, Conrad Potter
(1889-1973), American poet and novelist, born in Savannah, Georgia, and educated at Harvard University. His first volume of verse, Earth Triumphant and Other Tales in Verse (1914), reveals his talent for sensuous imagery and flowing rhythms. His Selected Poems won the 1930 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and his Collected Poems won the 1954 National Book Award. Later volumes of his poetry include Cats and Bats and Things with Wings (1965), Preludes (1966), Selected Poems (1969), and Thee (1971). Aiken wrote numerous novels and short stories, many of them based on psychoanalytic theory. One of his most notable stories is "Silent Snow, Secret Snow," published in his Among the Lost People (1934). The Short Stories of Conrad Aiken was published in 1950; the autobiographical Ushant appeared in 1952; his Collected Novels was published in 1964; and Collected Criticism appeared in 1968. Aiken's work most consistently explores the difficulty in achieving a stable personal identity in a constantly changing world. In recognition of his literary achievement, Aiken held the Chair of Poetry of the Library of Congress from 1950 to 1952 and was awarded the Gold Medal for Poetry by the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1958.

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, Dick
(1939-2017). Dick Allen was a leading figure in the "transitional generation" of American poetry—a generation college-educated in New Criticism and Academic formal poetry that came of age and began to publish in the late 1960s under the influence of the Beats and William Carlos Williams. Allen grew up in the Adirondacks foothills of New York. He received his A.B. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University and his M.A. in English and American Literature from Brown University. Allen was one of the primary founders of Expansive Poetry, a American poetic movement which has been devoted to bringing to contemporary poetry large arrays of subjects other than the "Self" and styles other than confessional or journalistic free verse. His was a religious and culturally-obsessed poetry, his religion being that of a western mystic deeply influenced by his early Zen Buddhist studies and his studies of modern science (primarily physics) and technology. His poetry books include Flight and Pursuit, Overnight in the Guest House of the Mystic, Regions With No Proper Names, Ode to the Cold War, and Anon and Various Time Machine Poems. His poems have been selected for The Best American Poetry volumes of 1991, 1994, 1998 and 1999 as well as numerous other national and international anthologies. They appear in many of America’s leading journals. A noted speaker (John Ciardi once called him "the best reader of poetry in America" next to himself), he has presented over two hundred lectures, panel talks, and poetry readings at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Until his retirement in 2001, Dick Allen was Director of Creative Writing and Professor at the University of Bridgeport, where he started teaching in 1968. He was married to poet and fiction writer Lori Allen. They lived in Trumbull, Connecticut. Dick Allen died on December 26, 2017.
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, Paula Gunn
(1939-2008), Laguna and Sioux background, was a poet, novelist and critic. She was born in Cubero, New Mexico, and grew up on the Laguna Pueblo, beneath Mt. Taylor. Her early education was at St. Vincent's Academy in Albuquerque, followed by mission school in the pueblo town of San Fidel. She began her college education at Colorado's Women's College, later obtained her B.A. in 1966 and M.F.A. in 1968 at the University of Oregon. She taught at DeAnza Community College and the University of New Mexico while completing her doctorate. She obtained her Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico in 1976. Paula spent a post-doctoral year at UCLA, and then moved to the University of California at Berkeley, where she held a postdoctoral fellowship to study the oral tradition elements in Native American literature. She has also been an Associate Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Institute. She has taught at Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO, the College of San Mateo, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, where she was the director of the Native American Studies Program, the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and the University of California at Berkeley, where she was Professor of Native American / Ethnic Studies. Allen's studies would eventually result in The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, a controversial text which argues that the accounts of Native beliefs and traditions were subverted by phallogocentric European explorers and colonizers, who downplayed or erased the central role that women played in most Native societies. Allen's arguments and research were much criticized in the years following publication of The Sacred Hoop. Allen also wrote many essays of literary criticism. These often stress the sacredness of Native religions, attempting to ensure that these are treated as religions rather than as "folklore" or "myths". She retired from her position as Professor of English/Creative Writing/American Indian Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1999. Allen's fictional writings drew heavily on the Pueblo tales of Grandmother Spider and the Corn Maiden, and is noted for a strongly political streak. Her novel, The Woman Who Owned The Shadows, was published in 1983. The story revolves around Ephanie, a mixed-blood like Allen herself, and her struggle to express herself creatively. As a poet, Allen's most successful collection was probably Life Is a Fatal Disease : Collected Poems 1962-1995. Allen has also been responsible for a number of collections of Native American writings, including Spider Womans Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women. Allen's work has been categorized as belonging to the Native American Renaissance, though she herself rejected the label. She was awarded an American Book Award by the Before Columbus Foundation, the Native American Prize for Literature, the Susan Koppelman Award, and in 2001 she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native Writer's Circle of the Americas.

From and Wikipedia.

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, William
(1824-1889), Irish poet and diarist, best known for light lyrics, often employing Irish folklore and dialect. He was born in the town of Ballyshannon in County Donegal in the northwest part of Ireland. Allingham's formal education began in 1836 when he attended school in Ballyshannon, but ended two years later when he took a job at the local bank where his father was a manager. He worked at the bank for seven years, but found the job tedious and depressing. In 1846 he got a position as a Customs Officer in Belfast. In 1847 he began a daily diary which he kept up until his death in 1889. He wrote in his diary that he "preached Tennyson" to his fellow Customs clerks, which "excited some astonishment". How Allingham came by his poetic bent is not clear, but by the age of 22 he was more interested in literature and art than in book-keeping. Nevertheless, he kept working at the Customs Office until 1870, when he gave it up to devote himself to art and literature. During his years with the Customs Office he made many trips to London, where he associated with Dante Gabriel Rossetti's "Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood" of artists and poets. In 1870 he moved to London and took a job as an assistant editor of Fraser's Magazine. In 1874 he became its editor, and married Helen Patterson, an accomplished water-colorist. He remained editor of Fraser's until 1879. Allingham was a close friend of the Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle until Carlyle's death in 1881. In June of '81 the Allinghams moved to Wyley in Surrey. Tennyson lived nearby, and the two poets became friends. Allingham was much esteemed as a critic by Rossetti and others. (More esteemed as a critic than as a poet, to tell the truth.) He published over a dozen volumes of poetry, perhaps the most famous of which is "The Faeries" (1883).

From "The Reader's Encyclopedia" (Th.Crowell Co.) and other sources.

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, Maya
(1928-2014), born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928) was an American autobiographer and poet. Having been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" she is best known for her series of six autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adulthood experiences. The first, best-known, and most highly acclaimed, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1969), focuses on the first seventeen years of her life, brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award.
Angelou was a member of the Harlem Writers Guild in the late 1950s. She was active in the Civil Rights movement, and served as Northern Coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Angelou has been highly honored for her body of work, including being awarded over 30 honorary degrees and the nomination of a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie. Since the 1990s, she has had a busy career on the lecture circuit, making about 80 appearances a year. Since 1991, Angelou has taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as recipient of the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. In 1993, she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961. In 1995, she was recognized for having the longest-running record (two years) on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List.
Although her books have been used extensively in the classroom, they have also been challenged or banned in schools and libraries. Her books and poetry have covered themes such as identity, family, and racism. Angelou died in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on May 28, 2014.


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, Philip
, (b.1926) Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at Indiana University, has published seven volumes of poetry, including "Let There Be Light," "Darwin's Ark," and "Open Doorways." His latest is "The Voyage Home: New and Selected Poems, 1956-1996" (University of Arkansas Press, 1996). He has written three novels, including "Apes and Angels" (Putnam, 1989), and half a dozen nonfiction books, including editing Malthus' "On Population," and the widely used 'Norton Critical Edition' anthology, "Darwin." His poetry and fiction have won many awards, including a fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Castagnola Award and the Christopher Morley Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the Humanist Arts Award of the American Humanist Association, and have appeared in scores of publications, including Harper's Magazine, The Nation, New Republic, New York Times, Paris Review, Partisan Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, and Yale Review. He has given readings of his poetry at the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim Museum, the Huntington Library, and many universities. Appleman's work, much of which decries human irrationality (like religion) and evils (like war) has been associated with the 'secular humanist' tradition.

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, Matthew
(1822-1888), English poet, whose work is representative of Victorian intellectual concerns and who was the foremost literary critic of his age. He was born in Laleham, Middlesex, the son of Thomas Arnold, famous headmaster of Rugby School.
A meditative, elegiac tone is characteristic of Arnold's poetry, notably "The Scholar-Gipsy" (1853), "Thyrsis" (1866), "Dover Beach" (1867), and "Westminster Abbey" (1882). His poems often demonstrated his philosophical despair and sense of isolation. In his collection of essays Culture and Anarchy (1867-1868), Arnold defended culture against scientific materialism. His most influential literary criticism is found in essays such as "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time" (1865) and "The Study of Poetry" (1880).

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, Margaret
was born in 1939 in Ottawa, Ontario. She earned a B.A. from the University of Toronto, and an M.A. from Harvard. She is the author of more than fifteen books of poetry, including Eating Fire: Selected Poems, 1965-1995 (Virago Press Limited, 1998); Morning in the Burned House (1995), which was a co-winner of the Trillium Award; Selected Poems II: Poems Selected and New 1976-1986 (1987); Two-Headed Poems (1978); You Are Happy (1975); and The Animals in That Country (1968). Among her more than ten novels are The Blind Assassin (McClelland & Stewart, 2000), which won the Booker Prize and the Dashell Hammett Prize; Alias Grace (1996); The Robber Bride (1993); The Handmaid's Tale (1986), which won a Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award; Bodily Harm (1982); Lady Oracle (1976); and The Edible Woman (1970). Her collections of short fiction include A Quiet Game: And Other Early Works (1997), Good Bones (1992), Wilderness Tips and Other Stories (1991), Murder in the Dark: Short Fictions and Prose Poems (1983), and Dancing Girls and Other Stories (1977). She is the author of four collections of nonfiction: Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature (1995), Second Words: Selected Critical Prose (1982), Days of the Rebels 1815-1840 (1977), and Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (1972). Her books for children include Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut (1995), For the Birds (1990), and Up in the Tree (1978). Atwood's work has been published in more than twenty-five countries. Among her honors and awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Molson Award, the Ida Nudel Humanitarian Award, and a Canada Short Fiction Award. In 1986 Ms Magazine named her Woman of the Year. She has served as Writer-In-Residence and lecturer at many colleges and Universities. Atwood lives in Toronto.

From The Academy of American Poets web site.

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, W(ystan) H(ugh)
(1907-1973), Anglo-American poet, playwright, and literary critic. Auden was born in York. In 1925 he entered Christ Church College, University of Oxford. Auden's book Poems (1930) helped establish his reputation. In the 1930s he also wrote three verse plays with English writer Christopher Isherwood, and in 1937 he drove an ambulance for the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). In 1939 Auden moved to the United States, where he became a citizen and was active as a poet, reviewer, lecturer, and editor. His work began to reflect an increasing concern with religion, and his long poem The Age of Anxiety (1947) won him the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Among his other works are Collected Poetry (1945) and The Shield of Achilles (1955). From 1956 to 1961 Auden was professor of poetry at Oxford, and in 1972 he returned to Christ Church as a writer in residence. As a poet, Auden bore some resemblance to T. S. Eliot, with his ironic wit and deep religious feeling, although he was more concerned than Eliot with social problems..

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, Anna Lætitia
(1743-1825). Born Anna L. Aikin June 20, 1743, at Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, England. British writer, poet, and editor whose best writings are on political and social themes. Her poetry belongs essentially in the tradition of 18th-century meditative verse.

The only daughter of John Aikin, she lived from the age of 15 to 30 in Warrington, Lancashire, where her father taught at a Nonconformist Protestant academy. There she was encouraged by her father's friends and colleagues to pursue her education and literary talents. In 1774 she married Rochemont Barbauld, a French Protestant clergyman. Although she is probably best known for her hymn "Life! I Know Not What Thou Art," her most important poems included "Corsica" (1768) and "The Invitation" (1773). She edited "William Collins' Poetical Works" (1794) as well as "The British Novelists", 50 vol. (1810). Anna Barbauld died March 9, 1825, at Stoke Newington, near London.

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, Thomas Lovell
(1803-1849) The son of a distinguished scientist, Beddoes seems early to have acquired, perhaps from his father's dissections and speculations on anatomy and the soul, an obsession with death that was to dominate his life and work. He was educated at Charterhouse, where his passion for the drama became evident and where he nourished his imagination on 18th-century Gothic romances. In 1820 he went to Oxford University, where he wrote his first considerable work, "The Bride's Tragedy" (1822), based on the story of a murder committed by an undergraduate. He made the acquaintance of Mary Shelley. His writing style is identified with the Elizabethan Revival of the Late Romantic Period. In 1825 he went to Göttingen, Germany, to study anatomy and medicine. There he continued work on "Death's Jest-Book". Friends who read the first version advised revision, and Beddoes' acceptance of their advice hindered his poetic development: for the rest of his life he was unable to escape from the work or to complete it, and it was eventually published posthumously in 1850. In "Death's Jest-Book" itself, which Beddoes described as an example of "the florid Gothic," he aimed to use Gothic material to discuss the problems of mortality and immortality. After trouble with the university authorities, Beddoes left Göttingen, moved to Würzburg (where he received his M.D.), and there involved himself in radical politics. More trouble caused him to leave Germany for Zürich, where his interest in writing English verse waned. In 1840 he had to flee from Switzerland, probably for political reasons, and he never afterward settled in one place for very long. He visited England for the last time in 1846-47. Two years later he committed suicide. Part of his final words: "Food for what I am good for - worms."

Encyclopedia Britannica and other sources.

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, Henry A.
(1847-1926), One of the most representative of the genteel academic critics of the late nineteenth century was Henry Augustin Beers, who taught English literature at Yale for over forty years. Beers was a versatile writer of fiction, poetry, and essays as well as the author of several popular introductory surveys of English and American literature and a detailed two-volume history of English romanticism. His intimate knowledge of all kinds of literature was legendary among Yale students. His chief contribution was as a popularizer, but a popularizer who wrote with a thorough knowledge and love of his material. Beers was from a Connecticut family which traced its origins in America back to the seventeenth century. He was very much rooted in the soil of Connecticut. Henry S. Canby, who was one of Beers's students at the turn of the century, wrote of him, "I do not suppose that in twenty years he made as many journeys even of a day, to New York and Boston." He grew up in Hartford, graduated from the Hartford High School in 1864, and entered Yale the following year. At Yale he wrote verse and sketches for the Yale Literary Magazine and absorbed the undergraduate life of New Haven so well that he later transferred it into print in a series of sketches published as The Ways of Yale in the Consulship of Plancus (1895). After graduating in 1869 Beers studied law in New York City and was admitted to the bar in 1870. The following year, however, he abandoned the practice of law and returned to Yale as a tutor in English. He remained at Yale the rest of his life, serving as tutor (1871-1874), assistant professor of English literature (1875-1880), professor (1880-1916), and professor emeritus (1916-1926). Early in his teaching career Beers played an important part in redirecting the English curriculum at Yale away from an exclusive focus upon grammar to a more historically based study of literature itself. Beers's first and last books were volumes of poetry, a fact indicative of his commitment to belles letters rather than to literary scholarship. In An Outline Sketch of American Literature (1887) Beers wrote, "The professors of literature in our colleges are usually persons who have made no additions to literature, and the professors of rhetoric seem ordinarily to have been selected to teach students how to write, for the reason that they themselves have never written any thing that any one has ever read." Beers wrote things that people did read. One of his short stories, "Split Zephyr," was included in the important multivolume anthology Stories by American Authors (1884). Beers was among the most popular professors at Yale, as this contemporary quote from "The Critic" shows: "He is one of the most approachable men on the Yale faculty; in every way a congenial spirit and a bon enfant; one of the few professors who can throw aside the conventional trappings of the scholar, and meet his undergraduate friends as man to man. ... His conversation is constantly lighted up by a quiet humor, by a unique and picturesque way of looking at men and events. ... He is something of an authority upon Yale life of the past forty years; is a charming gossip and discourses pleasantly upon the innumerable "personages" who during his own time have added to the attractiveness of life in the old college town."

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, (Joseph Pierre) Hilaire
(1870-1953), English writer, born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France, and educated at the University of Oxford. He became a British subject in 1902 and served in Parliament from 1906 to 1910. He and writer G. K. Chesterton edited a weekly journal expounding their conservative social views, beginning in 1911. Belloc was a popular and prolific author. His early works include Danton (1899), Robespierre (1901), The Path to Rome (1902), and mordantly humorous verse such as The Bad Child's Book of Beasts (1896) and Cautionary Tales for Children (1907). A devout Roman Catholic, his religious and political convictions strongly colored his serious works. He offered an alternative to socialism in The Servile State (1912) and reinterpreted history in History of England (4 vol., 1925-1931), Charles I (1933), Cromwell (1934), and Charles II (1939).

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, John
(1914-1972), American poet, born in McAlester, Oklahoma. In his youth the family moved frequently, finally settling in Tampa, Florida, where his father speculated in land, failed, and in 1926 committed suicide. Living in New York City during the depression, the teen-aged Berryman attempted suicide in 1931. The next year he enrolled at Columbia University, where he studied under Mark Van Doren and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He then studied two years at Cambridge University in England, meeting Yeats, Eliot, Auden, and Dylan Thomas. From 1939, Berryman taught at a number of universities, including Wayne State, Harvard, Princeton, Washington, Cincinnati, and finally Minnesota. While he earned a reputation as a brilliant teacher and scholar, he suffered from alcoholism and recurring nervous fatigue his entire adult life, and spent much time in hospitals and recovery centers. Berryman gained a national reputation with his long, difficult poem "Homage to Mistress Bradstreet" (1956), which took the form of conversations with the ghost of Anne Bradstreet, the first female poet of the American colonies. For his book of verse, "77 Dream Songs" (1964), Berryman received the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1965. This work was continued and completed with "His Toy, His Dream, His Rest" (1968). His work bears some relation to confessional poetry in that he dealt frankly with his father's suicide and his own alcoholism. Berryman also used humor to a great extent, often counterbalancing it against melancholy for a complex effect. His other books of poetry include "Poems" (1942), "The Dispossessed" (1948), and "Delusions" (1972). Berryman also wrote well-crafted short stories, the critical biography "Stephen Crane" (1950), and the novel "Recovery" (published posthumously 1973). In 1989 the volume "Collected Poems, 1937-1971" was published. Berryman's life ended tragically with a leap from a bridge in Minneapolis shortly after New Year, 1972.

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, Sir John
(1906-84), poet laureate of England (1972-84), born in London. His memories of growing up are humorously chronicled in a verse autobiography, "Summoned by Bells" (1960). Starting with his "Ghastly Good Taste" in 1933 (the same year as his first book of verse, "Mount Zion",) he wrote numerous works on English architecture and popular guides to old churches and other landmarks. Four more volumes of poetry appeared before the publication of "Collected Poems" (1958). His later collections were "High and Low" (1966), "A Nip in the Air" (1974), "Church Poems" (1981), and "Uncollected Poems" (1982). Betjeman was called the bard of nostalgia for his lyrical skill at evoking the past, particularly the moods and images of actual places- gaslit depots and red-brick Victorian houses. A militant preservationist, he aimed his poetic wit at those who, in the name of progress, threatened to despoil the English countryside, and he is credited with doing much to popularize Victorian and Edwardian building and to protect what remained of it from destruction. Betjeman's celebration of the more settled Britain of yesteryear seemed to touch a responsive chord in a public that was suffering the uprootedness of World War II and its austere aftermath. He was knighted in 1969, and in 1972 he succeeded C. Day-Lewis as poet laureate of England. He was succeeded in that post in 1984 by Ted Hughes.

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, Ambrose Gwinett
(1842-1914?), American satirist, short-story writer, and journalist, born in Meigs County, Ohio. He settled in San Francisco and by 1868 had become editor of the News-Letter. He moved to London in 1872 and wrote for the magazines Fun and Figaro, under the pen name of Dod Grile. Bierce returned to San Francisco in 1877, writing for several publications including a column for the Sunday Examiner, owned by William Randolph Hearst. From 1899 until 1913 he worked for the Hearst interests in Washington, D.C. In 1913 he went to Mexico and disappeared; he is presumed to have died there. His Collected Works was published in 12 volumes (1909-1912).

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, Elizabeth
(1911-1979), American poet, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts.  When she was very young her father died, her mother was committed to a mental asylum, and she was sent to live with her grandparents in Nova Scotia.  She earned a bachelor's degree from Vassar College in 1934.  She was independently wealthy, and from 1935 to 1937 she spent time traveling to France, Spain, North Africa, Ireland and Italy and then settled in Key West, Florida, for four years.  Her poetry is filled with descriptions of her travels and the scenery which surrounded her, as with the Florida poems in her first book of verse, North and South, published in 1946.  She was influenced by the poet Marianne Moore, who was a close friend, mentor, and stabilizing force in her life.  Unlike her contemporary and good friend Robert Lowell, who wrote in the "confessional" style, Bishop's poetry avoids explicit accounts of her personal life, and focuses instead with great subtlety on her impressions of the physical world.  Her images are precise and true to life, and they reflect her own sharp wit and moral sense.  She lived for many years in Brazil, communicating with friends and colleagues in America only by letter.  She wrote slowly and published sparingly (her "Collected Poems" number barely a hundred), but the technical brilliance and formal variety of her work is astonishing.  Considered for years a "poet's poet," her last book, "Geography III", was published in 1976 and finally established her as a major force in contemporary literature.  Elizabeth Bishop was awarded the Fellowship of The Academy of American Poets in 1964 and served as a Chancellor from 1966 to 1979.  She died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1979, and her stature as a major poet continues to grow through the high regard of the poets and critics who have followed her.

Copyright © 1997-2000 by The Academy of American Poets

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, William
(1757-1827) was called by his contemporary Charles Lamb "the most extraordinary person of the age," while a reviewer of an exhibit of Blake's art in 1809 called these works "fresh proof of the alarming increase of the effects of insanity." These opposing views represent the two poles toward which most contemporary opinion of Blake gravitated. To many, he was an exceptional genius; to others he was a renegade madman. From the perspective of the twenty-first century, Blake is, if not the greatest Romantic poet, almost certainly the most intriguing. He is the only major figure to have achieved a reputation as both a poet and a painter, and he has remained an important but controversial creator in both arenas. William Blake was born on November 28, 1757, the third child of seven children of a London merchant, James Blake. Showing an artistic impulse from an early age, Blake abandoned formal schooling around the age of ten and enrolled in a drawing school. At fourteen he was apprenticed to the London master engraver James Bashire, under whose tutelage for seven years he learned the intricate techniques of engraving, etching, and printing. Although Blake left school early, he had an inquisitive mind and was a voracious reader, especially of the Milton, Shakespeare, and other major poets. By the age of twelve he had begun to write his own poetry and he also tried his hand at drama and composed essays on many subjects. In 1783, when Blake was twenty-five, a group of friends published a collection of his juvenile verse, his first appearance in print. By this time, however, Blake was firmly committed to his art, having produced his first independent print when he was sixteen. He would not publish his first work until 1788, when he was thirty-one.

In 1782 Blake married Catherine Boucher, the uneducated daughter of a gardener in Battersea, who, despite her illiteracy would prove an ideal wife and assistant to Blake in his art. Faced with providing for a wife, Blake in 1784 opened a London printshop in partnership with another engraver, taking in his younger brother Robert as an apprentice. Robert's untimely death in 1787 at the age of nineteen devastated Blake, who claimed after his brother's demise to be in constant communication with his spirit concerning the techniques of engraving, a fact that was perhaps not entirely shocking to family and friends who remembered Blake as a young boy claiming to have seen angels sitting in the branches of a tree near his home. Such assertions would fuel accusations both during and after his lifetime that Blake's mind hinged on madness. In 1788 Blake published All Religions Are One and There Is No Natural Religion, introducing to the world what he called "illuminated printing," a process of combining art and text that he claimed to have learned from his dead brother Robert. The following year he produced his first masterpiece of both literature and art, Songs of Innocence, a collection of nineteen illustrated poems. Four years later in 1793 he produced a companion volume, Songs of Experience, publishing the two collections the following year as Songs of Innocence and of Experience, his most famous work. In between, he produced several important examples of his illuminated printing, including The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790), his best-known work after the two Songs. In later works, such as Visions of the Daughters of Albion, The Book of Thel, The Book of Los, The Book of Urizen, and Jerusalem, Blake unveiled his complex mythology to explain man's history and his relationship to God. In other "prophetic books" such as America and Europe, Blake intermixed history and his personal mythology in a critique of modern society. Religion and mystical vision lie at the heart of William Blake's art and poetry. Even works that do not contain Blake's own writing, such as Illustrations of the Book of Job, his last completed book, reveal his interpretation of the Bible. Blake's work was his life, and his work incorporated his message to mankind. As he proclaimed in a letter to another artist, "Now I may say to you . . . that I can alone carry on my visionary studies . . . and that I may converse with my friends in Eternity, see Visions, Dream Dreams, and prophecy & speak Parables unobserv'd & at liberty from the Doubts of Other Mortals."

From the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, web site

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, Eavan
was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1944, the daughter of an Irish diplomat. Much of her early life and education occurred in London and New York. She is commonly acknowledged as Ireland's finest woman poet. She has been Writer In Residence at Trinity College and University College, Dublin, and has taught at Bowdoin College, Washington University, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. She was a member of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. She serves on the board of the Irish Arts Council and is a member of the Irish Academy of Letters. Her books of poetry include "In Her Own Image"(1980), "Night Feed" (1982), "The Journey and Other Poems" (1986), "Outside History: Selected Poems 1980-1990" (1990) – her American debut – , "In a Time of Violence" (1994), "An Origin Like Water: Collected Poems 1967-1987" (1996), and "The Lost Land" (1998). In addition to twelve books of poetry, Boland is also the author of a memoir: "Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time" (1995), and co-editor of "The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms" (with Mark Strand, 2000). Her awards include the 1994 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award. A regular reviewer for the Irish Times, she is currently Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University in California. She still maintains her home in Dublin.

© The Academy of American Poets and other sources.

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, Jorge Luis
(1899-1986), Argentine writer, whose challenging avant-garde poems and tales made him one of the foremost figures in Latin American and world literature. Early in his career, Borges helped found several literary and philosophical periodicals and wrote lyrical poetry on historical Argentine themes, as expressed in such collections as Fervor de Buenos Aires (1923). Beginning in 1955, he became director of the National Library and began teaching English at the University of Buenos Aires.
Borges is most famous for his short narrative fiction. His collections include Ficciones (1945), perhaps his most important; Dream Tigers (1960); and The Book of Imaginary Beings (1967). He also wrote philosophical and literary essays. In his writing Borges created a fantastic, totally subjective, and deeply metaphysical world, using his own symbolism.

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, Rupert Chawner
(1887-1915), English poet, was born in Rugby in 1887. At school Brooke excelled in both academics and athletics. A lover of verse since the age of nine, he won the school poetry prize in 1905. At King's College, Cambridge, he developed an interest in acting and was president of the University Fabian Society. Brooke published his first poems in 1909; his first book, Poems, appeared in 1911. Popular in both literary and political circles, he befriended Winston Churchill, Henry James, and members of the Bloomsbury Group, including Virginia Woolf. Although he was popular, Brooke had a troubled love life. Between 1908 and 1912 he fell in love with three women: Noel Olivier, youngest daughter of the governor of Jamaica; Ka Cox, who preceded him as president of the Fabian Society; and Cathleen Nesbitt, a British actress. None of the relationships were long lasting. In 1912, after his third romance failed, Brooke left England to travel in France and Germany for several months. Upon his return to England, Brooke received a fellowship at King's College and spent time in both Cambridge and London. In 1912 he compiled an anthology entitled Georgian Poetry, 1911-12, with Edward Marsh. The Georgian poets wrote in an anti-Victorian style, using rustic themes and subjects such as friendship and love. While critics viewed Brooke's poetry as too sentimental and lacking depth, they also considered his work a reflection of the mood in England during the years leading up to World War I. After experiencing a mental breakdown in 1913, Brooke traveled again, spending several months in America, Canada, and the South Seas. During his trip, he wrote essays about his impressions for the Westminster Gazette, which were collected in Letters From America (1916). While in the South Seas, he wrote some of his best poems, including "Tiare Tahiti" and "The Great Lover." He returned to England at the outbreak of World War I and enlisted in the Royal Naval Division. His most famous work, the sonnet sequence 1914 and Other Poems, appeared in 1915. Later that year, after taking part in the Antwerp Expedition, he died of blood poisoning (or malaria) from a mosquito bite while en route to Gallipoli with the Navy. He was buried on the island of Skyros in the Aegean Sea. Following his death, Brooke, who was already famous, became a symbol in England of the tragic loss of talented youth during the war.


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, Gwendolyn Elizabeth
(1917-2000), American poet. She was born in Topeka, Kansas, but moved as an infant to Chicago, where she lived her entire life. As a teenager, through her mother's urging, she met the leading black writers James Weldon Johnson and Langston Hughes, who encouraged her to write poetry. By age 16, Brooks had already published poetry in the Chicago Defender, the leading black American newspaper of that time. She participated in the vibrant literary scene of Chicago's South Side during the late 1930s and early 1940s, which included such important black writers as Richard Wright, Margaret Walker, Theodore Ward, Margaret Danner, Arna Bontemps, and Frank Marshall Davis. Brooks's poems began to appear in such leading journals and anthologies of the time as Negro Story and Edward Seaver's Cross Section series. During this period, she also won many prizes and fellowships, including two Guggenheim Fellowships. Brooks is noted for her use of short verse lines and casual rhymes. Her work has always depicted black struggles, and after 1968 she became more active and outspoken in attacking racial discrimination. Her first book of poems, "A Street in Bronzeville" (1945), was praised by critics as a clear and moving evocation of life in an urban black neighborhood. For "Annie Allen" (1949), Brooks was awarded the 1950 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Her other works include the novel "Maude Martha" (1953); the children's book "Bronzeville Boys and Girls" (1956); and the volumes of poetry "Riot" (1969), "To Disembark" (1981), and "BLACKS" (1987). After Carl Sandburg's death in 1967, Brooks was appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois, a post that she held until her death in Chicago on December 3, 2000.

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, Sterling A.
(1901-1989), was born in Washington, D.C., in 1901. He was educated at Dunbar High School and received a bachelor's degree from Williams College. He studied the work of Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, but was more interested in the works of Amy Lowell, Edgar Lee Masters, Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg. In 1923, he earned a master's degree from Harvard University and was employed as a teacher at the Virginia Seminary and College in Lynchburg until 1926. Three years later, Brown began teaching at Howard University and in 1932 his first book, Southern Road, was published.

His poetry was influenced by jazz, the blues, work songs and spirituals and, like Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Countee Cullen, and other black poets of the period, his writing expresses his concerns about race in America. Southern Road was well received by critics and Brown became part of the artistic tradition of the Harlem Renaissance, but with the arrival of the Depression, Brown could not find a publisher for his second book of verse. He turned to writing essays and focused on his career as a teacher at Howard, where he taught until his retirement in 1969. He finally published his second book of poetry, The Last Ride of Wild Bill, in 1975. Brown is known for his frank, unsentimental portraits of black people and their experiences, and the incorporation of African-American folklore and contemporary idiom into his verse. He died in 1989 in Takoma Park, Maryland.


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, Elizabeth Barrett
(1806-1861), English poet, political thinker, and feminist. She was born in Durham. Her highly regarded translation of Prometheus Bound, by Greek dramatist Aeschylus, appeared in 1833. In 1844 Barrett produced a volume of poems so highly regarded that in 1850, when William Wordsworth died, she was suggested as his successor as England's poet laureate. In 1845 English poet Robert Browning began to write to Elizabeth to praise her poetry. Their correspondence developed into a romance that was bitterly opposed by her father. In 1846 the couple eloped, settling in Florence, Italy. Elizabeth's Sonnets from the Portuguese, dedicated to her husband and secretly written before her marriage, was published in 1850. Her longest and most ambitious work is the poem Aurora Leigh (1856), in which she defends a woman's right to intellectual freedom and addresses the concerns of the female artist.

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, Robert
(1812-1889), English poet, especially noted for perfecting the dramatic monologue (literary composition in which the speaker reveals his or her character). He was born in Camberwell (now part of London). Browning's dramatic poem "Paracelsus" (1835) brought him into prominence among the contemporary literary figures. It was the first poem in which Browning used a Renaissance setting, a familiar motif in his later work. From 1841 to 1846, his series of poems Bells and Pomegranates was published.
In 1846 Browning married poet Elizabeth Barrett, and they settled in Florence, Italy. There he wrote a series of dramatic monologues, published collectively as Men and Women (1855). Following Elizabeth's death in 1861, Browning returned to London, where he wrote Dramatis Personae (1864) and what is regarded as his masterpiece, The Ring and the Book (4 vol., 1868-1869). This was the first poem that brought Browning widespread fame. In 1878 he returned to Italy, where he wrote the prose narrative Dramatic Idylls (1879 and 1880) and Asolando (1889).

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, Charles
(1920-1994), was born in Andernach, Germany in 1920 and came with his family to the United States when he was three years old. He grew up in poverty in Los Angeles, drifted extensively, and for much of his life made his home in San Pedro. Bukowski had been a writer since childhood, published his first story at age twenty four, and began publishing poetry when he was thirty-five. Bukowski is generally considered to be an honorary "beat writer", although he was never actually associated with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and the other bona fide beats. He was a prolific (it isn't known how much he had written; much of it was sent off to publishers long-hand and never seen again), free-formed, humorous, and painfully honest writer. His topics included hang-overs, the shit stains on his underwear, classical music, horse-racing and whores. He was at home with the people of the streets, the skid row bums, the hustlers, the transient life style. His language is the poetry of the streets viewed from the honesty of a hang-over. Most of Bukowski's work is based on his own experience. In 'Ham On Rye' we follow his autobiographical character, Henry Chinaski through his childhood and early years. Bukowski became widely known after the release of the movie 'Barfly'. Bukowski wrote the screenplay and was somewhat involved in the production of this film which featured Mickey Rourke in the role of Chinaski/Bukowski. Prior to the release of Barfly, Bukowski was best known by the public at large, for his novel Post Office. Although Barfly brought Hank to the masses in a big way, Bukowski is primarily known in literary circles for his poetry. He has stated that he does not consider himself a poet, but simply a writer. He has also made clear that he does not like "form" in poetry, referring to it as "a paycheck for learning to turn the same screw that has held things together." Charles Bukowski died on March 9, 1994 in his adopted hometown of San Pedro, California.

Condensed from Michael McCullough

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, George Gordon, Lord
(1788-1824), 6th Baron Byron of Rochdale, English poet. In both his works and his life he created the "Byronic hero" – a defiant, melancholy young man, brooding on some unforgivable sin in his past. The heroes of Byron's poems are generally swashbuckling brigands who perform heroic feats. His profligate father died when Byron was three years old, and he was raised in Scotland by his mother. He was educated at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge, receiving an M.A. there in 1808. In 1809 he took his seat in the House of Lords, having come into the family title and estates through the death of his great-uncle in 1798. In 1811, following a "Grand Tour" of Mediterranean countries, Byron published the first two cantos of "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage", a fictionalized account of his trip. It was an immediate success; Byron woke up one morning to find himself famous. In the next two years he published "The Giaour", "The Bride of Abydos","The Corsair", and "Lara". Byron married in 1815; however, his promiscuous behavior – he was the object of great admiration by women – destroyed his reputation. He separated the same year from his wife and new-born daughter, and moved to Switzerland, where he stayed with Percy and Mary Shelley long enough to father a daughter to their friend Claire Claremont. He left quickly for Italy, where he spent six years. He became involved in the Italian nationalist movement, partly through his love affair with a 17 year old Italian countess. In 1823, following the death of Percy Shelley, Byron outfitted a ship and sailed to Greece to take part in the battle for Greek independence. He died, fever-stricken, at Missolonghi in January, 1824. Byron's poetic output was never slowed by his political and personal adventures. While in Italy he finished "Childe Harold" and wrote the poetic narratives "The Siege of Corinth", "Parisina", and "The Prisoner of Chillon", and several poetic dramas. Among his masterpieces are his satires, such as "Beppo, The Vision of Judgement", in which he answers literary attacks, and "Don Juan", which – begun in 1819 – was still unfinished (after 16,000 lines!) when he died.

From "The Reader's Encyclopedia, © Th.Y.Crowell Co. 1965

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, Charles Stuart
(1831-1884), was an English poet and wit. He was the literary father of what has been called "the university school of humour". He was born at Martley, Worcestershire, and given the name Charles Stuart Blayds. In 1852, his father, the Rev. Henry Blayds, resumed the old family name of Calverley, which his grandfather had exchanged for Blayds in 1807. Charles went up to Balliol College, Oxford from Harrow School in 1850, and was soon known in Oxford as the most daring and high-spirited undergraduate of his time. He was a universal favourite, a delightful companion, a brilliant scholar and the playful enemy of all "dons." In 1851 he won the Chancellor's prize for Latin verse, but it is said that the entire exercise was written in an afternoon, when his friends had locked him into his rooms, refusing to let him out until he had finished what they were confident would prove the prize poem. A year later, to avoid the consequences of a college escapade (he had been expelled from Oxford), he too changed his name to Calverley and moved to Christ's College, Cambridge. Here he was again successful in Latin verse, the only undergraduate to have won the Chancellor's prize at both universities. In 1856 he took second place in the first class in the Classical Tripos. He was elected fellow of Christ's (1858), published Verses and Translations in 1862, and was called to the bar in 1865. Head injuries sustained in a skating accident prevented him from following a professional career, and during the last years of his life he was an invalid. He died of Bright's disease. His Translations into English and Latin appeared in 1866; his Theocritus translated into English Verse in 1869; Fly Leaves in 1872; and Literary Remains in 1885. His Complete Works, with a biographical notice by Walter Joseph Sendall, a contemporary at Christ's and his brother-in-law, appeared in 1901.

From Wikipedia.

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, Thomas
(1567-1620), English poet and musician. He is famous for his songs written to music of his own composition, collected in such volumes as "A Book of Airs" (1601), "Two Books of Airs" (c.1613), and "The Third and Fourth Books of Airs" (c.1617). His lyrics possess rare charm and freshness, as well as a melodiousness and metrical variety that reflect their musical origin. He was also the author of "Observation in the Art of English Poesy" (1602), an argument for the use of classical, quantitative meters in English verse, which prompted Samuel Daniel's "Defence of Ryme" (1602).

The Reader's Encyclopedia, T.Y.Crowell Co. 1965

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, Thomas
(1595-1639), English poet. One of the "Cavalier Poets". (Also known as the "Sons of Ben", these poets – including Herrick, Lovelace, and Suckling – acknowledged Ben Jonson as their literary 'father'. Like him, they emulated the ease and polish of the Latin lyricists. They met regularly with Jonson at the Apollo Room of the Devil Tavern in London. Membership in the 'tribe' implied a convivial as well as poetic relationship.) A courtier of Charles I, Carew was a sensualist and libertine who, it is said, repented on his deathbed. His work shows the influence of Donne as well as of Jonson: not only are there phrases, cadences, and themes reminiscent of Donne, but Carew's poetry has a richnesss of conceit and a play of intellect rare in Cavalier verse. In their essential spirit, however – their melody, grace, and polish – his poems reflect the art of Jonson. Carew wrote numerous songs and light love lyrics, such as the song "Ask Me No More Where Jove Bestows" and "Mediocrity in Love Rejected", and a number of more serious pieces distinguished by their perspicacity, tact, and feeling, such as the lovely epitaph on Maria Wentworth. His collected poetry appeared in the posthumous volume "Poems" (1640), and he was also the author of a masque, "Coelum Britannicum" (1633).

The Reader's Encyclopedia, T.Y.Crowell Co. 1965

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, Lewis
(1832-1898), English author, mathematician, and logician, best known for his creation of the immortal fantasy Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson in Daresbury, Cheshire, Carroll was a member of the faculty of mathematics at Oxford University. In 1865 he published under his pseudonym Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, appeared in 1871. These were followed by several other children's books. The Alice stories, which have made the name Lewis Carroll famous throughout the world and have been translated into many languages, were originally written in 1862 for Alice Liddell, a daughter of Henry George Liddell, dean of Christ Church College. On publication, the works, illustrated by the English cartoonist Sir John Tenniel, became immediately popular as books for children. Their subsequent appeal to adults is based on the ingenious mixture of fantasy and realism, gentle satire, absurdity, and logic.

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, Hayden
was born on August 3, 1921, in Waterbury, Connecticut, and was educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Chicago. For many years, Carruth lived in northern Vermont. He now lives in upstate New York, where until recently he taught in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University. Noted for the breadth of his linguistic and formal resources, influenced by jazz and the blues, Carruth has published twenty-nine books, chiefly of poetry but also a novel, four books of criticism, and two anthologies. His most recent books are "Reluctantly: Autobiographical Essays" (Copper Canyon press, 1998); "Selected Essays & Reviews;" "Collected Longer Poems;" "Collected Shorter Poems, 1946-1991" (awarded the National Book Critics' Circle Award); and "Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey" (1996), which won the National Book Award for Poetry. Informed by his political radicalism and sense of cultural responsibility, many of Carruth's best-known poems are about the people and places of northern Vermont, as well as rural poverty and hardship. He has been editor of Poetry, poetry editor of Harper's, and, for 20 years, an advisory editor of The Hudson Review. Carruth has received fellowships from the Bollingen Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 1995 Lannan Literary Fellowship. He has been presented with the Lenore Marshall Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Vermont Governor's Medal, the Carl Sandburg Award, the Whiting Award, and the Ruth Lilly Prize, among many others. Carruth died in New York in September, 2008.

© The Academy of American Poets

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, Guy Wetmore
(1873-1904), was born in New York City, the first-born of author Charles Edward Carryl and Mary R. Wetmore. When he was only 20 years old he had his first article published in The New York Times. He graduated from Columbia University in 1895 when he was 22 years of age. During his college years he had written plays for amateur performances. One of his professors was Harry Thurston Peck, who was scandalized by Carryl’s famous quote “It takes two bodies to make one seduction,” which was a somewhat risqué statement for those times. After graduation, in 1896 he became a staff writer for Munsey's Magazine under Frank Munsey and he was later promoted to managing editor of the magazine. Later he went to work for Harper's Magazine and was sent to Paris. While in Paris he wrote for Life, Outing, Munsey’s, and Collier’s, as well as his own independent writings. Some of Carryl's better-known works were his humorous poems that were parodies of Aesop's Fables, such as “The Sycophantic Fox and the Gullible Raven” and of Mother Goose nursery rhymes, such as “The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet,” poems which are still popular today. He also wrote a number of humorous parodies of Grimm's Fairy Tales, such as “How Little Red Riding Hood Came To Be Eaten” and “How Fair Cinderella Disposed of Her Shoe.” His humorous poems usually ended with a pun on the words used in the moral of the story:
You are only absurd when you get in the curd,
But you’re rude when you get in the whey.
—from “The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet”
Guy Carryl died in 1904 at age 31 at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. His death was thought to be a result of illness contracted from exposure while fighting a fire at his house a month earlier.

From Wikipedia

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, William
(1611-1643), English preacher, dramatist, and poet. Highly regarded by his contemporaries, Cartwright was one of the "Cavalier Poets", poets influenced by Ben Jonson. (Also known as the "Sons of Ben", these poets – including Carew, Herrick, Lovelace, and Suckling – acknowledged Ben Jonson as their literary 'father'. Like him, they emulated the ease and polish of the Latin lyricists. They met regularly with Jonson at the Apollo Room of the Devil Tavern in London. Membership in the 'tribe' implied a convivial as well as poetic relationship.) Cartwright's best-known plays are "The Ordinary" (1634) and "The Royal Slave" (1636), which were first presented at Oxford University.

The Reader's Encyclopedia, Th.Y.Crowell Co., 1965

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, Geoffrey
(1343?-1400), English poet, whose masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, greatly influenced the development of English literature. His life is known primarily through records of his long career as a courtier and civil servant under the English kings Edward III and Richard II. Chaucer wrote for a select audience of fellow courtiers and officials. The common theme of his earliest works is courtly love. His first important original work, The Book of the Duchess, is an elegy for John of Gaunt's first wife, who died in 1369. In this period, Chaucer also translated and adapted religious, historical, and philosophical works. Troilus and Criseyde, a poem of more than 8000 lines, is Chaucer's major work besides The Canterbury Tales. It is the tragic story of the Trojan prince Troilus and his beloved, Criseyde (Cressida). The Canterbury Tales is a collection of tales set within a story about a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral. The poet joins a band of pilgrims, vividly described in the General Prologue, who gather outside London for the journey to Canterbury. Ranging in status from a Knight to a humble Plowman, they are a microcosm of 14th-century English society. The Host proposes a storytelling contest to pass the time, with each of the pilgrims telling four tales on the round trip. The tales represent nearly every variety of medieval story at its best. The special genius of Chaucer's work, however, lies in the dramatic interaction between the tales and the framing story. The tales develop the personalities, quarrels, and diverse opinions of their tellers. The prologues and tales of the Wife of Bath and the Pardoner are high points of Chaucer's art. Although Chaucer satirizes the abuses of the church, he also includes a number of didactic and religious tales, concluding with the good Parson's sermon on penitence. Chaucer increased the prestige of English as a literary language and extended the range of its poetic vocabulary and meters. He was the first English poet to use iambic pentameter, the seven-line stanza called rhyme royal, and the couplet later called heroic. Chaucer greatly influenced other English writers such as Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and John Dryden. His reputation has been securely established as the English poet best loved after Shakespeare for his wisdom, humor, and depiction of humanity. On his death in 1400 he was buried in Westminster Cathedral.

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Chudleigh, Mary Lee, Lady (1656 - 1710). Chudleigh was self-educated in religious, scientific, and philosophical works. A friend of Mary Astell, Chudleigh acknowledged her intellectual debt to Astell. Both women formed part of the literary circle around Dryden. We know little of her relationship with her husband; some authors contend it was an unhappy marriage. Yet, whether her husband was a model for the misogynist boor, Sir John Brute in "The Ladies' Defence", or the lover who has the sense to prize wit in a woman with a beauteous mind, we do not know. We do know that he permitted her to both write and publish 3 feminist works during his lifetime and permitted them to be reprinted after her death. Although she did not publish until 10 years before her death, these works were reprinted 4 times before she died. Her poems were quoted in various anthologies throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and she was considered an important poet. Many of her poems had appeal to both men and women. Her best remembered feminist work, "The Ladies Defence: or the Bride-Woman's Counsellor" (1701), a dialogue Between Sir John Brute, Sir William Loveall, Melissa, and a Parson , is a response to a wedding sermon given by John Sprint in 1699 in which he advocated woman's total subjection to her husband. She explored themes that still resonate with feminists: "the negative attitudes of males and their demeaning expectations of women; the role of the church in propagating pernicious ideas about women, couched as protection of public morals; the duties of a wife to be silent, abjectly obedient, and tolerant of physical and psychological abuse; and the conventional dismissal of female education." Chudleigh believed that only single women could freely pursue intellectual interests. Her three feminist works, "The Ladies' Defence", "Poems on Several Occasions" (1703), which celebrates friendships among women, and "Essays upon Several Subjects" (1710) have been reprinted by Oxford University Press.
(From various sources)
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, Lucille
(1936-2010), was born Lucille Sayles and raised in Depew New York (a suburb of Buffalo). She attended Howard University from 1953 to 1955 and graduated from the State University of New York College at Fredonia in 1955. In 1958 she married Fred James Clifton. From 1971 to 1974 she was poet-in-residence at Coppin State College in Baltimore, and in 1979 she was named Poet Laureate of the state of Maryland. In 1969 Clifton's first book, a collection of poetry entitled Good Times, was published and named The New York Times as one of the year's 10 best books. In 1971 she became a writer in residence at Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland. Remaining at Coppin until 1974, she produced two further books of poetry, Good News About the Earth (1972) and An Ordinary Woman (1974). From 1982 to 1983 she was visiting writer at Columbia University School of the Arts and at George Washington University. Afterwards she taught literature and creative writing at the University of California at Santa Cruz (1985) and then at St.Mary's College of Maryland. Clifton's later poetry collections include Next: New Poems (1987), Quilting: Poems 1987-1990 (1991), and The Terrible Stories (1996). Generations: A Memoir (1976) is a prose piece celebrating her origins, and Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir: 1969-1980 (1987) collects some of her previously published verse. Clifton's many children's books, written expressly with an African-American audience in mind, include All Us Come Cross the Water (1973), My Friend Jacob (1980), and Three Wishes (1992). She also wrote an award-winning series of books featuring events in the life of Everett Anderson, a young black boy. These include Some of the Days of Everett Anderson (1970) and Everett Anderson's Goodbye (1983). Her children's books total over 20. Besides appearing in over 100 anthologies of poetry, she came to popular attention through television appearances on the "Today Show", "Sunday Morning", with Charles Kuralt, "Nightline" and Bill Moyers' series, "The Power of the Word". She received a Creative Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1970 and 1973, and a grant from The American Academy of Poets. She has received the Shelley Memorial Prize, the Charity Randall prize, the Shestack Prize from the American Poetry Review, and an Emmy Award. In 1988, she became the first author to have two books of poetry chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize (Good Woman: and Next: ). She is the author of numerous books of poetry. She was the Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary's College of Maryland from 1991 until her death on February 13, 2010.

From: Beckles, Frances N. 20 Black Women. Gateway Press. Baltimore 1978

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, Arthur Hugh
(1819-61) [pron. "Kluff"], English poet, born in Liverpool. His early childhood was spent at Charleston, South Carolina, but in 1828 he returned to England and was educated at Rugby School and the University of Oxford. He was a tutor at Oxford during the period of religious controversy surrounding the Oxford Movement, and he resigned in 1848 because he did not wish to subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. Clough then spent five years traveling and lecturing; in 1852 he visited the American poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson and lectured at Harvard University. The following year Clough became examiner in the Education Office in London, remaining there until poor health forced him to travel again in 1860. He died in Italy. Much of Clough's verse was experimental, including his first published work, Tober-na-Vuolich (1848), a narrative poem written in hexameters. Today Clough is most often identified with his short poem "Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth," published posthumously.

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, Amy
(1920-1994) was born and brought up on a 125-acre farm in New Providence, Iowa, graduated from Grinnell College in 1941, and from that time on lived mainly in New York City. She wrote poetry in high school, but then focused her energies on writing fiction instead. To support herself, she worked as a secretary at the Oxford University Press, a reference librarian at the Audubon Society, and a freelance editor. Not until the mid-1960s, when she was in her forties, did she return to writing poetry. Her work was self-published and appeared in a limited edition chapbook titled "Multitudes, Multitudes" (1974). Four years later (1978) her work appeared for the first time in the New Yorker. Her first full-length collection, "The Kingfisher", published in 1983, was followed in 1985 by "What the Light Was Like", in 1987 by "Archaic Figure", and in 1990 by "Westward". A Silence Opens, her last book, appeared in 1994. The recipient in 1982 of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1984 of an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, she was made a MacArthur Prize Fellow in 1992. She was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a Writer in Residence at the College of William and Mary, Visiting Writer at Amherst College, and Grace Hazard Conkling Visiting Writer at Smith College. She died of cancer at her home in Lenox, Massachusetts, in September 1994.

(From various sources)

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, Arthur Hugh
(1819-61) [pron. "Kluff"], English poet, born in Liverpool. His early childhood was spent at Charleston, South Carolina, but in 1828 he returned to England and was educated at Rugby School and the University of Oxford. He was a tutor at Oxford during the period of religious controversy surrounding the Oxford Movement, and he resigned in 1848 because he did not wish to subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. Clough then spent five years traveling and lecturing; in 1852 he visited the American poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson and lectured at Harvard University. The following year Clough became examiner in the Education Office in London, remaining there until poor health forced him to travel again in 1860. He died in Italy. Much of Clough's verse was experimental, including his first published work, Tober-na-Vuolich (1848), a narrative poem written in hexameters. Today Clough is most often identified with his short poem "Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth," published posthumously.

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, Samuel Taylor
(1772-1834), English poet, critic, and philosopher, who was a leader of the romantic movement. Coleridge was born in Ottery Saint Mary. He attended Jesus College, University of Cambridge, but he left Cambridge without a degree. In 1795 Coleridge began a lifelong friendship with the poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy. Together, the two men published Lyrical Ballads (1798), which contained the first great works of the romantic school, including Coleridge's famous "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Among other Coleridge poems were "Kubla Khan," "Christabel," "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison," "Frost at Midnight," and "The Nightingale." In 1798 Coleridge and Wordsworth went to the Continent. Coleridge stayed primarily in Germany, where he became interested in German philosophy. By this time Coleridge had become addicted to opium, a drug he used to ease the pain of rheumatism. In 1800 he returned to England, and between 1808 and 1819, he gave his famous series of lectures on literature and philosophy, including his famous lectures on English playwright William Shakespeare. In 1816 Coleridge, still addicted to opium and estranged from his family, took residence in the London home of physician James Gillman. There he wrote his major prose work, Biographia Literaria (1817) and other works. Coleridge is recognized today as a lyrical poet and literary critic of the first rank. His treatises, lectures, and compelling conversational powers made him perhaps the most influential English literary critic and philosopher of the 19th century.

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, Billy
, was born in New York City in 1941. He is the author of six books of poetry, including 'Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems' (2001); 'Picnic, Lightning' (1998); 'The Art of Drowning' (1995), which was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; 'Questions About Angels' (1991), which was selected for the National Poetry Series; 'The Apple That Astonished Paris' (1988); 'Video Poems' (1980); and 'Pokerface' (1977). A recording of Collins reading thirty-three of his poems, 'The Best Cigarette', was released in 1997. Collins's poetry has appeared in anthologies, textbooks, and a variety of periodicals, including Poetry, American Poetry Review, American Scholar, Harper's, Paris Review, and The New Yorker. His work has been featured in the Pushcart Prize anthology and The Best American Poetry for 1992, 1993, and 1997. He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. For several years he has conducted summer poetry workshops in Ireland at University College Galway. He is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College, City University of New York where he has taught for the past 30 years, and a visiting writer at Sarah Lawrence College. Some quotes from fellow writers: "I have never before felt possessive about a poet, but I am fiercely glad that Billy Collins is ours – smart, his strings tuned and resonant, his wonderful eye looping over the things, events and ideas of the world, rueful, playful, warm-voiced, easy to love." -- Annie Proulx. "Billy Collins writes lovely poems. Limpid, gently and consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides." -- John Updike.  Collins is the Library of Congress's eleventh American Poet Laureate, serving for 2001-2002. He lives in Somers, New York.

Various sources.
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, James D.
(1869–1917), was born in Michigan. He was raised in the predominantly white community of South Haven by his grandfather, a man of Cherokee and Scotch-Irish ancestry. He moved to Muskegon at age fourteen, supporting himself and his grandfather. Shortly thereafter he moved to Indiana, then to Springfield, Ohio, working as a laborer. There, in his teens, he began his literary career, publishing a poem, “The Deserted School House”, in the local newspaper. Moving to Chicago at eighteen, he met journalist-reformer Henry Demarest Lloyd and showed him some poems. Lloyd arranged for their publication in the Chicago Tribune, getting Corrothers a custodial job in the Tribune offices. Corrothers was soon asked to do an article on Chicago's African American elite. He was chagrined when the story appeared, rewritten by a white reporter in a way that stereotyped its subjects. The paper's editor refused to pay him for his efforts, and he resigned. Corrothers returned to day labor and even did some boxing, but remained dedicated to writing. In 1890 he appeared before Thomas Fortune's National Afro-American League, reading his poem “The Psalm of the Race”, a work protesting American discrimination but predicting a brighter future. Beginning in 1890, Corrothers entered Northwestern University, where he studied until 1893. Leaving Northwestern, Corrothers did freelance reporting for Chicago dailies. Influenced by humorist Finley Peter Dunne, Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, and dialect poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, he also began writing dialect poetry and sketches for the Chicago Journal, focusing on working-class African American urban life. These pieces brought him his first popularity; nevertheless, within a year, aware that racism limited his opportunities in journalism, he entered the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) ministry, subsequently taking posts in Bath, New York, and in Red Bank and Hackensack, New Jersey. Forced by scandal from the AME Church in 1902, he soon reentered the field as a Baptist. In the last two years of his life, he became a Presbyterian, pastoring a church in Westchester, Pennsylvania. Corrothers's ministerial career did not exclude further literary work. He continued to find success in dialect. His sentimental “‘Way in de Woods, an’ Nobody Dar” appeared in one of America's leading magazines, Century, in 1899, quickly followed there by other dialect pieces. He also collected and published his newspaper sketches in book form as The Black Cat Club (1902). The Black Cat Club was, and has remained, Corrothers's most noted work, its urban setting marking him as an innovator within the dialect tradition. Corrothers also integrated authentic folk materials into his sketches, although his “dialect” came more from literary than from folk sources. The book's real strength was its satire, including a thinly veiled attack on Booker T. Washington and even on the uncritical vogue for dialect within African American letters. Corrothers was ambivalent about dialect and later said he regretted having written the book; he was no less ambivalent about the African American working classes, whose lives the book portrayed. Still, along with his earlier work, The Black Cat Club gave him a national audience, one he continued to cultivate through such poems as the self-reflective “Me ‘N’ Dunbar” (1903) and “An Awful Problem Solved” (1903), which turned the form toward protest. Corrothers also worked increasingly in standard English, writing sentimental pieces and protest verse. Among the more important was “The Snapping of the Bow” (1901), condemning racism but expressing the belief that, ultimately, “the race might rise.” Toward the end of his career, reflecting a less sanguine perspective, Corrothers wrote “At the Closed Gate of Justice” (1913), protesting the apparently intractable character of American racial injustice. Also toward the end of his career, Corrothers returned to prose. Most notable was a two-part story, “A Man They Didn’t Know” (1913–1914), predicting a war pitting the United States against dark-skinned Japanese and Mexican enemies, one in which he portrayed African American loyalty as an uncertain but crucial factor. He also published his autobiography, In Spite of the Handicap (1916), seeking to justify his career and his views of American racial problems. Corrothers was one of the most widely published African American writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As a result, he did much to bring visibility to African American letters.


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, William
(1731-1800), English pre-romantic poet, who wrote about simple pleasures of country life and expressed a deep concern with human cruelty and suffering. He was born in Great Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire. He suffered from a religious mania with periods of acute depression – he was convinced that he was excluded from salvation – and intermittent attacks of insanity. Upon his release from an asylum, he lived with the evangelical cleric Morley Unwin and his wife, Mary. His poetic career began late in life, with the production of hymns, didactic verse, nature lyrics, and religious poetry. He collaborated with the curate John Newton in writing Olney Hymns (1779). Cowper is best known for the humorous ballad "The Diverting History of John Gilpin" (1783) and the poem praising rural life, "The Task" (1785), written in a conversational style of blank verse. He also translated Homer. Cowper was interested in freeing English verse from the facility of the followers of Pope. "Give me a manly rough line," he writes, "with a deal of meaning in it, rather than a whole poem full of musical periods, that have nothing but their oily smoothness to recommend them."

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, Stephen
(1871-1900), American novelist and poet, one of the first American exponents of the naturalistic style of writing. Crane is known for his pessimistic and often brutal portrayals of the human condition, but his stark realism is relieved by poetic charm and a sympathetic understanding of character.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, Crane began work in 1891, in New York City, as a freelance reporter in the slums. The job provided him with material for his first novel, Maggie, a Girl of the Streets (1893), a work that won praise from American writers Hamlin Garland and William Dean Howells but was not a popular success. Crane's next novel, The Red Badge of Courage (1895), gained international recognition as a penetrating and realistic psychological study of a young soldier in the American Civil War (1861-1865). In addition to being a novelist, journalist, and short-story writer, Crane was also an innovator in free verse techniques.

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, Countee
(1903-1946), American poet, born in New York City, a prominent member of the Harlem Renaissance. Cullen was essentially a lyric poet whose work was influenced by that of the English poet John Keats. Much of Cullen's best work dealt with themes pertinent to the lives of black Americans, but without emphasizing dialect or stereotypes; he perceived art as universal. He established his reputation with his first book, the poetry collection "Color" (1925). His other volumes of poetry include "Copper Sun" (1927); "The Ballad of the Brown Girl" (1928); "The Black Christ and Other Poems" (1929); "The Medea and Some Poems (1935); and "On These I Stand" (published posthumously, 1947), his own selection of poems by which he wished to be remembered. Cullen also wrote a novel dealing with life in Harlem, "One Way to Heaven" (1931), and two children's books: "The Lost Zoo" (1940) and "My Lives and How I Lost Them" (1942).

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, E(dward) E(stlin)
(1894-1962), American poet, who was one of the most radically experimental and inventive writers of the 20th century. He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During World War I (1914-1918) he spent three months in a French military detention camp on a false charge, an experience on which he based the autobiographical prose work "The Enormous Room" (1922). Cummings's poetic style is characterized by the use of only lowercase letters; distortions of syntax; unusual punctuation; new words; and a liberal use of jazz rhythms, elements of popular culture, and slang. His works include "Tulips and Chimneys" (1923); "him" (1927), a play in verse and prose; "CIOPW" (1931), a collection of drawings and paintings; "i: six nonlectures" (1953); and "95 Poems" (1958).

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, Eunice
(1940-2017) was born in Pune, India and received her early education there. She received an MA from Marquette University in Wisconsin and a Ph.D. from Bombay in 1988. She headed the Department of English in St. Xavier's College, Bombay, and was a leading theater and literary critic, having written extensively on contemporary literature and culture. She also wrote four books for children, and was the co-editor of "Statements" (1976), an anthology of Indian prose in English. Her collections of verse are "Fix" (1979), "Women in Dutch Painting" (1988), and "Ways of Belonging: New and Selected Poems" (1990); the last of these was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. De Souza died on July 29, 2017.

Various sources.

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, Emily Elizabeth
(1830-1886), American poet, whose lyrics are personal, psychologically astute treatments of such themes as love, death, and immortality. Dickinson is recognized as one of the greatest and most influential American writers of verse. She was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. Dickinson wrote profoundly original poetry. Her literary mentor, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, recognized Dickinson's genius, but advised her not to publish her work because of its violation of contemporary literary convention. After Dickinson's death, Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd edited the 1800 poems found among her papers into the first published selection of her work, Poems (1890), which enjoyed great popular success. Dickinson most frequently wrote her poems, compressed into brief stanza forms, in a few different combinations of iambic tetrameter and trimeter lines. She also employed partial rhyme schemes, which became common in the next century. Dickinson's complex syntax draws a rich variety of connotations from many common words. Her imagery and metaphors derive both from an acute observation of nature and from a powerful imagination. In addition to the 1890 selection, her published works include Poems: Second Series (1891), Poems: Third Series (1896), and The Single Hound (1914). A three-volume edition of her letters appeared in 1958.

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, Wayne
(b. 1930). Dodd is a multi-talented individual with three distinct careers – writer, editor and teacher. For more than 40 years, he has published poems, essays, articles and interviews in hundreds of literary and scholarly journals and magazines in the United States and abroad. Dodd, described as an inspiring teacher and a perceptive and brilliant essayist, continues to extend a body of work that includes eight acclaimed collections of poetry, a book of essays on poetry, a novel and a children’s book. Dodd’s latest works include "The Blue Salvages", "Of Desire & Disorder" and "Echoes of the Unspoken". His contemporaries call Dodd "the rarest of beings" who writes beautiful and inspiring poetry. Poet William Heyen wrote, "Wayne Dodd seems to me to be one of our best poets. I know he is one of my necessary ones." His numerous awards and honors include a Residency Fellowship at the Rockefeller Foundation International Study Center in Bellagio, Italy, the Krout Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry from the Ohioana Library Association and nominations for the Pulitzer Prize and the Patterson Award in Poetry. Dodd has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council and the United States Park Service. He is an Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor of English at Ohio University and award-winning editor of the influential literary journal The Ohio Review.

Various sources.

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, John
(1572-1631), English poet, prose writer, and clergyman. Donne was born in London. At the age of 11 he entered the University of Oxford, where he studied for three years. He began the study of law in 1592, and about two years later he joined the Anglican church. His first book of poems, Satires, is considered one of Donne's most important works. In 1598 Donne was appointed private secretary to Sir Thomas Egerton, Keeper of the Great Seal. In 1601 Donne secretly married Egerton's niece, and he was dismissed from his position and briefly imprisoned. During the next few years Donne worked as a lawyer. His principal literary accomplishment during this period was Divine Poems (1607). In 1608 he was reconciled with his father-in-law. His next work, Pseudo-Martyr (1610), maintained that English Roman Catholics could pledge an oath of allegiance to James I, king of England. This work won him the favor of the king. Donne became a priest of the Anglican church in 1615 and was appointed royal chaplain later that year. He attained eminence as a preacher and continued to write poetry, notably his Holy Sonnets (1618). In 1621 James I appointed him dean of Saint Paul's Cathedral, a position he held until his death. Donne's poetry is known for its complex imagery and irregularity of form. He frequently employed elaborate metaphors to make striking syntheses of apparently unrelated objects or ideas. His intellectuality, introspection, and use of colloquial diction contrasted with the smooth, elegant verse of his day. The content of his love poetry represents a reaction against the sentimental Elizabethan sonnet, and this work influenced the attitudes of the Cavalier poets. Other 17th-century religious poets influenced by Donne, and referred to as the metaphysical poets, include Richard Crashaw, George Herbert, and Henry Vaughan.

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, Hilda
(1886-1961), who wrote under the name "H.D.", was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. When she was still at school she became engaged to the young poet Ezra Pound, who was studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Her engagement to Pound ended, but later, after poor grades and ill health forced her to leave Bryn Mawr College in her sophomore year, she met Pound again in London in 1911 and became a member of the literary movement he was founding, called imagism. At Pound's suggestion, she wrote for a while under the name "H.D.Imagiste", later shortening this to "H.D." Her life in London was turbulent and unhappy. She married one of the imagist group, Richard Aldington, but he began an affair with another woman after H.D. had a miscarriage, and she ended the marriage, desperately poor and ill. For several months she was emotionally dependent upon the writer D.H. Lawrence, but he abruptly ended the relationship. Finally, in 1919, when H.D. was pregnant after a brief affair with a new lover she was rescued by a wealthy Englishwoman, the writer Winifred Ellerman, who wrote under the name of Bryher. Bryher took over her life, and they remained together, despite occasional separations, until 1946, when their relationship ended. H.D. wrote continually, though for many years she felt she had exhausted her themes and refused to publish. In 1960 she was the first woman to receive the Award of Merit Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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, [George] Norman
(1868-1952), British novelist, travel writer, and essayist, b. Scotland (some sources say Capri). He spent the years from 1894 to 1896 in diplomatic service in Russia but resigned from the foreign service in 1896. Douglas lived for many years on the island of Capri and in Italy and other Mediterranean countries, and made these the settings for his books. His best-known novel, "South Wind" (1917), which is set on "Nepenthe", an invented Mediterranean island much like Capri, satirizes everything from colonial history to conventional morality. An art lover and a scholar of broad interests (biology, geology, archaeology, and classics), he was also a hedonist and skeptic. Douglas was an expert in the folklore of gypsies and spoke their language (Romany) fluently. His interests are uniquely blended in his books. In "Siren Land" (1911), his first book, he established his style. It is a traveler's lively description of Sorrento and Capri, interspersed with learned, fantastic, and lightly satirical essays. "Fountains in the Sand" (1912) is about Tunisia, and "Old Calabria" (1915), considered his best travel book, is about southern Italy. The novels "They Went" (1920) and "In the Beginning" (1927) are fantasies about mankind's early history. Among Douglas's other books are "London Street Games" (1916); "Birds and Beasts of the Greek Anthology" (1927); "Some Limericks" (1928); "How About Europe?" (1929) – a claim that Christianity is causing the decay of our society, and "Looking Back" (1933), a fragmentary autobiography.

From "A Reader's Encyclopedia" and other sources.

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, Rita
was born in Akron, Ohio in 1952. After graduating with a B.A. degree summa cum laude from Miami University in Ohio in 1973, she received a Fulbright award to study at the University of Tübingen in Germany. Dove completed a Master's degree in creative writing at the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1977, and joined the faculty of Arizona State University in 1981. She has held editorial positions on such journals as Callaloo, Gettysburg Review and TriQuarterly. She received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1983 and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets in 1986. She then wrote "Thomas and Beulah" (1986), a collection of poems based on her grandparents' lives, which earned her the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1987. Dove's early works of poetry include "The Yellow House on the Corner" (1980) and "Museum" (1983). These works won praise from reviewers for their technical excellence and breadth of subject matter. Her other poetry collections include "Grace Works" (1989), "Selected Poems" (1993), and "Mother's Love" (1995). She has also published novels, short stories, and essays. At age 40, Dove became the youngest person and first African American to be honored as U.S. Poet Laureate, a title she held from 1993 through 1995. In addition to honorary doctorates from Miami University and Knox College, she has received several awards which include, in 1993, the NAACP Great American Artist Award and, in 1994, the Renaissance Forum Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library as well as the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement. At present, she teaches at the University of Virginia. She lives in Charlottesville with her novelist husband Fred Viebahn and their daughter.

(From various sources)

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, Michael
(1563-1631), English poet, born in Hartshill, Warwickshire. His "Harmonie of the Church" (1591), a rendering of scriptural passages in verse, offended the archbishop of Canterbury and was publicly burned. Soon thereafter Drayton wrote "Idea, the Shepherd's Garland" (1593), consisting of nine pastoral poems; "Idea's Mirror" (1594), a collection of love sonnets; and the historical poem "Mortimeriados" (1596). The ambitious "Polyolbion", a patriotic description of England, appeared in 1612 and 1622. His "Nymphidia, the Court of Faëry" (1627), a poem of imaginative fancy, and his narrative poem "The Ballad of Agincourt" (1605) are considered his finest works. Among his other writings are the historical poems "Piers Gaveston" (1593), "Matilda" (1594), and "Robert, Duke of Normandy" (1596).

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Dunbar, Paul Laurence
(1872-1906) is acknowledged as the first important black poet in American literature. The son of Kentucky slaves, Dunbar was born on June 27, 1872, in Dayton, Ohio, and was raised by his mother alone. The only black student at Central High School, Paul was the class president, the class poet (and writer of the class song), the editor of the school newspaper, and the president of its literary club, the "Philomathean Society". He graduated with honors in 1891. In December, 1890, Dunbar and an associate, Preston Finley, published the first issue of the "Dayton Tattler", a black-oriented weekly newspaper owned by Orville and Wilbur Wright. After some years of menial work, and without having been able to study at college, Dunbar published his first book of verse, "Oak and Ivy" (1893) and met Frederick Douglass in Chicago, who helped bring him into literary circles. Five other volumes of poetry followed: "Majors and Minors" (1895), "Lyrics of Lowly Life" (1896), "Lyrics of the Hearthside", "Poems of Cabin and Field" (1899), and "Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow" (1905). Dunbar eventually gained popularity throughout the country because of his dialect poems and the positive reviews his work received from the eminent novelist William Dean Howells, writing in Harper's Weekly in 1896. This recognition by America's greatest critic was the beginning of Dunbar's national reputation. Dunbar earned his living from stories, novels, essays, poetry, and lectures. After separating from his wife in 1902, Dunbar returned to his mother's home in Dayton, where he died from alcoholism and tuberculosis on February 9, 1906, at the age of 33.

© Toronto University and other sources.

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, Stephen
(b.1939) was born in New York City. He earned a B.A. in history and English from Hofstra University, attended the New School Writing Workshops, and finished his M.A. in creative writing at Syracuse University. Dunn has worked as a professional basketball player, an advertising copywriter, and an editor, as well as a professor of creative writing. Dunn's books of poetry include Everything Else in the World (W. W. Norton, 2006); Local Visitations (2003); Different Hours (2000), winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry; Loosestrife (1996); New and Selected Poems: 1974-1994 (1994); Landscape at the End of the Century (1991); Between Angels (1989); Local Time (1986), winner of the National Poetry Series; Not Dancing (1984); Work & Love (1981); A Circus of Needs (1978); Full of Lust and Good Usage (1976); and Looking For Holes In the Ceiling 1974. He is also the author of Walking Light: Memoirs and Essays on Poetry(BOA Editions, 2001), and Riffs & Reciprocities: Prose Pairs (1998). Dunn's other honors include the Academy Award for Literature, the James Wright Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He has taught poetry and creative writing and held residencies at Wartburg College, Wichita State University, Columbia University, University of Washington, Syracuse University, Southwest Minnesota State College, Princeton University, and University of Michigan. Dunn is currently Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing and lives in Port Republic, New Jersey.


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, Paul
was born in Dublin, Ireland on October 16, 1944. He studied archaeology and medieval history at University College Cork, from which he graduated with first class honours. He began publishing his poetry in the late 1960's, in small magazines, most notably The Holy Door with whose editor, Brian Lynch, he co-wrote and published his first book, "Endsville" in 1967. In 1974 he won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, which encouraged him to publish his first solo volume, "O Westport in the Light of Asia Minor" (1975). He went on to publish three more collections and a long poem, "Ark of the North" (1982), but did not come to widespread attention until the publication of "The Selected Paul Durcan" in 1982. His 1985 collection, "The Berlin Wall Café", secured his place as one of Ireland's foremost contemporary authors, and was awarded the Poetry Book Society choice. It is still regarded by many as his most important work. In 1985 Durcan was resident poet at the Frost Place, New Hampshire, USA. His poetry readings have taken him, in addition to the British Isles, to Canada, Holland, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Germany, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and Brazil. In October 1989 he received the Irish American Cultural Institute Poetry Award, and in 1990 the Whitbread Poetry Award for his book "Daddy, Daddy". In the same year he was Writer in Residence at Trinity College, Dublin. He was jointly awarded the Heinemann Bequest, 1995, by the Royal Society for Literature. Durcan makes his home in Dublin.

Largely from the web site:

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