Peter Streckfus is an American poet. His first book, The Cuckoo, won the 2003 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition, chosen by Louise Glück, his second book, won Fordham University Press's 2013 POL Editor's Prize. His honors include the 2013-14 Brodsky Rome Prize Fellowship in Literature at the American Academy in Rome, he is a professor of English at George Mason University. Peter Streckfus. Errings. Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-823-25776-8. Peter Streckfus; the Cuckoo. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10271-0. Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists featuring Peter Streckfus. Edited by Nan Cuba and Riley Robinson. Author Page: peterstreckfus.com >ReviewsMicroreview: Peter Streckfus, The Cuckoo, The Boston Review, April 1, 2005, Garth Greenwell Poets' Corner, The Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2004, Carol Muske-Dukes The Cuckoo, The Constant Critic, September 11, 2004, Ray McDaniel The Cuckoo, The Missouri Review, Volume 27, Number 2, Summer 2004 The Cuckoo, The Virginia Quarterly Review, October 1, 2004, John Casteen, IV "The Cuckoo", Electronic Poetry Review, Amy Schroeder, Issue 7
Margaret Walker was an American poet and writer. She was part of the African-American literary movement in Chicago, known as the Chicago Black Renaissance, her notable works include the award-winning poem "For My People" and the novel Jubilee, set in the South during the American Civil War. Walker was born in Birmingham, Alabama, to Sigismund C. Walker, a minister, Marion Walker, who helped their daughter by teaching her philosophy and poetry as a child, her family moved to New Orleans. She attended school there, including several years of college. In 1935, Walker received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Northwestern University. In 1936 she began work with the Federal Writers' Project under the Works Progress Administration of the President Franklin D. Roosevelt administration during the Great Depression, she was a member of the South Side Writers Group, which included authors such as Richard Wright, Arna Bontemps, Fenton Johnson, Theodore Ward, Frank Marshall Davis. In 1942, she received her master's degree in creative writing from the University of Iowa.
In 1965, she returned to that school to earn her Ph. D. Walker married Firnist Alexander in 1943 and moved to Mississippi to be with him, they lived in the capital of Jackson. Walker became a literature professor at what is today Jackson State University, a black college, where she taught from 1949 to 1979. In 1968, Walker founded the Institute for the Study of History and Culture of Black People and her personal papers are now stored there. In 1976, she went on to serve as the Institute's director. In 1942, Walker's poetry collection For My People won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition under the judgeship of editor Stephen Vincent Benet, thus making her the first black woman to receive a national writing prize, her For My People was considered the "most important collection of poetry written by a participant in the Black Chicago Renaissance before Gwendolyn Brooks's A Street in Bronzeville." Richard Barksdale says: "The poem was written when "world-wide pain and affliction were tangibly evident, few could isolate the Black man's dilemma from humanity's dilemma during the depression years or during the war years."
He said that the power of resilience presented in the poem is a hope Walker holds out not only to black people, but to all people, to "all the Adams and Eves."Walker's second published book, Jubilee, is the story of a slave family during and after the Civil War, is based on her great-grandmother's life. It took her thirty years to write. Roger Whitlow says: "It serves well as a response to white'nostalgia' fiction about the antebellum and Reconstruction South."This book is considered important in African-American literature and Walker is an influential figure for younger authors. She was the first of a generation of women. In 1975, Walker released three albums of poetry on Folkways Records – Margaret Walker Alexander Reads Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar and James Weldon Johnson and Langston Hughes. Walker received a Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1989. In 1978, Margaret Walker sued Alex Haley, claiming that his 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family had violated Jubilee's copyright by borrowing from her novel.
The case was dismissed. In 1991 Walker was sued by Ellen Wright, the widow of Richard Wright, on the grounds that Walker's use of unpublished letters and an unpublished journal in a just-published biography of Wright violated the widow's copyright. Wright v. Warner Books was dismissed by the district court, this judgment was supported by the appeals court. Walker died of breast cancer in Chicago, Illinois, in 1998, aged 83. Walker was inducted into The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame in 2014. For My People. Ayer. 1942. ISBN 978-0-405-01902-9. October Journey. Broadside Press. 1973. ISBN 978-0-910296-96-0; this Is My Century: Collected Poems. University of Georgia Press. 1989. ISBN 978-0-8203-1135-7. Jubilee. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1999. ISBN 978-0-395-92495-2. Maryemma Graham, ed.. How I Wrote Jubilee and Other Essays on Life and Literature. Feminist Press. ISBN 978-1-55861-004-0. Maryemma Graham, ed.. Conversations with Margaret Walker. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-57806-512-7. For My People, The Life and Writing of Margaret Walker, distributed by California Newsreel.
Song of My Life: A Biography of Margaret Walker by Carolyn J. Brown, published 2014; this is the first biography of Margaret Walker. Amiri Baraka. "Margaret Walker Alexander". The Nation. Retrieved May 7, 2013. Margaret Walker at Smithsonian Folkways "Margaret Walker: Select Bibliography", Modern American Poetry. Margaret Walker at the Poetry Foundation
Archibald MacLeish was an American poet and writer, associated with the modernist school of poetry. MacLeish studied English at law at Harvard University, he saw action during the First World War and lived in Paris in the 1920s. On returning to the US, he contributed to Henry Luce's magazine Fortune from 1929 to 1938. For five years MacLeish was Librarian of Congress, a post he accepted at the urging of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. From 1949 to 1962, MacLeish was Boylston Professor of Oratory at Harvard University. MacLeish was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes for his work. MacLeish was born in Illinois, his father, Scottish-born Andrew MacLeish, worked as a dry goods merchant and was a founder of the Chicago department store, Carson Pirie Scott. His mother, was a college professor and had served as president of Rockford College, he grew up on an estate bordering Lake Michigan. He attended the Hotchkiss School from 1907 to 1911. For his college education, MacLeish went to Yale University, where he majored in English, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, was selected for the Skull and Bones society.
He enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. His studies were interrupted by World War I, in which he served first as an ambulance driver and as an artillery officer, he fought at the Second Battle of the Marne. His brother, Kenneth MacLeish was killed in action during the war, he graduated from law school in 1919, taught law for a semester for the government department at Harvard worked as an editor for The New Republic. He next spent three years practicing law with the Boston firm Hall & Stewart. MacLeish expressed his disillusion with war in his poem Memorial Rain, published in 1926. In 1923 MacLeish left his law firm and moved with his wife to Paris, where they joined the community of literary expatriates that included such members as Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, they became part of the famed coterie of Riviera hosts Gerald and Sarah Murphy, which included Hemingway, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Fernand Léger, Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, John O'Hara, Cole Porter, Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley.
He returned to America in 1928. From 1930 to 1938 he worked as a writer and editor for Henry Luce's Fortune magazine, during which he became politically active with anti-fascist causes. By the 1930s, he considered Capitalism to be "symbolically dead" and wrote the verse play Panic in response. While in Paris, Harry Crosby, publisher of the Black Sun Press, offered to publish MacLeish's poetry. Both MacLeish and Crosby had overturned the normal expectations of society, rejecting conventional careers in the legal and banking fields. Crosby published MacLeish's long poem Einstein in a deluxe edition of 150 copies. MacLeish was paid US$200 for his work. In 1932, MacLeish published his long poem Conquistador which presents Cortés's conquest of the Aztecs as symbolic of the American experience. In 1933, Conquistador was awarded the first of three awarded to MacLeish. In 1938 MacLeish published as a book a long poem "Land of the Free", built around a series of 88 photographs of the rural depression by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn and the Farm Security Administration and other agencies.
The book was influential on Steinbeck in writing The Grapes of Wrath. American Libraries has called MacLeish "one of the hundred most influential figures in librarianship during the 20th century" in the United States. MacLeish's career in libraries and public service began, not with an internal desire, but from a combination of the urging of a close friend Felix Frankfurter, as MacLeish put it, "The President decided I wanted to be Librarian of Congress." Franklin D. Roosevelt's nomination of MacLeish was a controversial and political maneuver fraught with several challenges. MacLeish sought support from expected places such as the president of Harvard, MacLeish's current place of work, but found none, it was support from unexpected places, such as M. Llewellyn Raney of the University of Chicago libraries, which alleviated the ALA letter writing campaign against MacLeish's nomination." The main Republican arguments against MacLeish's nomination from within Congress was: that he was a poet and was a "fellow traveler" or sympathetic to communist causes.
Calling to mind differences with the party he had over the years, MacLeish avowed that, "no one would be more shocked to learn I am a Communist than the Communists themselves." In Congress MacLeish's main advocate was Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley, Democrat from Kentucky. With President Roosevelt's support and Senator Barkley's skillful defense in the United States Senate, victory in a roll call vote with sixty-three Senators voting in favor of MacLeish's appointment was achieved. MacLeish was sworn in as Librarian of Congress on July 10, 1939, by the local postmaster at Conway, Massachusetts. MacLeish became privy to Roosevelt's views on the library during a private meeting with the president. According to Roosevelt, the pay levels were too low and many people would need to be removed. Soon afterward, MacLeish joined the retiring Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam for a luncheon in New York. At the meeting, Putnam relayed his intention to continue working at the Library, that he would be given the title of Librarian Emeritus and that his office would be down the hall from MacLeish's.
This meeting further crystallized for MacLeish that as Librarian of Congress, he would be "an unpopular newcomer, disturbing the status quo." It was a question from MacLeish's daughter, which led him to realize that, "Nothing
W. H. Auden
Wystan Hugh Auden was an English-American poet. Auden's poetry was noted for its stylistic and technical achievement, its engagement with politics, morals and religion, its variety in tone and content, he is best known for love poems such as "Funeral Blues". He was born in York, grew up near Birmingham in a professional middle-class family, he studied English at Christ Church, Oxford. After a few months in Berlin in 1928–29, he spent five years teaching in British public schools travelled to Iceland and China in order to write books about his journeys. In 1939 he moved to the United States and became an American citizen in 1946, he taught from 1941 to 1945 in American universities, followed by occasional visiting professorships in the 1950s. From 1947 to 1957 he summered in Ischia, he came to wide public attention with his first book Poems at the age of twenty-three in 1930. Three plays written in collaboration with Christopher Isherwood between 1935 and 1938 built his reputation as a left-wing political writer.
Auden moved to the United States to escape this reputation, his work in the 1940s, including the long poems "For the Time Being" and "The Sea and the Mirror", focused on religious themes. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 1947 long poem The Age of Anxiety, the title of which became a popular phrase describing the modern era. From 1956 to 1961 he was Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Auden and Isherwood maintained a lasting but intermittent sexual friendship from around 1927 to 1939, while both had briefer but more intense relations with other men. In 1939, Auden fell in love with Chester Kallman and regarded their relationship as a marriage, but this ended in 1941 when Kallman refused to accept the faithful relations that Auden demanded. However, the two maintained their friendship, from 1947 until Auden's death they lived in the same house or apartment in a non-sexual relationship collaborating on opera libretti such as that of The Rake's Progress, to music by Igor Stravinsky. Auden was a prolific writer of prose essays and reviews on literary, political and religious subjects, he worked at various times on documentary films, poetic plays, other forms of performance.
Throughout his career he was both controversial and influential, critical views on his work ranged from dismissive—treating him as a lesser figure than W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot—to affirmative, as in Joseph Brodsky's claim that he had "the greatest mind of the twentieth century". After his death, his poems became known to a much wider public than during his lifetime through films and popular media. Auden was born in York, England, to George Augustus Auden, a physician, Constance Rosalie Auden, who had trained as a missionary nurse, he was the third of three sons. Auden, whose grandfathers were both Church of England clergymen, grew up in an Anglo-Catholic household that followed a "High" form of Anglicanism, with doctrine and ritual resembling those of Roman Catholicism, he traced his love of music and language to the church services of his childhood. He believed he was of Icelandic descent, his lifelong fascination with Icelandic legends and Old Norse sagas is evident in his work, his family moved to Homer Road in Solihull, near Birmingham, in 1908, where his father had been appointed the School Medical Officer and Lecturer of Public Health.
Auden's lifelong psychoanalytic interests began in his father's library. From the age of eight he attended boarding schools, his visits to the Pennine landscape and its declining lead-mining industry figure in many of his poems. Until he was fifteen he expected to become a mining engineer, but his passion for words had begun, he wrote later: "words so excite me that a pornographic story, for example, excites me sexually more than a living person can do." Auden attended St Edmund's School, Surrey, where he met Christopher Isherwood famous in his own right as a novelist. At thirteen he went to Gresham's School in Norfolk. Soon after, he "discover that he lost his faith". In school productions of Shakespeare, he played Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew in 1922, Caliban in The Tempest in 1925, his last year at Gresham's, his first published poems appeared in the school magazine in 1923. Auden wrote a chapter on Gresham's for Graham Greene's The Old School: Essays by Divers Hands. In 1925 he went up to Christ Church, with a scholarship in biology.
Richard Siken is an American poet and filmmaker. He is the author of the collection Crush, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition in 2004, his second book of poems, War of the Foxes, was released from Copper Canyon Press in 2015. Siken studied at and received a B. A. in psychology and a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from the University of Arizona. In 2001, Siken co-founded Spork Press. Siken received a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, his book Crush was awarded the Lambda Literary Award for "Gay Men's Poetry" in 2005, the Thom Gunn Award from Publishing Triangle; the 1991 death of his boyfriend influenced his writing of the book. Siken's most recent book, War of the Foxes, was published in 2015 by Copper Canyon Press, was a recipient of two residencies with the Lannan Residency Program, a Lannan Literary Selection. Siken lives in Tucson, Arizona. Crush won the 2004 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize, selected by Louise Glück, it was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Lambda Literary Award, the Thom Gunn Award.
Siken is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, two Arizona Commission on the Arts grants, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition, 2004, for Crush National Book Critics Circle Award, 2005, finalist Lambda Literary Award, 2006 Thom Gunn Award, 2006 Lannan Residency Program, Fall 2007 Lannan Residency Program, Spring 2014 Pushcart Prize Two Arizona Commission on the Arts grants National Endowment for the Arts fellowship Crush War of the Foxes Official Website Profile of Richard Siken from Poetry magazine