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How to Celebrate Emily Dickinson's Birthday on December 10

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Emily Dickinson is one of the greatest and most well-known poets. She was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst, MA.
Photo copyright belongs to Jo Naylor via Flickr
Although you likely learned about her while you were in school, her birthday is a great chance to learn even more. Whether you're baking one of her cakes or you're reading her poetry, there are a variety of ways to celebrate her birthday in NYC.

Learn about her life

Emily Dickinson attended college at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary where she was an excellent student, but kept getting sick, which caused her father to pull her out of school. She was also a musician as well as an artist. One of her brother's friends was actually one of the first people to encourage Emily to write poetry after he recognized her talent. For awhile, her father served in the House of Representatives. She later lived a life of seclusion due to her uneasiness in social settings. To learn more about her life, visit

Bake her cake

A recipe for Black Cake was passed down in her family, and you can make it too for her birthday on December 10. Some of the ingredients may already be in your kitchen, such as the eggs, flour, sugar, and butter, but others, including the Brandy, molasses, and Citron may require a trip to the store. The cake takes around three hours to make.

Take a trip to her museum

The home where Emily Dickinson once lived in Amherst was turned into a museum bearing her name. On December 10, they are having a special birthday celebration for her on what would have been her 181st birthday. Tickets are either $75 or $125 depending on the package you prefer.

Read her poetry

Of course, one of the best ways to celebrate her birthday is to read her poetry. There are a slew of books to choose from, either in hard copy or print form, or you can read her work online. You can also visit the New York Public Library where they carry a large variety of books by her and about her life.

Another one of the best ways to celebrate the birthday of Emily Dickinson is to introduce her work to someone who isn't very familiar with it. It's an especially great opportunity to introduce children to her poetry and familiarize them with one of the greatest poets in history. Consider giving brand new or well-loved copies of her books to a school library, your own children, or to a charitable organization. One great place to find her work is at Strand Bookstore on Broadway where you will have no problem locating her books, and very likely for an inexpensive price.

Photo copyright belongs to Jo Naylor via Flickr
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Why? She's considered one of the greatest American poets.
When: December 10
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