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Robert Bly

Robert Bly was born in Madison, a town in rural Minnesota, where he has lived most of his life. He was educated at St Olaf's College and at Harvard, thereafter enrolling in the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa. From 1944 to 1946, Bly served in the Navy. In addition to his poetry, he has done a number of translations, including poetry by Neruda, Vallejo, and Rilke, and edited a continuing journal renamed after each decade——The Fifties, The Sixties, etc. He organized antiwar poetry readings during the Vietnam War.

Louise Bogan

Louise Bogan was born in Livermore Falls, Maine. Her parents, of Irish descent, travelled across New England in search of work and endured a tempestuous marriage. One of Bogan's brothers was killed in the First World War, while another died of alcoholism in his early 30s. Bogan attended Boston University for a year. After a brief, failed marriage, she settled in New York's Greenwich Village, became part of its vital literary life, and began publishing her intense but highly formal poetry in little magazines.

Hart Crane

Born in a small Ohio town, Hart Crane grew up in Cleveland. He went to New York after leaving high school, but ended up returning to Cleveland until 1923, along the way accumulating work experience in advertising agencies, a newspaper, and in his father's businesses. He faced continual difficulty and much stress supporting himself and had to rely on relatives and a benefactor.

Robert Creeley

Robert Creeley was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, near where he grew up on a small farm. As a young child he suffered two losses, that of his father and that of his left eye. He was raised by his mother, who worked as a public health nurse. Creeley enrolled at Harvard but took a leave to be an ambulance driver for the American Field Service toward the end of World War II. He was in the India-Burma area from 1944-1945. He returned to Harvard but left without his degree, taking up subsistence farming for a time in New Hampshire.

Harry Crosby

There is no other poet in our history quite like Harry Crosby. He is above all else a poet of one unforgiving obsession: the image of the sun and every variation he can ring on it in poems of ecstatic incantation. Poems like "Pharmacie Du Soleil" should be read aloud, preferably by a score of people speaking either in unison or in counterpoint. Born Henry Sturgis Crosby into an upper class Boston family, his education at privileged Boston schools gives little anticipation of the iconoclastic Paris expatriate of the 1920s. But World War I changed him.

Countee Cullen

Countee Cullen was probably born in Louisville, Kentucky, though Cullen himself later liked to claim New York as his birthplace. In any case, he was at some point informally adopted by the Reverend A. and Carolyn Belle Cullen; prior to that he used the name Countee Porter. The Reverend was not only a minister but also a black activist in Harlem. Cullen himself absorbed the activism but realized his literary inclinations and homosexuality—see the simultaneously racial and sexual transgression of "Tableau"—would take him in different directions.

T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He was educated first at Harvard University and then at Oxford University, with a break at the Sorbonne in Paris between his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Boston. He moved to England and began a strained marriage with Vivian Haigh-Wood in 1915. He supported himself by working at Lloyd's Bank in London from 1917-1925, then joined a publishing firm. In 1927, he became a British citizen and joined the Anglican Church. He was drawn to European fascism in the 1930s, but unlike Pound remained uninvolved in politics.

Anita Endrezze

Anita Endrezze was born in Long Beach, California, of Yaqui and European ancestry. An artist as well as a poet and short story writer, her paintings and illustrations have been reproduced in a number of publications and been exhibited both in the U.S. and in Europe. She has also written a novel for children. She has worked part-time for Washington State as a poet-in-residence, for the Spokane chapter of the Audubon Society, and edited the Indian Artists Guild newsletter. Her books include At the Helm of Twilight (1992) and The Humming of Stars and Bees (1998).

Louise Erdrich

Born in Little Falls, Minnesota, Louise Erdrich grew up in the town of Wahpeton, North Dakota, near the Minnesota border and the Turtle Mountain Reservation. She is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa tribe of North Dakota; her mother is of French-Chippewa descent, and for many years her grandfather was Tribal Chair of the reservation. Her parents were Bureau of Indian Affairs educators; both taught at the boarding school in Wahpeton. Erdrich was educated at Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins; she has taught poetry in prisons and edited a Native American newspaper.

Martín Espada

Born in Brooklyn, New York, of Puerto Rican parents—his father was a photographer who illustrated his first book—Espada now teaches at the University of Massachusetts, but his earlier experience is much wider. He was a night clerk in a transient hotel, a journalist in Nicaragua, a welfare rights paralegal, and later a tenant lawyer in Boston. In addition to writing his own poetry, he has edited collections of political poetry and of contemporary Latino poets. His political poetry is notable for making its points with great wit and bravado.

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