Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Thomas Wentworth Higginson was a contemporary writer and editor to Emily Dickinson. In 1862, he published a column in The Atlantic Monthly entitled "Letter to a Young Contributor." This article was intended as advice and encouragement to new writers in their quest to publish their works. Emily read this article, and wrote a personal letter to Higginson (enclosing four poems) asking if he would read and comment on her poetry. This letter began a lifetime a correspondence between Higginson and Dickinson. Indeed, after years of her pleading, Higginson made two trips (1870 and 1873) to Amherst to visit the Dickinson household.
Many people accuse Higginson of failing to recognize the genius of Dickinson's poetry; yet, it is possible that his friendship and willingness to read her poetry was all the help that she needed from this editor.
To read more about Higginson's influence on Dickinson, follow these links: