Show Notes: Edna St. Vincent Millay Part 1

Tracy Wilson

American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay poses for a portrait among magnolia blossoms. © CORBIS

Over Memorial Day weekend, I visited Steepletop, the home of Edna St. Vincent Millay for the latter part of her life. Naturally, this led to a podcast. (Two, really, since it's a two-parter.)

Known as Vincent to her family and friends, Millay was a remarkable poet. In addition to becoming the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, she sold tens of thousands of copies of her books - and she did so at the height of the Great Depression. She came from very humble beginnings, though. Her parents divorced when she was young, and her mother raised Vincent and two sisters on her own and with very little money.

Vincent was almost entirely self-taught as a poet until her groundbreaking work "Renascence" drew the attention of patrons who paid for her college education. After graduation, she moved to Greenwich Village, where she met Eugen Boissevain, the man she would go on to marry. And that's where part one ends.

Our listener mail is from Anne Marie, who writes about our Orphan Trains episode.

For more knowledge: How Poetry Works

Episode link: Edna St. Vincent Millay part 1

My research:

  • Steepletop site visit. May 24, 2014.
  • Milford, Nancy. "Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay." Random House. 2001.
  • Epstein, Daniel Mark. 'What Lips My Lips Have Kissed: The Loves and Love Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay." Henry Holt & Co. 2001.

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