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Auslander, Joseph (11 October 1897–22 June 1965), poet, editor, and translator  

Richard Boudreau

Auslander, Joseph (11 October 1897–22 June 1965), poet, editor, and translator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Louis Auslander and Martha Asyueck. He attended Columbia University from 1914 to 1915, then transferred to Harvard, receiving his B.A. in 1917. In 1919 he became an instructor in English at Harvard. He pursued graduate studies there until 1924, with the interruption of one year (1921–1922) at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he went on a Parker Traveling Fellowship. His poetry began to appear in national magazines in 1919, and his first volume, ...

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Cover Bontemps, Arna Wendell (13 October 1902–04 June 1973)

Bontemps, Arna Wendell (13 October 1902–04 June 1973)  

In 

Arna Bontemps Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1939. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100856).

Article

Bontemps, Arna Wendell (13 October 1902–04 June 1973), writer  

Robert E. Fleming

Bontemps, Arna Wendell (13 October 1902–04 June 1973), writer, was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, the son of Paul Bismark Bontemps, a bricklayer, and Maria Carolina Pembroke, a schoolteacher. He was reared in Los Angeles, where his family moved when he was three. He graduated from Pacific Union College in Angwin, California, in 1923....

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Cover Braithwaite, William Stanley Beaumont (06 December 1878–08 June 1962)

Braithwaite, William Stanley Beaumont (06 December 1878–08 June 1962)  

Maker: Carl Van Vechten

In 

William Stanley Braithwaite Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1947. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 12735, no. 142 P&P).

Article

Braithwaite, William Stanley Beaumont (06 December 1878–08 June 1962), poet, critic, and anthologist  

Dalton Gross and MaryJean Gross

Braithwaite, William Stanley Beaumont (06 December 1878–08 June 1962), poet, critic, and anthologist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of William Smith Braithwaite and Emma DeWolfe. Of his two preoccupations—American poetry and the status of African Americans—the second clearly had its origins in an unusual cultural heritage. The Braithwaite family, of mixed Black and white descent, was wealthy and held prominent positions in British Guiana. Braithwaite’s father studied medicine in London but quit because of apparent mental strain and moved to Boston, where he married DeWolfe, whose family had been enslaved. His father remained aloof from neighbors, educating his children at home. Braithwaite’s autobiography mentions no employment held by his father, whose death, when his son was eight years old, left the family destitute....

Article

Clarke, Mary Bayard Devereux (1827-1886), poet and editor  

William S. Powell

Clarke, Mary Bayard Devereux (13 May 1827–30 March 1886), poet and editor, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the daughter of Thomas Pollock Devereux—Yale graduate, lawyer, and owner of several large plantations—and Catherine Anne Johnson, great-granddaughter of Samuel Johnson (1696–1772), first president of King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York. Among her other ancestors were five colonial governors. Her brother, John, was educated at Yale; and after her mother’s death in 1836, Mary and her sisters were taught at home by an English governess who closely followed the Yale course of study....

Article

Dunbar-Nelson, Alice (1875-1935), poet, journalist, and political activist  

Janel Telhorst

Dunbar-Nelson, Alice (19 July 1875–18 September 1935), poet, journalist, and political activist, was born Alice Ruth Moore in New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of Joseph Moore, a seaman, and Patricia Wright, a seamstress. Dunbar-Nelson graduated from Straight College (now Dillard University) and began her teaching career at a New Orleans elementary school in 1892....

Article

Henderson, Alice Corbin (1881-1949), poet and author  

H. Allen Anderson

Henderson, Alice Corbin (16 April 1881–18 July 1949), poet and author, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Fillmore Mallory Corbin and Lulu Hebe. After her mother died from tuberculosis in 1884, Alice moved frequently among family members. Educated in schools in Illinois, Missouri, and Virginia, she became at an early age enamored with the works of Victorian English and American poets. Her first book of poems, ...

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Kennedy, William Sloane (1850-1929), biographer, poet, and anthologist  

Jerome Loving

Kennedy, William Sloane (26 September 1850–04 August 1929), biographer, poet, and anthologist, was born in Brecksville, Ohio, now a suburb of Cleveland, the son of the Reverend William Sloane Kennedy, a Presbyterian minister, and Sarah Eliza Woodruff. Kennedy attended Miami University of Ohio and Yale University, where he graduated in 1875. He then taught at Yale for the next two years. During 1877–1878 he attended the Meadville Theological Seminary (then a hotbed of Unitarian activity) in Pennsylvania, while also teaching locally. He studied at Harvard Divinity School between 1878 and 1880 but left without taking a degree. Rather than follow his father in the ministry, he embarked on a literary career and began working for the Philadelphia ...

Article

Lawson, James (1799-1880), editor, author, and insurance broker  

Ali Lang-Smith

Lawson, James (09 November 1799–24 March 1880), editor, author, and insurance broker, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of James Lawson, a merchant. His mother’s identity is not known. Lawson entered the University of Glasgow at the age of thirteen but presumably did not graduate because he left Scotland in 1815. Settling in New York, he worked as an accountant in the firm of Alexander Thomson & Co., which was owned by and named for his maternal uncle. Lawson became a member of the firm in 1822 and remained there until 1826, when the company failed. This turned out to be a rather opportune event; Lawson had been sending submissions of his writing to his long-time friend James G. Brooks, one of the founders of the weekly ...

Article

O’Brien, Edward Joseph Harrington (1890-1941), poet, editor, and anthologist  

Roy S. Simmonds

O’Brien, Edward Joseph Harrington (10 December 1890–24 February 1941), poet, editor, and anthologist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Michael Francis O’Brien, a bookkeeper, and Minna Gertrude Hallahan. When he was seven years old, his father left the family home and was never heard of again. O’Brien and his younger brother were brought up in devout Catholic tradition by their mother and maternal grandmother....

Article

Pool, Rosey E. (7 May 1905–29 Sep. 1971), poet, anthologist, and translator  

Lonneke Geerlings

Pool, Rosey E. (7 May 1905–29 Sep. 1971), poet, anthologist, and translator, was born Rosa Eva Pool in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the eldest of two children of cigar dealer Louis Pool and domestic worker Jacoba Jessurun, both of Jewish descent. Pool started studying Germanic Languages at the University of Amsterdam in ...

Article

Sargent, Epes (1813-1880), author and editor  

Robert L. Gale

Sargent, Epes (27 September 1813–30 December 1880), author and editor, was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the son of Epes Sargent, a shipmaster, and Hannah Dane Coffin. In 1818 the family moved to Boston, where the father became a merchant before returning to the sea. Young Sargent attended the Boston Latin School from 1823 until 1829, during which time he interrupted his studies to accompany his father on a voyage to St. Petersburg, Russia. It is said, but evidently cannot be confirmed, that Sargent then briefly enrolled at Harvard....

Article

Smith, Elihu Hubbard (1771-1798), medical practitioner, man of letters, and founder of the first national American medical journal  

Stanley L. Block

Smith, Elihu Hubbard (04 September 1771–19 September 1798), medical practitioner, man of letters, and founder of the first national American medical journal, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the son of Reuben Smith, a physician, and Abigail Hubbard. Smith entered Yale College at the age of eleven and received a B.A. in 1786. He spent an additional year in academic study under ...

Article

Stoddard, Richard Henry (1825-1903), poet, critic, and editor  

Robert L. Gale

Stoddard, Richard Henry (02 July 1825–12 May 1903), poet, critic, and editor, was born in Hingham, Massachusetts, the son of Reuben Stoddard and Sophia Gurney. In 1828 his father, the master and part owner of a ship, was lost at sea. Stoddard and his mother lived briefly with her puritanical in-laws and then in squalor with her own improvident relatives in mill towns. When she married another sailor, the three lived in New York City beginning in 1835. Stoddard went to school, read voraciously from 1840, but then went to work to help support the family. He was an errand boy, an office boy, a scrivener, a bookkeeper, and—from 1843 to 1845—an apprentice iron molder....

Article

Teasdale, Sara (1884-1933), poet and anthologist  

Carol B. Schoen

Teasdale, Sara (08 August 1884–29 January 1933), poet and anthologist, was born Sarah Trevor Teasdale in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of John Warren Teasdale, a successful dry foods merchant, and Mary Elizabeth Willard. Called “Sadie” by her family (she later dropped the ...

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Untermeyer, Louis (1885-1977), poet and anthologist  

Joel Athey

Untermeyer, Louis (01 October 1885–19 December 1977), poet and anthologist, was born in New York City, the son of Emanuel Untermeyer, a prosperous jewelry manufacturer, and Julia Michael. As a child, Untermeyer wanted to become a concert pianist. Instead, he dropped out of high school at age fifteen and joined the family business. He spent twenty-two years as a salesman, designer, and finally vice president in the firm. At twenty-one he married Jean Starr ( ...