Hilda Doolittle (September 10, 1886 – September 27, 1961) was an American-born poet, novelist, translator, and essayist who wrote under the pen name H.D. Her work was heavily influenced by the effects of the World War I and the subsequent trends of modernism, psychoanalysis, and feminism.
Her work is often framed within the context of other important modernist writers such as T.S.Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, and William Carlos Williams. Today, she’s best remembered for her innovation and experimental approach in poetry. Read More→
Anne Spencer (born Annie Bethel Bannister; February 6, 1882 – July 27, 1975) was an American poet, teacher, librarian, gardener, and civil rights activist. She’s best known for being an important figure of the Harlem Renaissance and the second African American poet to be included in the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry.
Anne was born in Henry County, Virginia, to Joel Cephus Bannister and Sarah Louise Scales. Both parents were part of the first generation of African Americans born into bondage whose childhood followed the end of slavery. As an only child, she was the center of her parent’s lives and they were determined to make a better life for her.
Margaret Ayer Barnes (April 8, 1886 – October 25, 1967) was an American novelist, playwright, short-story writer, best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Years of Grace (1930).
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Margaret Ayer was the youngest of four siblings. From an early age, she was quite competitive and regularly had debates with her two older brothers and sisters. Intelligent and curious, she had an interest in theater and was an avid reader.
Dawn Powell (November 28, 1896 – November 14, 1965) wrote prolifically throughout her life, producing novels, short stories, poetry, and plays. She is sometimes considered a “writer’s writer,” though sadly, nearly all of her work was out of print by the time she died. She didn’t gain much notoriety — for better or worse — during her lifetime, but many of her works have been rediscovered and rereleased, much to the joy of devoted fans and new readers alike.
Born in Mount Gilead, Ohio, Powell started her life in a small American town, a setting that she would often use in her early writings. Her novels were replete with social satire and laced with wit.
Dame Iris Murdoch (July 15, 1919 – February 8, 1999), the prolific British novelist, philosopher, and playwright was a master of blending psychological depth into darkly comic works.
Born Jean Iris Murdoch in Dublin, Ireland, her father was a World War I veteran and civil servant. Her mother was a former singer. When Murdoch was a newborn, her family moved to London so her father could take a British government position. She remained an only child.
The 2001 Academy and BAFTA Award-winning film Iris is based on her life and marriage to John Bayley, a writer and English professor. Read More→