The Illustrated Emily Dickinson Nature Sketchbook: A Poetry Inspired Drawing Journal is a colorful take on what is often interpreted as the bleak poetry of Emily Dickinson. This is a luminous and beautiful book that culls from Dickinson’s more chipper ruminations on nature and beauty. Tara Lilly’s (grand prize winner of the 2014 Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search) stunning illustrations are bright, bold, somewhat folksy floral motifs. Dazzling peacocks and hummingbirds, tulips and mushrooms leap from the pages. The juxtaposition of the drawings and Dickinson’s poems provide a reader with a broader interpretation and understanding of a poet who is often interpreted to be reclusive and bleak, and lends itself to a wider lens into the broad body of the pigeon-holed poet.
This is a wonderful collaboration between one of our most prolific and profound poets in the canon and one of our great living artists. The book calls itself a “Poetry-Inspired Drawing Journal,” and many of the pages are left blank save for small illustrations in the borders. The intention is that the reader fills in the blanks with his or her own artistic renderings of Dickinson’s poems. It’s such a beautiful book that I’m hesitant to draw in it, but the more artistically inclined might find this book to be the perfect source of inspiration to sketch and doodle, jot down some poems, or just sit quietly with the timeless ruminations of Dickinson’s work.
Grant Gerald Miller was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He currently teaches creative writing at The Independent Publishing Resource Center and Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared or is set to appear in various journals including Hobart, Qu Magazine, Bartleby Snopes, Drunk Monkeys, and Fish Magazine‘s 2014 Anthology. You can find him most places @grantgeraldmiller.
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