A lifelong resident of New York, Herman Spector was a regular contributor to New Masses for several years, a key figure in the founding of the short-lived radical poetry journal Dynamo, and a contributor to many of the proletarian literature collections of the 1930s. Toward the end of the 1930s, he worked for a year on the WPA Writers' Project. Thereafter he withdrew from his literary and political contacts, worked as a welder during the war, and finally survived in a series of marginal odd jobs before becoming a cab driver until his death. Bastard in a Ragged Suit (1977), which draws its title from a self-description in a 1929 poem, "Outcast," gathers together both his published poetry and prose and selections from the writing and drawing he continued to work on but never submitted for publication in the last years of his life.
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