: "Emily Dickinson; Lover of Science & Scientist in Dark Days of the Republic." The book was well reviewed by THE EMILY DICKINSON INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY BULLETIN in 2010 in hardcopy. The reviewer said: “A page turning tale of a bitter sweet love affair (1857-1865)…Gioseffi, a compelling storyteller, cleverly incorporates Dickinson’s poems, capturing the intellectual, cultural, and political ideas and voices of the nineteenth century, from the stern Calvinist voices of Mary Lyon and the Reverend Aron Colton to the domestic Irish lilt of Margaret Maher, [Dickinson’ confidant and day servant.]…. Gioseffi helpfully advises Dickinson scholar’s to read her non-fiction foreword first. The novel is alive with detail and heartfelt emotion….Gioseffi introduces a Dickinson most readers have not met before.” -- Barbara Kelly, Book Review Editor: The Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin, Nov/Dec. 2010
This biographical novel is based on the life of America's more iconic and widely read woman poet, Emily Dickinson of Amherst, Massachusetts who became known for her succinct and pointedly meaningful lyrical poetry the world over after her death and posthumous publicaton. The book is based on a carefully reserached non-fiction forward: "Lover of Science and Scientist in Dark Days of the Republic" which discloses at last who the mysterious "Master Figure" of Dickinson's love poems and letters was. It portrays the poet as the full blown womanly person she really was, the woman of her erotic poems such as her well known, "Wild Nights! Wild Nights!" It dispells the false mythology that has surrounded the iconic poet as a spinster and a recluse. Dickinson was actually quite different and far more lively in demeanor than the myths that have been instituted about her as a lonely, asocial woman. This novel by the widely published American Book Award winning author and accomplished poet and literary critic, Daniela Gioseff, was well reviewed by Dickinson scholars and the foreword upon which it was based was admired by poets Galway Kinnell, Pulitzer and National Book Award winning poet and thorough reader of Dckinson’s poetry and life; Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the USA, also a learned reader of Dickinson and her times; and Alice Quinn, Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America, something of a Dickinson scholar in her own right. As Gioseffi says at the beginning of her forword: "Because of the connection to her creativity during its most emergent period, the identity of the mysterious “Master Figure” of Emily Dickinson’s poems and letters, has been a matter of great speculation and pointed disagreement among Dickinson scholars for over a century. Connie Ann Kirk in her 2004 biography Emily Dickinson, Greenwood Press, wrote: “…a scholar or historian who could somehow prove ‘Master’s’ true identity would solve one of the greatest mysteries in American literature.” We know a good deal about the life of our other most singular icon of 19th Century American Poetry, Walt Whitman, but details of Dickinson’s personal life have become so mythologized that we can’t see as clearly the edifying connections between her biography and poetic output. One can contend, as the poet Susan Howe does in My Emily Dickinson ((See bib.) that this circumstance leaves many of her poems elliptical or impenetrable. Of course, the most famous of her works— those anthologized, recited, remembered, and taught— are not among such texts. The poet left behind about 1,800 poems, only eleven were formally published, and those anonymously, in her lifetime. The rest, many unfinished, were posthumously collected in her complete works....Many feel, and rightly so, that an artist’s biography need only be explored if it enlightens the art produced, and not for gossip’s sake or the pleasures of voyeurism. Yet, due to recent scholarship that has come to light about who the mysterious “Master Figure” of Dickinson’s poems and letters was, we can manage a whole new reading of this important poet’s work. Undoing the mythology surrounding Dickinson’s overblown seclusion, the trauma that brought her to it, along with the inspiration for her writing, the wearing of her notorious white dress, and reasons for little publication in her lifetime, renders a clearer reading and greater appreciation of her many posthumously published texts." The Book Review Editor of The Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin wrote of the hardcopy version: “ “A page turning tale of a bitter sweet love affair (1857-1865)…Gioseffi, a compelling storyteller, cleverly incorporates Dickinson’s poems, capturing the intellectual, cultural, and political ideas and voices of the 19th century...The novel is alive with detail and heartfelt emotion...Gioseffi introduces a Dickinson most readers have not met before." (The novel is a slightly different than the 2010 hardcopy version.
About the author
Daniela Gioseffi, poet, novelist, playwright, literary critic, essayist, performer, professor of world literature, has traveled widely, presenting her poetry throughout North America and Europe. She has read her work and lectured at universities, cultural centers and international book fairs, in Madrid, London, New York, California, Barcelona, and Venice, and performed her works for National Public Radio and Pacifica Radio in the U.S., CBC, Canada, and the BBC at Oxford and London. Her book WOMEN ON WAR; International Writings, (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster) won an American Book Award, 1990, and was published in Vienna and London, to be reissued in a new edition, 2003 by The Feminist Press: NY. Her novel,THE GREAT AMERICAN BELLY (was optioned for a screenplay by Warner Bros. and published by Doubleday and Dell, NY, as well as New English Library, London. Her fiction, “Daffodil Dollars” from her collection of stories: IN BED WITH THE EXOTIC ENEMY, 1997 won a PEN AMERICAN CENTER SYNDICATED FICTION AWARD and was aired on National Public Radio’s “The Sound of Words,” hosted by Alan Cheuse. In 1993, she published her world compendium, ON PREJUDICE: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE (Ancho/Doubleday: NY.) It won a Ploughshares Fund, World Peace Award, and was presented at the United Nations. Poems contained in her first book, EGGS IN THE LAKE won award grants from The New York State Council on the Arts of the National Endowment on the Arts. Her four subsequent collections of poetry are: WORD WOUNDS & WATER FLOWERS, 1995, GOING ON: 2000, SYMBIOSIS, 2002, and BLOOD AUTUMN (Autunno di sangue) 2006. Daniela has literature and writing at various universities throughout the Metropolitan area for several years. She is registered with The Emily Dickinson’s Scholars’ Registry, Her latest book, THE STORY OF EMILY DICKINSON'S MASTER: WILD NIGHTS! WILD NIGHTS! is a biographical novel based on its non-fiction forward: "Emily Dickinson; Lover of Science & Scientist in Dark Days of the Republic." The book was well reviewed by THE EMILY DICKINSON INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY BULLETIN in 2010 in hardcopy. She is a member of PEN American Center, The Academy of American Poets, The Poetry Society of America, and The National Book Critics Circle, winning the Sydney Sulkin prize for poetry reviewing in 1994. Her verse has been etched in marble with that of Walt Whitman on a wall of Penn Station’s 7th Avenue Concourse. She has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in Education from the Association of Italian American Educators, and a John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry, 2007. Daniela has been a featured poet at The Peoples’ Poetry Gathering, Poets House, New York, and The Geraldine R. Dodge National Poetry Festival in New Jersey, and read her work, or been a featured speaker, on numerous campuses and at cultural centers nationwide. She’s won two grant awards in poetry from NY State Council for the Arts; and presented her work on NPR, & the BBC as well as on innumerable campuses and at International Book Fairs from Barcelona to Brooklyn, London to Madrid. Daniela is editor of which features ecological poetry and literature of climate crisis. Her work appeared in THE PARIS REVIEW, THE NATION, PRAIRIE SCHOONER, POETRY EAST, etc. & in many major press anthologies, for example Kaleidoscope: STORIES OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE (Oxford U. Press, 1993.) She has taught creative writing and world literaure widely throughout the Metropolitican area, and for some years was a Poet-in-Residence for the NY Board of Education and in public schools throughout the Metropolitican Area.
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