DickinsoncollageWilliam Doreski at Harvard Review:

And then, in 2013, just when we thought Dickinson’s textual adventures had peaked, a coffee-table book entitled The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems appeared. This facsimile edition presents scraps of writing—scrawls on envelopes, shreds with three or four words on them, and small draft pages, all carefully related to finished poems or known letters and handsomely reproduced full-sized in color—and poses yet more tenuous theses and questions. Although the editors insist that Dickinson’s is a visual art and finds the significance of these tatters in the poet’s sensitivity to space and layout, and although Susan Howe provides a brief, compelling, and suggestive (if factually challenged) preface, it’s not yet clear that this beautiful book has added much to the discussion. Like some other recent critical work, it challenges but does not disprove Franklin’s assertion that “a literary work is separable from its artifact.” That doesn’t mean that this edition is useless. Although Franklin took these fragments into account, further consideration by other critics might better establish the earliest genesis of some of her poems. And this large-format facsimile reminds us that Dickinson’s art is truly homemade, as Elizabeth Bishop might say (“Home-made, home-made! But aren’t we all?”), and that it originates in a domesticity that contrasts nicely with its vast metaphysical concerns.

more here.