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Attempting to encase the life of the celebrated 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson, who chose to live isolated from the world as a young woman, selfexiled in her family’s home and in the silence of her own poetry, within a grid of dates and events, makes little sense. Marisa Bulgheroni eschews common notions of what a biography should look like, immersing herself in the beloved poet’s world, visiting the places she inhabited, inebriating herself with the same fragrances and colours she did, delving into archives and Dickinson’s works, of course, but then returning to those rooms and gardens to again experience the poet’s world first-hand. Bulgheroni poses questions to which we still have no answer: why did the poet choose not to publish her poetry? Why did she isolate herself? Did her work ever reflect her actual life experience? Who did she love? Existing on the Periphery is an intimate literary journey into a uniquely mysterious life.

An expert on Emily Dickinson’s poetry, Marisa Bulgheroni is an author and a professor of American literature.