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Louise Bogan Biography

(1897–1970), New Yorker, Body of This Death, Dark Summer, The Sleeping Fury, Poems and New Poems

poetry poems appeared poet

American poet, born at Livermore Falls, Maine, educated at Boston University. From 1931 to 1968 she was poetry critic for the New Yorker, exercising considerable influence through her concisely articulate reviews. She became Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress in 1945. Body of This Death, her first volume of poetry, appeared in 1923. Her other principal collections are Dark Summer (1929), The Sleeping Fury (1937), in which the erotic impulse behind much of her poetry is most clearly sensed, Poems and New Poems (1941), and The Blue Estuaries (1968). Like Allen Tate, Yvor Winters, and others of her generation, she established a productive interaction between her highly accomplished use of traditional forms and poetic Modernism's emphasis on the essential functions of imagery. Her best work is characterized by the poise and economy with which its refined lyrical intensities are sustained. Collected Poems, 1923–1953 was published in 1954. Her criticism, chiefly drawn from her writing for the New Yorker, is represented by Achievement in American Poetry, 1900–1950 (1951), Selected Criticism (1955), and A Poet's Alphabet (1970). Bogan's autobiography Journey around My Room (1981) was edited by Ruth Limmer, who was also the editor of What the Woman Lived (1973), a collection of her letters. Louise Bogan: A Portrait by Elizabeth Frank appeared in 1985.

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