Eady, Cornelius (b.1954), was born and raised in Rochester, New York. He attended Monroe Community College and Empire State College. Eady is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Autobiography of a Jukebox, published in 1996 by Carnegie Mellon University Press. His previous collections include You Don't Miss Your Water (Henry Holt & Co., 1995); The Gathering of My Name (Carnegie Mellon, 1991), which was nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; Victims of the Latest Dance Craze (Ommation Press, 1986), which won the 1985 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets; and Kartunes (Warthog Press, 1980). His many honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writer's Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, and the Prairie Schooner Strousse Award. Cornelius Eady is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Creative Center at Notre Dame University. from: www.famouspoetsandpoems.com and other sources.
Eliot, T(homas) S(tearns) (1888-1965), American-born English poet, literary critic, and dramatist, who is best known for his poem The Waste Land. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He became a resident of London in 1915 and a naturalized British citizen in 1927. Eliot's methods of literary analysis have been a major influence on English and American critical writing. His first important poem was "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915). During the 1920s Eliot developed pronounced views on literary, religious, and social subjects. The Waste Land (1922), written in five parts, expresses his conception of the sterility of modern society in contrast with past societies. Eliot profoundly influenced the tenets of literary criticism. He contended, in the collection The Sacred Wood (1920), that the critic must develop a strong historical sense in order to judge literature from a proper perspective, and that the poet must be impersonal in the creative exercise of the craft. Beginning in the 1930s the qualities of serenity and religious humility became paramount in Eliot's poetry. Four Quartets (1943), considered by many critics to be his finest work, expresses a transcendental sense of time. Eliot received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948. Encarta® 98 Desk Encyclopedia © 1996-97 Microsoft Corporation.
An excellent T.S.Eliot web site is at: http://www.deathclock.com/thunder/
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, philosopher, and poet, best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid 19th century. His teachings directly influenced the growing New Thought movement of the mid 1800s. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society. Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. As a result of this ground breaking work he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence". Considered one of the great orators of the time, Emerson's enthusiasm and respect for his audience enraptured crowds. His support for abolitionism late in life created controversy, and at times he was subject to abuse from crowds while speaking on the topic. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man."
Endrezze, Anita, b. 19523, was born in Long Beach, California, and earned her M.A. from Eastern Washington University. She is a poet, writer, and artist. She is half-Yaqui Indian and half European. Her work has been published in 10 countries and translated into 7 languages. She has been a speaker for the Washington State Council for the Humanities Speaker's Series. She also teaches part-time university courses in addition to traveling to other states and countries to lecture. She's married, with two children. Her latest book, Throwing Fire at the Sun, Water at the Moon, is a "blend of ancient myths, poetry, journal extracts, short stories, and essays that tell her people's story" (University of Arizona Press catalogue) from creation to the present. The book is illustrated by her paintings. A book of Endrezze's poems, At the helm of twilight, won the l992 Bumbershoot/Weyerhaeuser Award and the Governor's Writing Award for Washington State. Lune D'Ambre, a book of her poems translated into French, and published in France by Rogerie, and a book, The Humming of Stars and Bees and Waves, published in England by Making Waves Press joins her international publications, along with a children's novel, The Mountain and the Guardian Spirit, (CDForlag) in Danish. Her paintings have been exhibited in Wales, England, Sweden, Denmark, and the United States. Several of her paintings appear on anthology book covers as well as on her own books. Currently, she lives in Everett, Washington, where she is a storyteller, teacher and writer.
From Wikipedia and other web sources.
Fauset, Jessie Redmon, was born April 27, 1882 in Camden, New Jersey. Her father was an African Methodist Episcopal minister. After the death of Jessie's mother, her father remarried and moved the family to Philadelphia. In 1929, Jessie Fauset married Herbert Harris, an insurance broker. The couple resided in Harlem, New York until 1936, later moving to New Jersey. Fauset graduated with honors from Philadelphia's High School for Girls in 1900 as the only African American student. She then studied classical languages at Cornell University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After she graduated from Cornell in 1905, Fauset taught for one year at Douglass High School in Baltimore. Fauset then moved to Washington, DC to teach French at the M Street High School, where she remained for 14 years. In 1919, sociologist and political activist W.E.B. DuBois asked Fauset to move to New York City and accept a position as the literary editor of the NAACP magazine, Crisis. Fauset received a Masters of Arts Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1929 and a certificate from Sorbonne University in Paris, France. Fauset is most noted for her work at the Crisis. As an editor, Fauset published the works of Harlem Renaissance writers, such as Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and George Schuyler. Fauset also contributed some of her own essays, poetry, and short stories to the magazine. Fauset also published four novels during her career as a writer. The first novel, There is Confusion, was published in 1924 and was created as a response to what Fauset believed to be an inaccurate portrayal of black life in fiction. The second novel, Plum Bun, is Fauset's most acclaimed piece of work. Jessie Fauset is chiefly remembered for her success in writing, editing, translating, and teaching. Her work has also been included in various anthologies. Jessie Redmon Fauset died April 30, 1961 in Philadelphia.
Ferlinghetti, Lawrence, (b.1919) Born in New York, Lawrence Ferlinghetti earned a doctoral degree in poetry at the Sorbonne in Paris with a dissertation entitled 'The City as Symbol in Modern Poetry: In Search of a Metropolitan Tradition'. In fact he was about to become part of a metropolitan tradition himself, because after leaving Paris he moved to San Francisco, which was about to discover the Beat Generation. Ferlinghetti and Peter Martin started a magazine there called 'City Lights,' named after the Charlie Chaplin movie. He and Martin established their offices on the second floor of a building on Broadway and Columbus in North Beach. They decided to open a bookstore on the floor below as a side venture, naming it after the magazine. The City Lights Bookstore became one of the most famous bookstores in the world, and still stands proudly in its original location. Doing double-time as a businessman and a poet, he began publishing original books by himself and others under the City Lights name, most notably the 'Pocket Poets Series.' The idea of Pocket Poets was to make poetry books easily affordable, and the small attractive paperback volumes are still a common sight today. Ferlinghetti published Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl' as Pocket Poets Number Four, and was tried on obscenity charges for this. He was declared innocent, a landmark victory for free speech. Ferlinghetti's own poems are simple and speak plainly, and they remain tremendously popular with a wide range of readers. In 1958 he published a volume with one of my all-time favorite titles, 'A Coney Island of the Mind' (and in 1997 published a follow-up volume named after a Queens beach not far from Brooklyn's Coney Island, 'A Far Rockaway of the Heart.') In the early 60's Ferlinghetti owned a rustic cabin in Big Sur that became the focal point of Jack Kerouac's 1962 novel 'Big Sur.' Ferlinghetti appears in the book as the sensible Lorenzo Monsanto, who urges the drunken celebrity author based on Kerouac to go on a nature retreat to stop drinking, with terrible results. Ferlinghetti was one of the more politically-minded of the Beats, and has been continually active on behalf of liberal causes. He attributes his pacifist consciousness partly to his wartime experiences: he had been sent to Nagasaki, Japan six weeks after the city was destroyed by the world's second atomic bomb. Ferlinghetti is still active today as a poet and as the proprietor of City Lights.
Biography by Levi Asher, from www.famouspoetsandpoems.com
Finley, John Huston, (1863-1940). An American educator; born in 1863 at Grand Ridge, Ill. He was educated at Knox College and at Johns Hopkins University. From 1892 to 1899 he served as president of Knox College, and after that as editor of Harper's Weekly, and later of McClure's Magazine. Princeton University appointed him in 1900 professor of politics, and three years later he was elected president of the College of the City of New York. In 1913 he became Commissioner of Education for the State of New York. In 1917 he went to France as a special commissioner representing the State of New York in matters pertaining to education. He was the author of many periodical articles and reviews.
Flecker, James Elroy, (1884-1915) was an English poet, novelist and playwright. As a poet he was most influenced by the Parnassian poets. He was born in London, and baptised Herman Elroy Flecker, later choosing to use the first name "James", either because he disliked the name "Herman" or to avoid confusion with his father. "Roy", as he was known to his family, was educated at Dean Close School, Cheltenham, where his father was headmaster, and Uppingham School. He studied at Trinity College, Oxford, and Caius College, Cambridge. While at Oxford he was greatly influenced by the last flowering of the Aesthetic movement there, under John Addington Symonds. From 1910 he was in the consular service, in the Eastern Mediterranean. He met Helle Skiadaressi on a ship to Athens, and married her in 1911. His most widely known poem is "To a poet a thousand years hence". The most enduring testimony to his work is perhaps an excerpt from "The Golden Journey to Samarkand" inscribed on the clock tower of the barracks of the British Army's 22 Special Air Service regiment in Hereford: "We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go Always a little further; it may be Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow Across that angry or that glimmering sea". He died of tuberculosis in Davos, Switzerland. His death at the age of thirty was described at the time as "unquestionably the greatest premature loss that English literature has suffered since the death of Keats". His poem "The Bridge of Fire" is featured in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, in the volume The Wake. A quatrain from his poem "To a Poet a Thousand Years Hence" is quoted by Jorge Luis Borges in his essay Note on Walt Whitman (to be found in the collection Other Inquisitions, 1937-1952).
Francis, Matthew. Contemporary Welsh-English poet.
Matthew Francis was born in Hampshire, England, in 1956. From Mr.Francis' web page:
"I am a poet, novelist and lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan, South Wales. My first poetry collection, Blizzard, was published in 1996 by Faber and Faber. My second, Dragons, has just been published, also by Faber. My novel, WHOM was published by Bloomsbury in 1989. I am working on a study of the great Scottish poet W.S. Graham. I live in Cardiff with my wife, Creina."
Among Francis' awards and prizes are:
Matthew Francis' web page, which has more of his poetry, is at:
Francisco, Nia (b.1952), Native American poet, was born in Fort Defiance, Arizona. She attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, 1970-71 and the Navajo Community College, 1971-77. Growing up with her grandparents, Francisco received an extensive education in traditional Navajo culture and beliefs which is reflected in her poetry. She has worked as an educator in various Navajo educational facilities.
From the web site www.ipl.org
Frost, Robert Lee (1874-1963), American poet, known for his verse concerning life in New England. He was born in San Francisco. In 1885 his father died, and his mother moved with the family to Lawrence, Massachusetts. In 1912 Frost moved to England, where his first two volumes of poetry were published, A Boy's Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914). In 1915 Frost returned to the United States and continued to write poetry while teaching literature and living on farms in Vermont and New Hampshire. His volumes of poetry include West-Running Brook (1928), A Further Range (1936), A Masque of Reason (1945), and In the Clearing (1962). Frost was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry four times.
Frost's poetry is structured within traditional metrical and rhythmical schemes; he disliked free verse. Although he concentrates on ordinary subject matter, Frost's emotional range is wide and deep, and his poems often shift dramatically from a tone of humorous banter to the passionate expression of tragic experience. Much of his poetry is concerned with the interaction between humans and nature. Frost regarded nature as a beautiful but dangerous force, worthy of admiration but nonetheless fraught with peril. His work shows his strong sympathy for the values of early American society.
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Gibson, Wilfrid Wilson was born in Hexham, England, on 2nd October, 1878. Gibson was a close friend of Rupert Brooke. His earliest published poetry was Mountain Lovers (1902) and had several poems included in various volumes of Georgian Poetry. His first play, Daily Bread, was produced in 1910.
Gibson joined the British Army but remained in England. Unlike most other poets who were officers, Gibson wrote poetry from the point of view of the ordinary foot soldier.
After the First World War Gibson continued to write poetry and plays. Gibson's work was particularly concerned with the poverty of industrial workers and village labourers. He published several volumes of poetry including Collected Poems: 1905-1925 (1926), The Island Stag (1947) and Within Four Walls (1950).
Wilfrid Wilson Gibson died on 26th May 1962.
From the Spartacus School web site.
Graves, Robert (1895-1985), was born in Wimbledon, near London. His father was a Gaelic scholar and minor Irish poet. Robert was greatly influenced by his mother's puritanical beliefs and his father's love of Celtic poetry and myth. In 1913 Graves won a scholarship to study at St. John's College, Oxford, but in August 1914 he enlisted as an officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. He was injured in the Somme offensive in 1916. While convalescing, he published his first collection of poetry, "Over the Brazier". By 1917, though still an active serviceman, Graves had published three volumes. In 1918, he was again severely wounded in the trench warfare. After the war he married and took a position at St. John's College. His early volumes of poetry, like those of his contemporaries, deal with natural beauty and bucolic pleasures, and with the consequences of the First World War. His early work earned him a reputation as an accomplished war poet. After meeting the American poet and theorist Laura Riding in 1926, Graves' poetry underwent a significant transformation. Douglas Day has written that the "influence of Laura Riding is quite possibly the most important single element in [Graves'] poetic career: she persuaded him to curb his digressiveness and his rambling philosophizing and to concentrate instead on terse, ironic poems written on personal themes." In 1927, Graves and his first wife separated permanently. Shortly afterward, he departed to Majorca with Laura Riding. In addition to completing many books of verse while in Majorca, Graves also wrote several volumes of criticism, some in collaboration with Riding, and evolved his theory of poetry as spiritually cathartic to both the poet and the reader. Through his novels, Graves attained status as a major writer in 1934, with the publication of the historical novel "I, Claudius", and its sequel, "Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina". At the onset of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Graves and Riding fled Majorca, eventually settling in America. There, Laura Riding left Graves, who later began a relationship with Beryl Hodge that was to last until his death. It was in the 1940s, after his break with Riding, that Graves formulated his personal mythology of the White Goddess. Inspired by late nineteenth-century studies of matriarchal societies and goddess cults, this mythology was to pervade all of his later work. After World War II, Graves returned to Majorca, where he lived with Hodge and continued to write. By the 1950's, Graves had won an enormous international reputation as a poet, novelist, literary scholar, and translator. In 1962, W. H. Auden went as far as to assert that Graves was England's "greatest living poet." In 1968 he received the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. During his lifetime he published more than 140 books, including fifty-five collections of poetry (he reworked his Collected Poems repeatedly during his career), fifteen novels, ten translations, and forty works of nonfiction, autobiography, and literary essays. From 1961 to 1966, Graves returned to England to serve as a professor of poetry at Oxford. In the 1970s his productivity fell off. Graves died in Majorca in 1985, at the age of ninety.
Condensed from the Academy of American Poets web site.
Gray, Thomas, (1716-71) was an English poet, classical scholar and professor at Cambridge University. Gray was born in Cornhill, London, the son of an exchange broker and a milliner. He was the fifth of 12 children and the only child in his family to survive infancy. He lived with his mother after she left his abusive father. He was educated at Eton College where his uncle was one of the masters. He recalled his schooldays as a time of great happiness, as is evident in his Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College. Gray was a delicate and naturally scholarly boy who spent his time reading great literature and avoiding athletics. It was probably fortunate for the young and sensitive Gray that he was able to live in his uncle’s household rather than at college. He made three close friends at Eton: Horace Walpole, son of Prime Minister Robert Walpole, Thomas Ashton, and Richard West. The four of them prided themselves on their sense of style, their sense of humour, and their appreciation of beauty. In 1738 he accompanied his old school-friend Walpole on his Grand Tour, probably at Walpole's expense. They fell out and parted in Tuscany because Walpole wanted to attend fashionable parties and Gray wanted to visit all the antiquities. However, they were reconciled a few years later. Gray began seriously writing poems in 1742, after his close friend Richard West died. He moved to Cambridge and began a self-imposed programme of literary study, becoming one of the most learned men of his time, though he claimed to be lazy by inclination. He became a Fellow first of Peterhouse, and later of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Gray spent most of his life as a scholar in Cambridge, and only later in his life did he begin travelling again. Although he was one of the least productive poets (his collected works published during his lifetime amount to fewer than 1,000 lines), he is regarded as the predominant poetic figure of the mid-18th century. In 1757, he was offered the post of Poet Laureate, which he refused. Gray was so self critical and fearful of failure that he only published thirteen poems during his lifetime and once wrote that he feared his collected works would be "mistaken for the works of a flea". Walpole said that "He never wrote anything easily but things of Humour." Gray was also known as one of the "Graveyard poets" of the late 1700s along with many others, including Oliver Goldsmith, William Cowper, and Christopher Smart. Gray most likely knew these men, sharing ideas about death, mortality, and the finality and sublimity of death. It is believed that Gray wrote his masterpiece, the Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, in the graveyard of the church in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire in 1750. The poem was a literary sensation when published by Robert Dodsley in February 1751 and has made a lasting contribution to English literature. Its reflective, calm and stoic tone was greatly admired, and it was pirated, imitated, quoted and translated into Latin and Greek. It is still one of the most popular and most frequently quoted poems in the English language. In 1759 during the Seven Years War, before the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, British General James Wolfe is said to have recited it to his officers, adding: "Gentlemen, I would rather have written that poem than take Quebec tomorrow". Gray died on 30 July 1771 in Cambridge and was buried beside his mother in the churchyard of Stoke Poges, the setting for his famous Elegy. His grave can still be seen there today. There is a plaque in Cornhill, marking the place where he was born.
Guiterman, Arthur, American humorist, poet, journalist, and librettist. Born of American parents at Vienna, Austria, Nov. 20, 1871. Graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1891. Guiterman married Vida Lindo of New York in 1909. He was an editor of the `Woman's Home Companion' and the `Literary Digest' from 1891 to 1906, and published numerous books of verse:
Betel Nuts, What They Say In Hindustan (1907), The Laughing Muse (1915), The Mirthful Lyre (1918), Ballads Of Old New York (1920), Chips Of Jade (1920), The Ballad-Maker's Pack (1921), The Light Guitar (1923), A Poet's Proverbs (1924), I Sing The Pioneer (1926), Wildwood Fables (1927), Song And Laughter (1929), School For Husbands – with Lawrence Lagner (1933), Death And General Putnam and 101 Other Poems (1935), Gaily The Troubadour (1936), Lyric Laughter (1939), Brave Laughter (1943), Opera Guyed (?).While Guiterman is widely known as a humorous poet, he was also an accomplished poet in other moods. He also wrote and translated the libretto for several stage plays. His talent for the pithy bon mot has assured him a lasting presence in collections of quotations. (Samples: On Puritans – "They fell upon their knees and then/Upon the aborigines"; and "Comparing Information and Knowledge is like asking whether the fatness of a pig is more or less green than the designated hitter rule.") Arthur Guiterman died on January 11, 1943.
Hardy, Thomas (1840-1928), English novelist and poet of the naturalist movement, whose powerfully drawn characters, portrayed in his native Dorset, struggled helplessly against their passions and external circumstances. Hardy was born in Higher Bockhampton, Dorsetshire. He worked as an architect while he was writing poetry, which was not successful. He then turned to novels as more salable, and by 1874 he was able to support himself by writing.
Hardy's novel Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) was well received and was adapted for the screen in 1967. Along with Far from the Madding Crowd, Hardy's best novels are The Return of the Native (1878), which is his most closely knit narrative; The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886); Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891), made into a motion picture called Tess in 1979; and Jude the Obscure (1895). All are pervaded by a belief in a universe dominated by the determinism of the biology of Charles Darwin and the physics of the 17th-century philosopher and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton.
At the age of 55 Hardy returned to writing poetry. In The Dynasts, written between 1903 and 1908, Hardy created what some consider his most successful poetry. An unstageable epic drama in 19 acts and 130 scenes, it deals with the role of England during the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). Hardy's short poems, both lyric and visionary, were published in a number of volumes. Among his most successful shorter poems are "Channel Firing, April 1914," "Wessex Heights," "In Tenebris, I," "God's Funeral," and "Nature's Questioning."
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Robert Hayden (born Asa Bundy Sheffey 1913-1980) was raised in a poor neighborhood in Detroit. He had an emotionally tumultuous childhood and was shuttled between the home of his parents and that of a foster family, who lived next door. Because of impaired vision, he was unable to participate in sports, but was able to spend his time reading. In 1932, he graduated from high school and, with the help of a scholarship, attended Detroit City College (later Wayne State University). Hayden published his first book of poems, Heart-Shape in the Dust, in 1940. He enrolled in a graduate English Literature program at the University of Michigan where he studied with W. H. Auden. Auden became an influential critical guide in the development of Hayden's writing. Hayden admired the work of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Elinor Wiley, Carl Sandburg, and Hart Crane, as well as the poets of the Harlem Renaissance: Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Jean Toomer. He had an interest in African-American history and explored his concerns about race in his writing. Hayden's poetry gained international recognition in the 1960s and he was awarded the grand prize for poetry at the First World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal, in 1966 for his book Ballad of Remembrance. In 1976, he became the first black American to be appointed as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (later called the Poet Laureate). He died in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1980.
Copyright © 1997-2000 by The Academy of American Poets
Heaney, Seamus (1939-2013), Irish poet, writer, and recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize for literature. Heaney was born in a small agricultural town 48 km (30 mi) northeast of Belfast in Northern Ireland. In 1957 he went to Belfast to study literature at Queen's University, where he returned as a lecturer in 1965. Troubled by the continuing violence between the Roman Catholics and Protestants, Heaney moved to the Republic of Ireland in 1972. He taught at Carysfort College in Dublin from 1975 to 1980. Later, he taught at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and at Cambridge University, in England. Heaney's poetry, beginning with Death of a Naturalist (1966), is rooted in the physical, rural surroundings of his childhood in Northern Ireland. Heaney's poems are often short, punctuated by the intensity of his language. His powerful words contrast sharply with the characteristic grave silence of the people he describes. His other books of poetry include Door into the Dark (1969); Wintering Out (1972); North (1975); The Haw Lantern (1987), which contains a sequence of elegies in sonnet form for his mother's death; Seeing Things (1991), which includes elegies for his father; and The Spirit Level (1996), a study in spiritual balance. His 'selected poems 1966-1996' were published in 1998 as "Opened Ground". His critical essays are collected in Preoccupations (1980), Government of the Tongue (1988), and The Redress of Poetry (1995). In 2000 he published an award-winning new verse translation of Beowulf. Heaney died following a fall in Dublin, Ireland, on August 30, 2013.
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Hecht, Anthony (b.1923). Anthony Hecht was born in New York City, and received his early education there. At Bard College (Columbia University) he committed himself to poetry after studying such writers as Auden, Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot, and Dylan Thomas. In the 1940's Hecht took part in front line action in the European theater of the World War. His gruesome experiences in the war are reflected in a number of his poems, which deal with such subjects as evil and terror. After the war, Hecht was strongly influenced by John Crowe Ransom, his teacher at Kenyon College. Hecht has published many books of poetry, criticism, and essays, and has been awarded numerous honors and prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Prix de Rome. One of his lighthearted contributions to literature was development of the "Double Dactyl" humorous verse form (see his book "Jiggery-Pokery: A Compendium of Double Dactyls" (with John Hollander), 1967). Hecht lived in Washington, D.C., and died in October, 2004.
Henley, William Ernest, (1849-1903) was a British poet, critic and editor. Henley was born in Gloucester, England, and educated at the Crypt Grammar School. After suffering tuberculosis as a boy, he found himself, in 1874, aged twenty-five, an inmate of the hospital at Edinburgh. There he began to write poems for the Cornhill Magazine. Through its editor he met Robert Louis Stevenson. The meeting between Stevenson and Henley is one of the best-known episodes in English literature and greatly motivated Henley. In 1877 Henley went to London and began his editorial career by editing the journal "London." When London failed, he edited the Magazine of Art from 1882 to 1886. At the end of that period he came into the public eye as a poet, with the publication of his first collection, A Book of Verse. Henley was by this time well known within a restricted literary circle, and the publication of this volume determined his fame as a poet. In 1888 Henley became literary editor of the Scots Observer in Edinburgh. It was a weekly review on the lines of the old Saturday Review, but inspired in every paragraph by the vigorous and combative personality of the editor. It was transferred to London as the National Observer, and remained under Henley's editorship until 1893. Though, as Henley confessed, the paper had almost as many writers as readers, and its fame was mainly confined to the literary class, it was a lively and influential feature of the literary life of its time. Henley had the editor's great gift of discerning promise, and the "Men of the Scots Observer," as Henley affectionately and characteristically called his band of contributors, in most instances justified his insight. The paper found utterance for the growing imperialism of its day, and among other services to literature gave to the world Rudyard Kipling's Barrack-Room Ballads.
Herbert, A.P. (1890-1971): Sir Alan Patrick Herbert, CH (usually writing as A. P. Herbert or A. P. H.) (24 September 1890 – 11 November 1971) was an English humourist, novelist, playwright and law reform activist. He was Member of Parliament for Oxford University for 15 years, five of which he combined with service in the Royal Navy. He was born in Ashtead, Surrey, to Patrick Herbert, a civil servant, and Beatrice Herbert. His mother died when he was seven years old. He had two younger brothers; both were killed in battle -- one in 1914 and the other in 1941. He was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, obtaining a first class honours degree in jurisprudence. He was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1919, but never practised. He served in the Royal Navy during the First World War. He survived Gallipoli. He drew on that experience for his novel The Secret Battle, published in 1919. During the Second World War, in addition to his parliamentary duties he served in the Royal Navy on patrol-boats in the Thames. He may have been the first serving Member of Parliament to serve in the Royal Navy without being an officer: he was Petty Officer Herbert from 1940 to 1945. In 1935 he became an Independent Member of Parliament for Oxford University, from where he was returned until the University seats were abolished in 1950. He was knighted in 1945 in Winston Churchill's Resignation Honours. The Times noted "his individual niche in the parliamentary temple as the doughty vindicator of the private member's rights, including not least the right to legislate." His humorous writing appeared often in Punch Magazine starting in 1910, where the work for which he is best remembered, his series of Misleading Cases in the Common Law was first published. These were satirical pieces, in the form of "law reports" or "judgments", on various aspects of the British legal and judicial system. They often had a sharp political point beneath their satire, and tied into his personal crusades against obsolescent legislation. Many of them featured the exploits of Albert Haddock, a tireless and veteran litigant; Herbert often referred to himself as "A. P. Haddock" in Punch magazine skits, whether or not these had a courtroom setting. Over his lifetime Herbert published five collections of the Misleading Cases, titled Misleading Cases in the Common Law, More Misleading Cases, Still More Misleading Cases, Codd's Last Case and Bardot M.P. Stray cases also appear in his collections of miscellaneous humorous essays, such as General Cargo. Virtually all the cases were assembled into two omnibus volumes, Uncommon Law in 1935 and More Uncommon Law in 1982. A shorter selection, Wigs At Work, appeared in 1966. The BBC successfully adapted them for television as three series of A P Herbert's Misleading Cases (1967, 1968 and 1971), with Roy Dotrice as Haddock and Alastair Sim as the judge, Mr. Justice Swallow.He wrote eight novels, including The Water Gypsies (1930), and 15 plays, including the light opera Tantivy Towers, and the comedy Bless the Bride (1947), which ran for two and a quarter years in London. In addition to his fiction, Herbert wrote What a Word! in 1935, continuing his campaign in Punch for better use of English, including a section on 'Plain English' more than a decade ahead of Sir Ernest Gowers' more celebrated work. Characteristically, Herbert uses humour to make his serious points about good writing. He was the author of the lyrics of the patriotic song Song of Liberty, set in 1940 to the music of Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4. In 1970 Herbert published A.P.H., His Life and Times, dedicated to My dear wife, for our 56th anniversary.
Herrick, Robert (1591-1674), English Cavalier poet, whose work is noted for its diversity of form and for its style, melody, and feeling. He was born in London and educated at the University of Cambridge. In 1629 he became vicar of Dean Prior in Devonshire, but in 1647, during the Great Rebellion, he was deprived of his position because of his Royalist sympathies. Following the restoration of Charles II, Herrick was reinstated at Dean Prior, where he resided from 1662 until his death. His chief work is Hes perides; or, the Works Both Human and Divine of Robert Herrick, Esq. (1648). Within the same book, but under a separate title page bearing the date 1647, was printed a group of religious poems, His Noble Numbers. The entire collection contains more than 1200 short poems, ranging in form from epistles, eclogues, and epigrams to love poems. The themes are pastoral, dealing mostly with English country life and village customs. Herrick was influenced by classical Roman poetry. Many of his poems, such as "To the Virgins to Make Much of Time," "Corinna's Going a-Maying," and "Delight in Disorder," have been anthologized, and several were set to music.
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Hirshfield, Jane (b. 1953), was born in Manhattan. She studied creative writing and literature at Princeton. After graduating, and having developed an interest in Japanese culture and poetry, Hirshfield determined to spend some time studying Zen; she subsequently spent eight years – three of them in the wilderness at Tassajara – immersed in the subject. Hirshfield has published five collections of poetry and a remarkable book of essays on poetry, "Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry" (1997). Compared in its scope to the essays of Ezra Pound, this collection has been described by Ploughshares as "surely one of the most eloquent books ever written about poetry." Hirshfield also has edited and co-translated two poetry anthologies. Her earlier collections were "Alaya" (1982), "Of Gravity & Angels" (1988), "The October Palace"(1994), and "The Lives of the Heart" (1997). Her fifth poetry collection, "Given Sugar, Given Salt", was published in February, 2001. Among her influences she names English Romantics, American Modernists, 9th-10th Century Japanese poetry, and contemporary poets from the U.S. and from Middle and Eastern Europe. In a recent interview, Hirshfield says that poetry "helps us to recognize our own individuality, utterly induplicable, and the way that individuality rests on our connection to other people, other stories, other forms of existence." Hirshfield has published in a variety of magazines, including The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New Republic, and the American Poetry Review. She has taught at several institutions, from Berkeley to Bennington. She has been the recipient of the Poetry Center Book Award, the Bay Area Book Award, the Commonwealth Club of California's Poetry Medal, and has earned Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships. Hirshfield currently teaches in Bennington College's MFA Writing Seminars. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Hodgson, Ralph (1871-1962), English poet, born in Darlington. He was a reclusive figure, who disliked publicity about either his work or his private life. As a result, details on his early life are few and far between. From 1890 until 1912, he worked as an artist for various newspapers and magazines. In 1912 he founded a small press, At the Sign of the Flying Fame, with the illustrator Claud Lovat Fraser and the writer and journalist Holbrook Jackson. It published his collection The Mystery (1913). Hodgson received the Edmond de Polignac Prize in 1914, for a musical setting of The Song of Honour, and was included in the Georgian Poetry anthologies. The press became inactive in 1914 as World War I broke out and he and Lovat joined the armed forces (it did continue until 1923). Hodgson was in the Royal Navy and then the British Army. His reputation was established by Poems (1917). In 1924, he moved to Japan and took a post as English lecturer at Sendai's University. In 1933 he married Lydia Aurelia Bolliger, an American missionary and teacher there. While in Japan Hodgson worked, almost anonymously, as part of the committee that translated the great collection of Japanese classical poetry, the Manyoshu, into English. The high quality of the published translations is almost certainly the result of his "final revision" of the texts. This undertaking could arguably be considered Hodgson's major accomplishment as a poet. In 1938 Hodgson left Japan, visited friends in the UK including Siegfried Sassoon (they had met 1919) and then settled permanently with Aurelia in Minerva, Ohio. He was involved there in publishing, under the Flying Scroll imprint, and some academic contacts. He died in Minerva. His reputation as a poet rests upon a small number of publications. "The Bull," "Eve," "The Bells of Heaven," and "The Song of Honour," are regularly included in poetry anthologies. He was one of the more 'pastoral' of the Georgian poets. In 1954, he was awarded the King's Gold Medal for Poetry.
From Wikipedia and www.poemhunter.com
Holmes, Oliver Wendell (1809-1894), was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts. (He is often referred to as Holmes Sr., to distinguish him from his son O.W. Holmes Jr., the well-known Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.) At the age of twenty he graduated at Harvard University, then took up the study of law. This study, however, was soon abandoned for medicine. He studied in Europe for a short time, and took his degree as doctor of medicine at Cambridge, in 1836. Two years later he was appointed to the chair of Anatomy and Physiology in Dartmouth College. This position he held till 1847, when he accepted a similar position at Harvard, which he held till 1892. All of his literary work was performed in addition to the labors of a continuous professorship in college of about forty-seven years. Holmes' literary tastes were early indicated by his comic and satiric verse contributed to "The Collegian." These were excellent of their kind. While many of his youthful stanzas are serious and elegant, those which approach the feeling of true poetry are in celebration of companionship and good cheer. He contributed numerous pieces to American periodicals, and in 1836 collected his poems into a volume. His life was not marked by any noted events, but it was like the steady movement of a great river. It grew broader and deeper in each mile of its progress. "Poetry," a metrical essay, was followed by "Terpsichore," a poem; in 1846, "Urania," in 1850, "Astreea," "The Balance of Allusions," a poem. These poems were first delivered before college and literary societies. Holmes was our typical university poet; the minstrel of the college that bred him, and within whose liberties he taught, jested, sung, and toasted, from boyhood to what in common folk would be old age. The poet of 'The Last Leaf' was among the first to teach his countrymen that pathos is an equal part of true humor; that sorrow is lightened by jest, and jest redeemed from coarseness by emotion, under most conditions of this our evanescent human life." Turning his attention to prose, he published, in 1858, "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table," a series of light and genial essays full of fancy and humor. Little was too high or too low for the comment of this down-east philosopher. His pertinent maxims are so frequent that it seems, as was said of Emerson, as if he had jotted them down from time to time and here first brought them to application; they are apothegms of common life and action, often of mental experience, strung together by a device so original as to make the work quite a novelty in literature. The Autocrat holds an intellectual tourney at a boarding-house table; there, jousts against humbug and stupidity, gives light touches of knowledge, sentiment, illustration, coins here and there a phrase destined to be long current, nor forgets the poetic duty of providing a little idyl of human love and interest. This was followed by "The Professor at the Breakfast Table," and later by "The Poet at the Breakfast Table." Between the second and third of the "Autocrat" series, appeared, in 1861, "Elsie Venner," and in 1868, "The Guardian Angel," two excellent novels. Then, in 1872, he published "Mechanism in Thought and Morals." He is also author of a valuable medical work, and of numerous essays and poems of value. When a noted American ship was declared unseaworthy, and about to be abandoned, our poet came forward with a magnificent poem, entitled "Old Ironsides," that gave that fine old ship a half century of preservation. Many of his sayings must stand among the finest specimens of American wit and humor; and his writings, as a whole, will always be classed among the best of their kind. In his prose works we are constantly delighted by the frequent occurrence of the most brilliant and original thoughts. He will always stand in the temple of American literature, among the most brilliant and popular writers.
Housman, A(lfred) E(dward) (1859-1936), English poet and classical scholar, born in Fockbury, Worcestershire. Housman is best known as the author of a few slim volumes of poetry remarkable for their simple diction, lyric beauty, and gentle, ironic pessimism. Set in the English countryside, the poems express the regrets and frustration of young men, especially soldiers. In technique, the poems combine elements of the classical ode and the English ballad. Housman is chiefly remembered for his first volume of poetry, "A Shropshire Lad" (1896). Housman was professor of Latin at University College, London (1892-1911) and at the University of Cambridge (1911-1936). Considered one of the foremost classical scholars of his time, he wrote extensively for classical journals and prepared editions of the works of several Latin poets.
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Hughes, (James Mercer) Langston (1902-1967), American writer, known for the use of jazz and black folk rhythms in his poetry. He was born in Joplin, Missouri. His parents divorced when he was a small child and his father moved to Mexico. After graduation from high school in Lincoln, Illinois, he spent a year in Mexico with his father, then a year studying at Columbia University. Hughes published his first poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," in Crisis magazine in 1921. In 1925, while working as a busboy in Washington, D.C., he left three of his poems beside the plate of American poet Vachel Lindsay, who recognized Hughes's abilities and subsequently helped to publicize his work. In 1925, he was awarded the First Prize for Poetry of the magazine Opportunity, the winning poem being "The Weary Blues," which gave its title to his first book of poems, published in 1926. As a result of his poetry, Hughes received a scholarship at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where he won his B.A. in 1929. Hughes wrote in many genres, including novels, short stories and plays, but he is best known for his poetry, in which he used musical rhythms and the oral and improvisatory traditions of black culture. He claimed Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman as his primary influences, and he is particularly known for his insightful, colorful portrayals of black life in America from the twenties through the sixties. In the 1920s he was a prominent figure during the Harlem Renaissance, and he wrote the drama "Mulatto" (1935), which was performed on Broadway. Beginning in the 1930s, Hughes was active in social and political causes and used much of his poetry as a vehicle for social protest. His more than 50 books include "Shakespeare in Harlem" (1942), "Simple Speaks His Mind" (1950), and "Tambourines to Glory" (1958).
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Hughes, Ted (1930-1998), British poet and author, who in 1984 was named poet laureate of England. Born Edward James Hughes in Mytholmroyd, England, and educated at the University of Cambridge, he gained fame for his often emotionally violent verse that makes frequent use of animal figures, as in his sequence Crow (1970). Hughes's poetry is physical, sometimes savage in tone, and often emphasizes the subconscious. His works include The Hawk in the Rain (1957), Lupercal (1960), Wodwo (1967), Selected Poems: 1957-1967 (1972), Season Songs (1976), and Moortown (1979). He has written children's plays, poems, and stories, including the poems Under the North Star (1981) and What is the Truth? (1984). Winter Pollen: Occasional Prose, a collection of reviews, prefaces, and critical essays, was published in 1995. Hughes was married to American poet Sylvia Plath from 1956 until her suicide in 1963.
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Iglesias, Holly (b.1949), American poet, translator, teacher, and author, was born in St. Louis, educated at Loyola University (B.A. in history), University of Miami (M.A. in history), and Florida State University (Ph.D. in interdisciplinary humanities), and currently teaches in the Master of Liberal Arts Program at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Her books include Angles of Approach (White Pine Press, 2010), Souvenirs of a Shrunken World (Kore Press, 2008 – winner of the Kore Press First Book Award), and Boxing Inside the Box: Women's Prose Poetry (a critical work published by Quale Press, 2000 and 2004). She is the author of three chapbooks, Hands-on Saints, Good Long Enough, winner of Thorngate Road's Frank O'Hara Prize, and her most recent publication, Fruta Bomba, published by Q Ave Press.
Iglesias is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Edward Albee Foundation. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Prose Poem, Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Margie, Crab Orchard Review, Massachusetts Review and Spoon River Poetry Review, and has been anthologized in The Best of the Prose Poem, The House of Your Dreams, To Tell the Truth, and Sweeping Beauty: Contemporary American Women Poets Do Housework. As a documentary historian, Iglesias finds much of her inspiration and material in historical events and settings, such as the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair (Souvenirs of a Shrunken World).
From diverse sources.
Isherwood, Christopher (1904-1986), Anglo-American writer. He was born in Disley, Cheshire, England. His experience as a tutor in Berlin from 1928 to 1933 provided the background for two volumes of short stories, "The Last of Mr. Norris" (1935) and "Goodbye to Berlin" (1939). The books were reissued in 1946 as The Berlin Stories and were later adapted as a play, I Am a Camera (1951; film, 1955), and as a musical, Cabaret (1966; film, 1972). Isherwood settled in the United States in 1939. The "Essentials of the Vedanta" (1969) expresses his interest in Hinduism. His biographical works include "Lions and Shadows" (1938) and "Kathleen and Frank" (1972). In "Christopher and His Kind" (1976), a witty and utterly frank account of his life from 1929 to 1939, Isherwood revealed his homosexuality and its overriding importance in his work.
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Jeffers, Robinson (1887-1962), was born in Pittsburgh. His father, a biblical scholar, supervised his education, and Robinson began to learn Greek at the age of five. This was followed by schooling in Europe. When the family moved to California, the sixteen year old entered Occidental College as a junior. He graduated at eighteen. Jeffers did graduate studies in literature at the Univ.of Southern California, where he met a strong influence on his intellectual development: Una Kuster, whom he later married. In 1906, he was back in Switzerland studying philosophy, literature, history and the classics. After marrying in 1913, Jeffers moved to Carmel, California, where he built a stone cottage and a forty-foot stone tower overlooking Carmel Bay. Both the structure and the location figure strongly in Jeffers' life and poetry. His verse, much of which is set in the Carmel region, celebrates the beauty of coastal hills and ravines that plunge into the Pacific. His poetry praises "the beauty of things" in this setting and emphasizes his belief that such splendor demands tragedy. One of his favorite themes was the beauty of the landscape in opposition to the degraded condition of modern man. Influenced by Nietzsche, Jeffers believed that man had developed an insanely self-centered view of the world, and felt that we must learn greater respect for the rest of creation. Many of his narrative poems use incidents of sexual crime to express moral despair. "The Woman at Point Sur" (1927) deals with a minister driven mad by his conflicting desires. The title poem of "Cawdor and Other Poems" (1928) is based on the myth of Phaedra. "Thurso's Landing" (1932) reveals Jeffers' abhorrence of modern civilization. His many other volumes include "Solstice and Other Poems" (1935), making use of the Medea story, to which he later returned.
Condensed from the Academy of American Poets' web site.
Johnson, (Emily) Pauline (1861-1913) was born March 10, 1861 on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada. Her father was a Mohawk chief, her mother an English settler from Ohio. Her father built a mansion on the reserve where Pauline grew up isolated from other children. She learned to canoe and camp, and she made poems before she could write. She had schooling for only seven years, but at home she read works by writers like Walter Scott, Milton, and Shakespeare. The Mohawk legends and war stories told by her grandfather later became part of the stories, legends and poems Pauline wrote. Her father died when she was 23, and the family moved to the nearby town of Brantford. Although she expected to marry, no young men of the town proposed. To make a living, she wrote poems which she published in local papers and in an anthology, "Songs of the Great Dominion". She also began to recite her poems to local audiences. In 1892 she began to appear in professional recitals to pay for the publication of her first book of poetry. In her performances, Pauline used the Mohawk name "Tekahionwake", and costumed herself with the full trappings of her Mohawk tradition. She was a great success; her recitals of poems with native subjects could move audiences to tears. For seventeen years, Pauline toured in New England and Canada, and in London. She gave hundreds of recitals with musicians or comics as her partners. She became one of the best-known performers of her time. Pauline published several very popular books of poetry: The White Wampum (1895), Canadian Born (1903) and Flint and Feather (1912). After settling in Vancouver in 1909 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she died on March 7, 1913 at the age of 52. Her reputation in Canada was immense, and flags in Vancouver flew at half mast at her burial.
© University of Toronto, and other sources.
Johnson, Georgia Douglas (1880-1966). Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia Douglas Johnson made her way to Washington, D.C., where she lived for over fifty years. Johnson was the most famous woman poet of the "Harlem Renaissance" literary movement, publishing four volumes of poetry: The Heart of a Woman (1918), Bronze (1922), An Autumn Love Cycle (1928), and Share My World (1962). A graduate of Atlanta University (1896), where she met her husband, Henry Lincoln Johnson, Georgia Douglas Johnson did not publish her first poem until 1916, when she was thirty-six, and she remained geographically removed from the major literary circles of her day, which were in Harlem, due to her marriage to a Washington lawyer. When her husband died in 1925, Georgia Douglas Johnson was forty-five years old with two teenagers to support. Holding a series of temporary jobs between 1924 and 1934 as a substitute public school teacher and a file clerk for the Civil Service, she ultimately found a position in the Department of Labor, where hours were long and pay low. Johnson had to create her own supportive environment by establishing the Saturday night open houses that she hosted weekly soon after her husband's death and that included Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Anne Spencer, Alain Locke, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and others. In 1928, her third volume of poetry confirmed Johnson as the first African American woman poet to garner national attention since Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. Johnson traveled extensively in the late 1920s, giving lectures and readings, meeting Carl Sandburg in Chicago and Charles Waddell Chesnutt in Cleveland while receiving awards from various organizations, including her alma mater, Atlanta University. Johnson wrote a substantial number of plays and short stories during the 1920s. She also wrote a weekly newspaper column, "Homely Philosophy," that was syndicated by twenty publications from 1926 to 1932. Struggling without the material support that would have helped bring more of her work to light and battling racist stereotypes that fed lynch mobs and race riots in the formative years of her life, Georgia Douglas Johnson left a legacy of indomitable pride and creative courage that has only begun to be understood.
From The Oxford Companion to African American Literature.
Johnson, James Weldon (1871-1938), American author, lawyer, and diplomat, whose writings and activities demonstrated a deep consideration of the lives of American blacks. Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1897 he became the first black person admitted to the Florida bar. Johnson served as United States consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua (1906-1909; 1909-1912). He was field secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1916 to 1920, when he became the organization's first black executive secretary. Johnson's best-known book is the novel "The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man" (1912), which examines race relations in the United States. He also wrote volumes of poetry, a collection of sermons in free verse, and several studies of black American life. Johnson is known as the composer, together with his brother, of the 'black national anthem' "Lift Every Voice and Sing". He died in an an auto accident in Maine in 1938.
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Jonson, Ben (1573–1637), English poet and dramatist, was probably born in Westminster. His father died before Ben was four. He was sent to Westminster School. His mother, meanwhile, had married a bricklayer, and he was for a time put to that trade, but disliking it, he ran away and joined the army, fighting against the Spaniards in the Low Countries. Returning to England about 1592 he took to the stage, both as an actor and as a playwright. In the former capacity he was unsuccessful. In 1598, having killed a fellow-actor in a duel, he was tried for murder, but escaped by benefit of clergy. About the same time he joined the Roman Catholic Church, in which he remained for 12 years. It was in 1598 also that his first successful play, Every Man in his Humour, was produced, with Shakespeare as one of the players. Every Man out of his Humour , Cynthia’s Revels , and The Poetaster , satirising the citizens, the courtiers, and the poets respectively, followed. The last called forth several replies, the most notable of which was the Satiromastix (Whip for the Satirist) of Dekker, a severe, though not altogether unfriendly, retort, which Jonson took in good part, announcing his intention of leaving off satire and trying tragedy. His first work in this kind was Sejanus , which was not very favourably received. It was followed by Eastward Ho, in which he collaborated with Marston and Chapman. Certain reflections on Scotland gave offence to James I., and the authors were imprisoned, but soon released. From the beginning of the new reign J. devoted himself largely to the writing of Court masques, in which he excelled all his contemporaries, and about the same time entered upon the production of the three great plays in which his full strength is shown. The first of these, Volpone, or the Fox, appeared in 1605; Epicæne, or the Silent Woman in 1609, and The Alchemist in 1610. His second and last tragedy, Catiline, was produced in 1611. Two years later he was in France as companion to the son of Sir W. Raleigh, and on his return he held up hypocritical Puritanism to scorn in Bartholomew Fair, which was followed in 1616 by a comedy, The Devil is an Ass. In the same year he collected his writings — plays, poems, and epigrams — in a folio entitled his Works. In 1618 he journeyed on foot to Scotland, where he was received with much honour, and paid his famous visit to Drummond at Hawthornden. His last successful play, The Staple of Newes, was produced in 1625, and in the same year he had his first stroke of palsy, from which he never entirely recovered. His next play, The New Inn, was driven from the stage, for which in its rapid degeneracy he had become too learned and too moral. A quarrel with Inigo Jones, the architect, who furnished the machinery for the Court masques, lost him Court favour, and he was obliged, with failing powers, to turn again to the stage, for which his last plays, The Magnetic Lady and The Tale of a Tub, were written in 1632 and 1633. Town and Court favour, however, turned again, and he received a pension of £100; that of the best poets and lovers of literature he had always kept. The older poets were his friends, the younger were proud to call themselves, and be called by him, his sons. In 1637, after some years of gradually failing health, he died, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. An admirer caused a mason to cut on the slab over his grave the well-known inscription, “O Rare Ben Jonson.” He left a fragment, The Sad Shepherd. His works include a number of epigrams and translations, collections of poems (Underwoods and The Forest); in prose a book of short essays and notes on various subjects, Discoveries.
From the University of Adelaide web site.
Joseph, Jenny (in earlier publications: "Jennie") (b.1932). This British contemporary author was awarded the "Forward Poetry Prize" in 1996 in the category "Best individual poem" for "In Honour of Love". Joseph has published numerous collections of poetry and fiction, including "The Unlooked-for Season" (1960 - winner of a Gregory Award), "Rose in the Afternoon" (1974 - winner of a Cholmondeley Award), "The Thinking Heart" (1978), "Beyond Descartes" (1983), "Persepone" (1986 - fiction in verse and prose), "Beached Boats" (1992 - prose), "The Inland Sea" (1992), "Selected Poems" (1992 - which includes "Warning"), "Ghosts and Other Company" (1996), and "Extended Similes" (1997 - prose fiction). In 1996 she was honored in a national poll as the author of the U.K.'s "most popular post-war poem", "Warning", which is reproduced here. She gives occasional readings of her poetry in Britain, and toured the U.S. in 1995. Jenny Joseph lives in Gloucestershire, England. Yale University professor Claude Rawson has called her "the best of the unfashionable poets."
Joseph is published by Bloodaxe Books.
Joyce, James Augustine Aloysius (1882-1941), Irish novelist and poet, whose psychological perceptions and innovative literary techniques make him one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Joyce was born in Dublin. In 1904 he left Dublin and lived with his family in Trieste, Italy, in Paris, and in Zürich, Switzerland. His first book, Chamber Music (1907), consists of 36 highly finished love poems. In his second work, Dubliners (1914), a collection of 15 short stories, Joyce dealt with crucial episodes of childhood and adolescence and with family and public life in Dublin. His first novel, the autobiographical A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), made use of the stream-of-consciousness, or interior-monologue, technique, a literary device that renders all the thoughts, feelings, and sensations of a character with scrupulous psychological realism.
Joyce attained international fame with the publication of his novel Ulysses in 1922. In this work, Joyce further developed the stream-of-consciousness technique as means of character portrayal. Finnegans Wake (1939), is Joyce's last and most complex work. The novel is written in the form of an interrupted series of dreams during one night in the life of the character Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker. Joyce carried his linguistic experimentation to its furthest point in Finnegans Wake by writing English as a composite language made up of parts of words from various languages.
Joyce employed symbols to create what he called an "epiphany," the revelation of an emotional or personal truth. Using experimental techniques to convey the essential nature of realistic situations, Joyce merged in his greatest works the literary traditions of realism, naturalism, and symbolism.
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Keats, John (1795-1821), English poet, and an influential figure of the romantic movement. Keats was born in London. In 1816 he became a licensed druggist, but he never practiced the profession. Keats's first published poems appeared in 1816 in the Examiner, a literary periodical edited by the essayist and poet Leigh Hunt. Keats's first book was Poems by John Keats (1817). His second volume, Endymion (1818), was attacked by two of the most influential critical magazines of the time, the Quarterly Review and Blackwood's Magazine.
In 1820 Keats contracted tuberculosis. His book Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems appeared that year. The three title poems, which explore mythical and legendary themes of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance times, are rich in imagery and phrasing. The volume also contains three odes considered among the finest in the English language: "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode on Melancholy," and "Ode to a Nightingale." In late 1820, under his doctor's orders to seek a warm climate, Keats went to Rome, where he died. Some of his best-known poems were published after his death, including "Eve of St. Mark" (1848). Keats's letters, praised by many critics as among the finest written in English, were published in 1931.
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Kinnell, Galway (b. 1927), was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He studied at Princeton University (B.A.) and the University of Rochester (M.A.). He served in the U.S. Navy and has taught writing at many schools in around the world, including universities in France, Australia, and Iran. His volumes of poetry include "New Selected Poems" (Houghton Mifflin, 2000), a finalist for the National Book Award; "Imperfect Thirst" (1996); "When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone" (1990); "The Past (1985);" "Selected Poems" (1982), for which he received both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; "Mortal Acts, Mortal Words" (1980); "The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ Into the New World: Poems 1946-64" (1974); "The Book of Nightmares" (1971); "Body Rags" (1968); "Flower Herding on Mount Monadnock" (1964); and "What a Kingdom It Was" (1960). He has also published translations of works by Yves Bonnefroy, Yvanne Goll, and François Villon, and Rainer Maria Rilke. Galway Kinnell divides his time between Vermont and New York City, where he is the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University.
From the Academy of American Poets web site, and other sources.
Kipling, (Joseph) Rudyard (1865-1936), English writer, whose works were mostly set in India and Burma (now known as Myanmar) during the time of British rule. Kipling was born in Bombay, India, and was educated in England. His literary reputation was established by six stories of English life in India, published in India between 1888 and 1889. In 1907 Kipling became the first English author to receive the Nobel Prize in literature.
As a poet Kipling is remarkable for rhymed verse written in the slang used by the ordinary British soldier. His writings consistently project intense patriotism, the duty of the English to lead lives of strenuous activity, and England's destiny to become a great empire. Among Kipling's important short fictional works are Many Inventions (1893), The Jungle Book (1894), and The Second Jungle Book (1895). Kim (1901) is a picaresque tale of Indian life that is generally regarded as his best long narrative. His collections of verse include Barrack-Room Ballads (1892), which contains the popular poems "Danny Deever," "Mandalay," and "Gunga Din"; and The Five Nations (1903), with the well-known poem "Recessional."
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Kunitz, Stanley was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1905. His many books of poetry include The Collected Poems of Stanley Kunitz (W. W. Norton, 2000); Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected (1995), which won the National Book Award; Next-to-Last Things: New Poems and Essays (1985); The Poems of Stanley Kunitz, 1928-1978, which won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Passport to the War (1940); Selected Poems, 1928-1958, which won the Pulitzer Prize; The Testing-Tree (1971); and Intellectual Things (1930). He also co-translated Orchard Lamps by Ivan Drach (1978), Story Under Full Sail by Andrei Voznesensky (1974), and Poems of Akhmatova (1973), and edited The Essential Blake (1987), Poems of John Keats (1964), and The Yale Series of Younger Poets (1969-77). His honors include the Bollingen Prize, a Ford Foundation grant, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, Harvard's Centennial Medal, the Levinson Prize, the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award, a senior fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Medal of the Arts, and the Shelley Memorial Award. He served for two years as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, was designated State Poet of New York, and is a Chancellor Emeritus of The Academy of American Poets. In 2000 he was named United States Poet Laureate. A founder of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Poets House in New York City, he taught for many years in the graduate writing program at Columbia University. He died in May, 2006 in New York City.
From the web site of the Academy of American Poets.
Lampman, Archibald (1861-1899), widely regarded as Canada's greatest 19th-century poet, was born in the village of Morpeth, Ontario, and studied at Trinity College (now the University of Toronto), where he edited the college newspaper and graduated in Classics in 1882. After a short time teaching high school in Orangeville, Lampman took a position as a low-paid clerk in the Langevin Block of the Canadian Post Office in the nation's capital at Ottawa, where he stayed for the rest of his life. He married Maud Playter in 1887 and they had two children. However, Lampman grew to love Kate Waddell in 1889, a romance that lasted until his death. He was one of the so-called "Confederation Group" of poets, which included Duncan Campbell Scott and William Wilfred Campbell. Collections of his poems include "Among the Millet and Other Poems" (1888), "Lyrics of Earth" (1895), and the posthumous "Alcyone" (1899), and "Poems" (1900), the latter collection brought to fruition by his friend Duncan Campbell Scott. Lampman was elected a member of the Royal Society of Canada in 1895. His manuscripts can largely be found at Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario.
From the University of Toronto web site.
Larkin, Philip (1922-1985) was born in Coventry, England. He attended St. John's College, Oxford. His first book of poetry, The North Ship, was published in 1945 and, though not particularly strong on its own, is notable insofar as certain passages foreshadow the unique sensibility and maturity that characterizes his later work. In 1946, Larkin discovered the poetry of Thomas Hardy and became a great admirer of his poetry, learning from Hardy how to make the commonplace and often dreary details of his life the basis for extremely tough, unsparing, and memorable poems. With his second volume of poetry, The Less Deceived (1955), Larkin became the preeminent poet of his generation, and a leading voice of what came to be called "The Movement," a group of young English writers who rejected the prevailing fashion for neo-Romantic writing in the style of Yeats and Dylan Thomas. Like Hardy, Larkin focused on intense personal emotion but strictly avoided sentimentality or self-pity. In 1964, he confirmed his reputation as a major poet with the publication of The Whitsun Weddings, and again in 1974 with High Windows: collections whose searing, often mocking, wit does not conceal the poet's dark vision and underlying obsession with universal themes of mortality, love, and human solitude. Deeply anti-social and a great lover (and published critic) of American jazz, Larkin never married and conducted an uneventful life as a librarian in the provincial city of Hull, where he died in 1985.
Copyright © 1997-2000 by The Academy of American Poets
Lawrence, D(avid) H(erbert) (1885-1930), English novelist and poet, one of the most influential and controversial literary figures of the 20th century. He was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. In 1912 Lawrence eloped with Frieda Weekley, his former professor's wife, marrying her two years later, after her divorce. Their intense, stormy life together supplied material for much of his writing. The Rainbow (1915) and Women in Love (1921) explore with outspoken candor the sexual and psychological relationships of men and women. In 1919 Lawrence began a period of restless wandering. His travels provided the locales of several books, including The Lost Girl (1920), set in the Abruzzi region of Italy; and Kangaroo (1923), set in Australia. During stays in Mexico and Taos, New Mexico (1923-1925), he wrote The Plumed Serpent (1926). His most original poetry, published in Birds, Beasts and Flowers (1923), flowed from his experience of nature in the southwestern United States and the Mediterranean region. After 1926 Lawrence lived mostly in Italy, where he wrote and rewrote his most notorious novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928), which deals with the sexually fulfilling love affair between a member of the nobility and her husband's gamekeeper. Lawrence's third and most sexually explicit version of this work was not published until 1959 in the United States and 1960 in England.
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Lazarus, Emma (1849-1887), American poet, born in New York City. Her "Poems and Translations" (1867) contains her first work. In the early 1880s Lazarus used poetry to protest the persecution of Russian Jews, resulting in the publication of her "Songs of a Semite" (1882). Her sonnet "The New Colossus" (1883), which was inscribed in 1903 on the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, expresses her faith in the United States as a haven for the oppressed.
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Ledwidge, Francis (1887-1917), the Irish nationalist and poet, was born in Slane on 19 August 1887 the son of a poor labourer. Leaving school at the age of 14 he worked in various manual labour positions while developing a love for and honing his own poetical talents. It was in 1911 that Ledwidge first received notable recognition for his poetry. Having sent a collection of his poems to well-known author Lord Dunsany he received a favourable response, Dunsany assuming the role of mentor to Ledwidge, introducing him to the Dublin literary scene. Although possessing moderate Irish nationalist views Ledwidge nevertheless signed up with the British Army - the Irish Volunteers in October 1914 - to serve in France and Flanders during World War One, on the basis that it was unreasonable to expect others to fight for the freedoms that he would later enjoy. Despite his initial reluctance to enlist he nevertheless argued that his service with the British during World War One was in no way incompatible with his nationalist views: rather, he believed he was furthering the cause of Irish independence from Britain. One year after war began, in 1915, and while serving abroad on active duty Ledwidge saw an initial volume of fifty of his poems published as Songs of the Field. He was much gratified by the favourable press coverage the book received. While recovering wounded in Manchester in 1916 he received news of the Easter Rising in Dublin and the executions of nationalist leaders that followed it. Dejected, in response he wrote his best-known poem in honour of the executed nationalist leader and a close friend, Thomas McDonagh. Despite having survived harsh service in Gallipoli and Serbia, Ledwidge was killed while serving in Flanders, at Boezinge, on 31 July 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres. He was aged 29, and was buried in Passchendaele. Despite the renown of his war poetry, of the two hundred plus poems that he wrote only nine actually discussed the Great War to any extent.
Levering, Donald (b.1917), Donald Levering lives and writes in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is the author of Horsetail (Woodley Press, 2000), as well as three chapbooks--The Jack of Spring (Swamp Press, 1980), Carpool (Tellus, 1983), and Mister Ubiquity (Pudding House)--and another full-length collection, Outcroppings From Navajoland (Navajo Community College Press, 1985). A new collection is forthcoming from Pudding House. Levering has roots in Kansas, where he was born and raised. He also continues to write about Kansas; Horsetail includes poems with titles like Eastbound Into Southwest Kansas, and Wheat Trucks. Don writes with what Denise Low has called the Kansas vernacular. There is, in his writing, the careful choosing of words one associates with the middle-westerner. Horsetail is a tightly constructed book; its sections are well conceived and the poems precise in their language. Victor Contoski, in his foreword to Don?s book, states that, "Levering writes of the borderland, the land between wilderness and civilization . . . [and] [t]he garden becomes a perfect symbol for this life on the edge." His work, like that of Theodore Roethke, is often focused on what George Perkins calls the "aboriginal sources of being," the world of the root and weed. Contoski adds that Levering's writing, "like that of Henry David Thoreau, abounds in physical details, and he uses them, like Thoreau, as stepping stones to the spiritual life." In Levering's poetry, garden plants, and weeds, are clearly limned, the products of a careful eye, but there is a resonance in their roots below the surface. Levering also shares with Roethke a good ear. His poem, June 19, opens: "No rest for slugs in search of shade, / for the sun is already ringing away / the dew, chiming pepper sprouts / from the ground." That seems particularly fine, the rhythm, the alliteration and assonance, the sounds, not just the words, creating the visual images. Levering has, in the past, made his living as a gardener, and his poems in Horsetail demonstrate the kind of careful tending that allow them to flourish into a well thought out, strongly executed book.
By Bill Sheldon from www.washburn.edu
Levertov, Denise (1923-1997) was born in Ilford, Essex, England. At age twelve, her poetry earned encouragement from T.S. Eliot. At seventeen she had her first poem published in Poetry Quarterly. She wrote her first book, "The Double Image", before she was twenty-one. Released in 1946, it brought her recognition as one of a group of poets dubbed the "New Romantics." In 1947 she married Mitchell Goodman, an American writer, and moved to the U.S., where she studied the works of Emerson, Thoreau, Pound, and W.C. Willams. Through her husband's friendship with poet R. Creeley, she became associated with the Black Mountain group of poets. Some of her work was published in the 1950s in the Black Mountain Review. Levertov, however, disclaimed membership in any poetic school. She developed an open, experimental style. With the publication of her first American book, "Here and Now" (1956), she became an important voice in the American avant-garde. Her next book, "With Eyes at the Back of our Heads" (1959), established her as one of the great American poets. She was poetry editor of The Nation magazine in 1961 and from 1963 to '65. During the 1960's, activism and feminism became prominent in her poetry. "The Sorrow Dance" (1967) expressed her feelings toward the Viet Nam war and the death of her sister. From 1975 to '78, she was poetry editor of Mother Jones magazine. Levertov published more than 20 volumes of poetry, including "Freeing the Dust" (1975), which won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. She also wrote four books of prose and translated three volumes of poetry. From 1982 to '93, she taught at Stanford Univ. She spent her last decade in Seattle, where she published "Poems 1968-1972" (1987), "Breathing the Water" (1987), "A Door in the Hive" (1989), "Evening Train" (1992), and "The Sands of the Well" (1996). In December 1997 Levertov died of lymphoma at seventy-four. "This Great Unknowing: Last Poems" was published by New Directions in 1999.
From the Academy of American Poets: http://www.poets.org .
Levy, Newman (1888-1966), was a former Assistant District Attorney of New York City, trial lawyer, writer of light verse, opera and theater fan. He wrote for the New Yorker Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, and other periodicals, and published several books of light verse including OPERA GUYED, THEATRE GUYED, SATURDAY TO MONDAY, and GAY BUT WISTFUL. He wrote an autobiography, MY DOUBLE LIFE, in 1958. He is said to have replied to George Gershwin's question, "I wonder if my music will be played a hundred years from now?" with the answer, "Yes, if you're around to play it!" Quite a wit, he deserves to be better known to a later generation.
From Stewart Hendrickson's web page at St.Olaf College
Lindsay, Nicholas Vachel (1879-1931), was born in Springfield, Illinois. Vachel did not attend school until he was eight. He was taught at home by his mother, who had been a teacher and artist before her marriage. Grimm’s Fairy Tales is said to have been his primer. He graduated from Stuart School in 1893, having skipped the seventh grade and winning several prizes for his writing compositions. During his youth, Vachel was encouraged to follow in his father’s footsteps, therefore as a dutiful son, he enrolled at Hiram College, as a premedical student in 1897. Three years later, he wrote home and asked his parents to allow him to attend art school. In 1901 he was accepted as a student at the Art Institute of Chicago and began his pursuit of a career as an illustrator. He spent time reading the works of English mystic poet William Blake and writing poetry in earnest. He moved in 1904 to continue his studies at the New York School of Art and, while there, began to combine poetry and art. After hearing Lindsay recite one of his illustrated poems, "The Tree of the Laughing Bells," Robert Henri, a painter and teacher at the New York School, suggested to Lindsay that he devote himself to poetry. It was a turning point in the poet’s life. The years 1906 through 1912 were Lindsay’s troubadour years as he took his poetry to the people. He ventured out into the world on walking tours of the countryside, taking no money with him, instead trading his poetry for food and shelter. In 1920, Lindsay became the first American poet invited to recite at Oxford University and undertook his first national lecturing tour. Nicholas Vachel Lindsay died in 1931, his funeral attended by hundreds. Cables expressing Lindsay’s popularity and people’s great sorrow at his death came from all over the nation.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth (1807-1882), American poet, who was instrumental in reestablishing a public audience for poetry in the United States. He was born in Portland, Maine (then in Massachusetts). In late 1835, during a trip to Europe, Longfellow's wife, Mary Storer Potter, died in the Netherlands. In 1843 he married Fanny Appleton. Longfellow was devastated in 1861 when his second wife was burned to death in a household accident. He commemorated her shortly before his own death with the sonnet "The Cross of Snow" (1879). Longfellow received wide public recognition with his initial volume of verse, Voices of the Night (1839). His subsequent poetic works include Ballads (1841), which includes the poems "The Wreck of the Hesperus," "The Village Blacksmith," "The Skeleton in Armor," and "Excelsior"; and three notable long narrative poems on American themes: Evangeline (1847), The Song of Hiawatha (1855), and The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858). Longfellow's other works include Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863), containing the well-known poem "Paul Revere's Ride." In 1884 a bust of Longfellow was placed in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey in London; he was the first American to be thus honored.
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Lowell, Amy, (1874-1925), American Imagist poet, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, to a prominent family of high-achievers. Her environment was literary and sophisticated, and when she left private school at 17 to care for her elderly parents, she embarked on a program of self-education. Her poetic career began in 1902 when she saw Eleonora Duse, a famous actress, perform on stage. Overcome with Eleonora's beauty and talent, she wrote her first poem addressed to the actress. They met only a couple times and never developed a relationship, but Eleonora inspired many poems from Amy and triggered her career. Ada Russell, another actress, became the love of Amy's life. She met Ada in 1909 and they remained together until Amy's death in 1925. Amy wrote many, many poems about Ada. In the beginning, as with her previous poems about women, she wrote in such a way that only those who knew the inspiration for a poem would recognize its lesbian content. But as time went on, she censored her work less and less. By the time she wrote Pictures of the Floating World, her poems about Ada were much more blatantly erotic. The series "Planes of Personality: Two Speak Together" chronicles their relationship, including the intensely erotic poem "A Decade" that celebrates their tenth anniversary. Amy's dedication to the art of poetry was consuming. She purchased her parent's estate upon her death and established it as a center of poetry, as well as a place to breed her beloved English sheepdogs. She promoted American poetry, acting as a patron to a number of poets. Amy also wrote many essays, translated the works of others, and wrote literary biographies. Her two-volume biography of Keats was well-received in the United States, though it was rejected in England as presumptuous. She is best known for bringing the Imagist movement to America. Her own work, full of lush imagery but slim on excess verbiage, was similar to that of H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), an emerging Imagist poet in England. . When Amy saw the similarity, she travelled to England to research the movement and ended up bringing back volumes of poetry to introduce Imagist work to the United States. Ezra Pound, the "head" of the movement, was most offended by Amy's involvement. He threatened to sue her, something which delighted her no end, and finally he removed himself from the movement entirely. She argued that this was good; he would ruin it anyway. Pound took to calling the movement "Amygisme," and engaged in plenty of scathing attacks against her. Beyond the nasty slurs hurled by Pound, Amy was criticized for many more things that did not actually reflect her skill as a poet. Critics were offended by her lesbianism, by the way she wore men's shirts and smoked cigars, and even by her obesity. They argued that she must not have experienced true passion, reflecting a common prejudice that women who are overweight cannot possibly be sexual beings. In the face of these barbs, her literary career suffered, and she did not achieve the status as a poet she so richly deserved. Her admirers defended her, however, even after her death. One of the best rebuttals was written by Heywood Broun , in his obituary tribute to Amy. He wrote, "She was upon the surface of things a Lowell, a New Englander and a spinster. But inside everything was molten like the core of the earth... Given one more gram of emotion, Amy Lowell would have burst into flame and been consumed to cinders." Lowell's book, What's O'Clock, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1926, a year after her death.
Lowell, Robert Traill Spence, Jr. (1917-1977), American poet, noted for his lyric virtuosity, rich language, and social concern. Lowell was born in Boston, Massachusetts, a cousin of the distinguished intellectuals Amy Lowell, Percival Lowell, and Abbott Lowell. The volume Lord Weary's Castle (1946) won the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and contains his highly acclaimed poem "Colloquy at Black Rock." Life Studies (1959), which received the National Book Award in 1960, revealed Lowell's inner torments and marked him as an influential figure in the emergence of confessional poetry. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize again in 1974 for The Dolphin (1973). Lowell had a remarkable ability to express in his poetry both objective and subjective views of the turmoil of the contemporary world.
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