Christine burgin series

The Gorgeous Nothings is proof that one of our most important poets can still amaze and teach us new thing about the practice of poetry.

—Hannah Star Rogers, Tupelo Quarterly

The first full-color publication of Emily Dickinson’s complete envelope writings in facsimile from her visually stunning manuscripts, here in a deluxe, large-scale edition

The Gorgeous Nothings

Poetry by Emily Dickinson

Edited by Jen Bervin Marta Werner

With a contribution by Susan Howe

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published October 29, 2013)

ISBN
9780811221757
Price US
39.95
Price CN
42
Page Count
260

Emily Dickinson

American poet

The Gorgeous Nothings is proof that one of our most important poets can still amaze and teach us new thing about the practice of poetry.

—Hannah Star Rogers, Tupelo Quarterly

[The Gorgeous Nothings] opens up an aspect of her craft that suggests she was, in the so-called late ecstatic period of her career, experimenting with creating texts in relation to the visual, spatial, and technological possibilities of her medium—composing in response to the confines of her writing world rather than despite it.

—Jessica Michalofsky, Quarterly Conversation

An insightful new volume, The Gorgeous Nothings, edited by Jen Bervin and Marta Werner, also provides a fascinating glimpse of Dickinson by assembling images documenting the poetry she scrawled on repurposed envelopes — envelopes that have themselves been elevated to a new sort of art.

—Jennifer Day, Chicago Tribune

We see from The Gorgeous Nothings the way [Dickinson’s] art and life were not separate endeavors. Dickinson wrote poetry every time she addressed or received an envelope. Whenever there was paper around, she put quill or pencil right to it. Dickinson, master of paradox. started these un-conversations with nobody, and so many years after her death, now — in curled script, with their sweet, perfect Ms and half-formed Ys, unpublished and unseen until now — they speak to us. And they have so much yet to say.

—Brenda Shaughnessy, Los Angeles Times

The Gorgeous Nothings is one of the most ambitious, important literary feats of the year. It’s stunning, revelatory, and it functions as a key text to Dickinson’s oeuvre: seeing it demands a tectonic shift in the way we read her, brings her back to us even more extremely idiosyncratic than we could have guessed.

—Camden Avery, The Rumpus

For years, Dickinson critics have been looking for some kind of order among the manuscripts - some way to describe or theorize the ‘filing system’ that the poet left and we found. In The Gorgeous Nothings, instead, what’s restored to these traces of the work is a sense of occasioned disorder. What’s been preserved through time in her handwriting is the decision to occupy the page. The page becomes just as important as the writing.

—Katie Peterson, Los Angeles Review of Books

The beautiful reproduction, on the pages of The Gorgeous Nothings, of what might seem only negligible scraps of waste paper brings us closer to the restlessness of the constantly thinking poet who, in her later years, repeatedly seized her pencil and a fragment of an envelope to write about the lowliest and the most exalted states of being.

—Helen Vendler, The New Republic

Visual poets around the world will soon be mining these endlessly suggestive fragments.

—Marjorie Perloff, Times Literary Supplement

The shocks are in the words, with other, lingering, aftershocks following in the visual details of their settings. The great thing about this indispensable book is…that it gives us all of this, complete.

—Holland Cotter, The New York Times

The Gorgeous Nothings claims our attention with a new Emily Dickinson. This edition itself is a work of art.

—Susan Howe

This exquisitely produced book—lovingly curated by Bervin and Werner—allows you to encounter Emily Dickinson’s “envelope poems” in full-color facsimile for the first time. It’s an experience suspended between reading and looking, of toggling between those two modes of perception, and it thoroughly refreshes both.

—Ben Lerner, The New Yorker

This book is a testament to the lasting power of Dickinson’s work and a new insight into the way her work arose. It’s suitably gorgeous production and lyrical accompanying essays make it a treat for the eye and the mind.

The Australian

The Gorgeous Nothings works as both an engrossing visual treat and an affecting work of literature, giving us a keen and tangible sense of not only of Dickinson’s writing, but of how she wrote.

Bookforum