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2008 special issue of the Emily Dickinson Journal: Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Poetics

Emily Dickinson is canonical and popular but what aspects of her poetics are important today, and why? As a complement to the testimonials provided by individual poets in the 2006 special issue of the EDJ, we now seek broader, more scholarly essays on Dickinson's relevance to the way contemporary writers understand poetics, poetic lineage, the act of reading, and the nature or function of poetry.

Many of today's issues seem very far from Dickinson's Amherst: terrorism, multiculturalism, information flows, identity politics, Google, globalization, genocide, technology, Iraq, the environment... For poets now looking forward, is there anything indispensable or generative in all those nineteenth-century lyrics on death, nature, time, ecstasy, love, pain, God, faith, and trauma? What force is there to Dickinson's signature combinations of iambic meters, distorted syntax, latinate polysyllables, off-rhymes, personae, abstract nouns, compression, word alternatives, dashes, and tropes? Are poets writing with or against Dickinson, and why?

Topics include but are not limited to: the actual or potential relevance of Dickinson's poetics to contemporary or future genres, modes, schools, and theories of poetry; the utility of individual Dickinsonian techniques, themes, or vocabularies for today's creative writers; Dickinson's stylistic, thematic, or other impact on interdisciplinary or inter-arts production (poetry and history or philosophy, poetry and visual art, music, cinema, etc.).

We are interested in scholarly essays by both critics and poets. Submissions by poets must be accompanied by creative writing that is clearly relevant to their expository prose.

Proposals of 250-500 words, with creative writing if appropriate, accepted until August 15, 2007.

Completed papers of 10-25 pages will be due by March 15, 2008.

Send queries or full proposals to Jed Deppman or Jay Ladin