With its concise and telling graveyard epitaphs, Masters's 1915 collection, Spoon River Anthology, established his reputation and remains his best-known work. Born and raised in a small town in Illinois, his first and last volumes of poetry focus on the life of his native Midwest. Yet he also took up other subjects and used a variety of verse forms in the course of his career, meanwhile working as a lawyer and writing biographies of Vachel Lindsay, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain. See especially Spoon River Anthology: An Annotated Edition (1992).
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