English professor receives award for work on Emily Dickinson

Cristanne Miller's work received recognition for its layout, design and content


SUNY Distinguished English Professor Cristanne Miller has won the Modern Language Association’s Prize for a Scholarly Edition for her book, “Emily Dickinson’s Poems: As She Preserved Them.”

A three-member committee from the MLA recognizes outstanding scholarly editions every other year. This year it selected Miller’s work, praising her publication as a “masterpiece of layout, design and content,” according to UBNow.

“This outstanding edition helps make clear the complexity of Dickinson’s habits and how they have affected our understanding of her poetry,” the committee said.

Miller’s publication of Dickinson’s poetry preserves the nineteenth century poet’s work by presenting it in the order she arranged them. The work is also the first annotated reading edition of the poems with its inclusion of Dickinson’s interchangeable words and phrases she jotted on many of her pages, including a multitude of drafts and unfinished works.

“Increasingly, I have felt that the most useful thing I can do for the profession and for my own particular fields in the profession is to produce eminently readable, clear, critical editions,” Miller told UBNow. “Editing Dickinson’s poems is a particularly contentious area within the world of textual editions. It is therefore extremely gratifying to have my edition of Dickinson’s poems considered a ‘masterpiece of scholarly production.’”

Miller is the author of five books, including “Reading in Time: Dickinson and the Nineteenth Century” published in 2012, and her first solo publication in 1987 of “Emily Dickinson: A Poet’s Grammar.”

Miller said she looks forward to spending the rest of her scholarly life working on the archival, scholarly and interpretive skills she has developed over the years in her profession as well as editing other projects, according to UBNow.

Anna Savchenko is an assisstant news editor and can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com