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Emily Dickinson’s Guide to the Act of Self-Promotion

American green tree frog, with distended vocal sac


I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you — Nobody — Too?
Then there’s the pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise — you know!

How dreary — to be — Somebody!
How public — like a Frog —
To tell one’s name — the livelong June —
To an admiring Bog!

Fewer than a dozen (some sources put it between seven and ten) of Emily Dickinson’s nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime.

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John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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