EMILY DICKINSON’S POETICS OF TRAUMA
My essay “‘Out of sound – Out of sight’: Emily Dickinson and the Poetics of Trauma” had its origins in a seminar delivered at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University in 2005.
It was subsequently published in PsyArts, an online journal for the psychological study of the arts, founded by Norman Holland.
In the piece, I argue that Dickinson’s poetry represents, not a roadmap to her own personal traumas, but rather a fine-grained phenomenology of trauma — a psychologically acute description of trauma as a distinctive emotional and cognitive state.
I was also interviewed in a program on Dickinson in the “American Icons” series of National Public Radio’s Studio 360.