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New Directions

The Gorgeous Nothings

The Gorgeous Nothings


But are not

all facts dreams

as soon as

we put

them behind


Most of the books we sell are by living authors, but we do have a couple literary legends above the records and between the bottles of red and white wine lining our shelves (yes, we sell wine now!). 

"'The Gorgeous Nothings' — the first full-color facsimile edition of Emily Dickinson’s manuscripts ever to appear — is a deluxe edition of her late writings, presenting this crucially important, experimental late work exactly as she wrote it on scraps of envelopes."

Released in 2013 by New Directions Press, the book consists of photographs of Dickinson's late poems with typed versions for accessible reading on the opposite pages.


I cannot recommend this work enough. It is arguably the most beautiful book we carry. The writing in it is luminous. The facsimiles of Dickinson's poems on weathered envelopes are wonderful. 

From the Introduction by Jen Bervin:


Emily Dickinson, one of the greatest American poets, wrote approximately 1,800 distinct poems within 2,357 poem drafts and at least 1,150 letters and prose fragmentsa total of 3,507 pieces before her death at the age of fifty-five. On the triangular flap of the envelope seal A 252, we find this fleeting message inscribed in lines winnowing down to a single word at the tip: "In this short Life | that only [merely] lasts an hour | How much how | little is | within our | power."