Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts. She spent her entire life in Amherst, except for brief trips and one year (1847-48) spent at South Hadley Female Seminary, now called Mount Holyoke College. She gradually withdrew from society, so that, by her early thirties, she maintained regular contact only with her family, with whom she lived, and several friends, with whom she corresponded. She was completely devoted to her family and friends, and never married.
A woman of incredible imagination, passion and literary talent, she wrote poems prolifically, adding her own unique voice to the standard romantic topics of nature, love, death and immortality. Her strong religious convictions influenced her poetry, as a deeply spiritual element pervaded the conventional meters and quirky turns of phrase she used. During her lifetime, only a small handful of poems were published, but almost 1,800 poems were discovered after her death, of which several dozen are considered among the greatest poems ever written. Among the volumes of her writings published after her death are three series of Poems (1890, 1891, 1896), The Single Hound (1914), Further Poems (1929), Unpublished Poems (1936), The Poems of Emily Dickinson (3 vols., 1955) and The Letters of Emily Dickinson (3 vols., 1958). Dickinson died on May 15, 1886, in Amherst, Massachusetts.