Postings by Shelley NiTuama

What’s New at The Digital Public Library of America

William H Johnson, Harlem Street with Church, c. 1939-1940.
I look to the diffusion of light and education as the resource most to be relied on for ameliorating the condition, promoting the virtue and advancing the happiness of man. --Thomas Jefferson (quoted by New York Public Library President Anthony Marx to commemorate DPLA’s launch)                   Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Introducing “Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community”

Brooklyn Bridge, Across the East River from Brooklyn to Manhattan New York
The lyric poem seeks to mesmerize time. It crosses frontiers and outwits the temporal. It can bridge the gulf between people otherwise unknown to each other.—Edward Hirsch This April as we mark the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, the Academy of American Poets and EDSITEment welcome you to engage with our new online initiative to bring contemporary poetry resources to your students.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Entering Chekhov’s “Home”: A Short Story Exemplar

Chekhov’s country estate in Melikhovo, Russia, where he wrote many short stories
Chekhov’s stories contain just about every nuance and turn of the modern human heart and soul, offering countless hours of splendid short fiction.—Alan CheuseThe impact of Anton Chekhov (1860–1904) on Western literature cannot be underestimated. A physician who began his literary career writing humorous pieces for popular magazines to support his medical education, Chekhov’s subsequent innovations influenced major short story writers and dramatists such as James Joyce, Katherine Mansfield, Sherwood Anderson, Raymond Carver, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Emily Dickinson's The Language of Flowers

The Rose_The Myrtle_The Ivy.” Illustrated plate from The Language of flowers
How oft does an emblem-bud silently tell What language could never speak half so well!—Louisa Anne Twamley, Romance of Nature (1836)As this quote suggests, in the 19th century, flowers and their hidden meanings often spoke more powerfully than words—conveying the underlying emotions and sentiments of the sender—but Emily Dickinson gardener/poet had a profound mastery of both!Read More »

A Valentine from Emily

Detail Victorian Valentine. Brooklyn Museum
Valentine's Day in mid-19th-century America was a week-long celebration of friendship. In that era, the week leading up to February 14 was filled with exchanges of witty, whimsical, hand-written notes between friends who were not always romantically involved.Emily Dickinson was no exception. During Valentine’s week, 1850, the 20-year old writer penned this couplet, which opens a longer poem that was delivered to Elbridge Bowdoin, a law partner of her father and a family-friend.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings