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Harriet Monroe Biography

(1860–1936), Columbian Ode, Valerie and Other Poems, The Passing Show, Poetry, A Magazine of Verse

poetry verse columbian life

American poetand editor, born in Chicago, where she spent most of her life. Monroe came to public notice with Columbian Ode (1892), a poem in celebration of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago; her Valerie and Other Poems (1892) was followed by a book of five verse-plays, The Passing Show (1903). Monroe's main claim to fame is through her editorship of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, devoted exclusively to poetry, which she founded in 1912. The most influential little magazine in modern American literary history, Poetry provided a venue for the emergent modernist poetry of Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and many others, and created an audience responsive to this new work. Monroe was equally content to publish more conventional poets, especially her Chicagoan peers such as Carl Sandburg, Vachel Lindsay, and Edgar Lee Masters, thus exhibiting an openness of editorial policy which ultimately led Pound to resign his role as ‘foreign’ editor of Poetry. With Alice Corbin Henderson, her valuable deputy on Poetry, Monroe published The New Poetry (1932), an anthology of twentieth-century verse; her autobiography A Poet's Life appeared in 1937.

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