Taylor Swift and Emily Dickinson aren’t just acclaimed writers. They’re distant relatives

Portraits of Taylor Swift and poet Emily Dickinson.
Taylor Swift shares ancestry with 19th century poet and writer Emily Dickinson.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times, Courtesy of the Amherst College Library / ITVS)

It seems Taylor Swift’s knack for writing runs blood deep — all the way back to poet Emily Dickinson.

The “Karma” singer and the “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” author are distant relatives, specifically “6th cousins, three times removed.” Genealogical site revealed on Monday that the two writers descend from “a 17th century English immigrant” who settled in Windsor, Conn.

That distant ancestor was Dickinson’s sixth great-grandfather and Swift’s ninth, added. Swift’s side of the family stayed in Connecticut for “six generations until her part of the family settled in northwestern Pennsylvania,” the site told Today.


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“Guess we can truly say that all’s fair in love and poetry,” the site captioned an Instagram post unveiling its discovery.

The new Swift-Dickinson link brings some Swifties’ long-gestating theories full circle. Years ago, eagle-eyed fans of the “Bad Blood” singer noticed that she released her single “Evermore,” the evening of Dec. 10, 2020 — what would have been Dickinson’s 190th birthday. For those wondering, Swift — born Dec. 13, 1989 — and Dickinson share the same astrological sign: Sagittarius. Additionally, Swift’s song and album of the same name sounded similar to Dickinson’s “Sue — forevermore!”

Dickinson lived in Amherst, Mass., and died in 1886 at age 55. She was known for short, lyrical poems that included “Success is counted sweetest,” “Wild nights — Wild nights!” and “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.”

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Upon receiving the songwriter-artist of the decade award from Nashville Songwriters Assn. International in 2022, Swift, 34, said the poetic feel of her music was no coincidence.

“I categorize certain songs of mine in the Quill style if the words and phrasing are antiquated, if I was inspired to write it after reading Charlotte Brontë or after watching a movie where everyone is wearing poet shirts and corsets,” she said during her speech, Pitchfork reported. “If my lyrics sound like a letter written by Emily Dickinson’s great-grandmother while sewing a lace curtain, that’s me writing in the Quill genre.”

Swift will seemingly take her love for poetry up a notch with her forthcoming album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” which she announced at the 66th Grammy Awards in February.


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“I want to say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from you for the last two years,” she said, “which is that my brand-new album comes out April 19.”

Swift, the self-proclaimed chairman of the Tortured Poets Department, made history at the Grammy Awards, setting a record for the most wins by an artist in the category for album of the year.

Since her big announcement, Swift has slowly doled out information on social media about her newest release. Since announcing “The Tortured Poets Department,” Swift has revealed her tracklist, featured artists and the album art.