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Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters was born in Garnett, Kansas, on August 23, 1868, but soon after his birth his family mo ed to Lewistown, !llinois, the town near "#ringfield where Masters grew u#$ %is youth was marred by his father&s finan'ial struggles with a faltering law #ra'ti'e and relu'tan'e to su##ort his son&s literary interests$ Masters attended Kno( )ollege for a year but was then for'ed by the family&s finan'es to withdraw and 'ontinue his studies #ri ately$ %e was admitted to the bar in 18*1, and he mo ed to )hi'ago in 18*2, where he found a +ob 'olle'ting bills for the Edison )om#any$ %e gradually built a su''essful law #ra'ti'e, and for eight years he was the #artner of )laren'e ,arrow$ !n 18*8 he #ublished his first 'olle'tion, A Book of Verses, and married %elen -en.ins$ %is first boo.s, some of whi'h were #ublished under #seudonyms, showed strong influen'es from the English /omanti' #oets and Edgar Allan 0oe$ ,uring this time Masters 'onsidered writing a no el about the relationshi#s of #eo#le in a small !llinois town$ 1his idea was transformed through a 'han'e a'2uaintan'e$ Masters had been submitting #oems to Marion /eedy, the editor of Reedy's Mirror in "t$ Louis$ 3hile /eedy didn&t #ublish these #oems, he .e#t u# the 'orres#onden'e and ga e Masters a 'o#y of -$ 3$ Ma'.ail&s Selected Epigrams from the Greek Anthology $ After reading these, Masters felt the 'hallenge to ado#t the idea for his no el into this form, 'ombining free erse, e#ita#h, realism, and 'yni'ism to writeSpoon River Anthology, a 'olle'tion of monologues from the dead in an !llinois gra eyard$ 1he "#oon /i er of the title is the name of an a'tual ri er in !llinois, but the town 'ombines Lewistown, where Masters grew u#, and 0etersburg, where his grand#arents li ed$ 1hese #oems were seriali4ed in Reedy's Mirror from 1*15617, and then dis'o ered by %arriet Monroe, the editor of Poetry, who hel#ed Masters issue a 'om#lete edition in 1*17$ Spoon River Anthology was wildly su''essful, going through se eral editions ra#idly and be'oming one of the most #o#ular boo.s of #oetry in the history of Ameri'an literature$ %is su''ess and friendshi# with Monroe also brought him into the )hi'ago Grou# and 'onta't with su'h #oets as )arl "andburg and 8a'hel Lindsay$ Masters was ne er to e2ual the su''ess of Spoon River Anthology$ %e #ublished thirty6nine more boo.s, in'luding no els, #lays, 'olle'tions of #oetry, and biogra#hies of Lindsay, Mar. 1wain, 3hitman, and Lin'oln$ !n 1*19, Masters left his family: he and his wife would di or'e in 1*23$ !n 1*2; Masters ga e u# his law firm and mo ed from )hi'ago to <ew =or. )ity, where he retired to the )helsea %otel to write$ !n 1*26 he married Ellen )oyne, thirty years his +unior$ !n his later years, Masters re'ei ed se eral awards based on his earlier su''esses, in'luding a 0oetry "o'iety of Ameri'a Award, the "helley Memorial Award, a grant from the Ameri'an A'ademy of Arts and Letters, and the A'ademy >ellowshi# in 1*56$ %e died Mar'h 7, 1*7;, in a 'on ales'ent home in 0hiladel#hia and was buried in 0etersburg, !llinois$ A Selected Bibliography Poetry A Book of Verses ?18*8@ Along the llinois ?1*52@ !omesday Book ?1*2;@ God"ey# A !ramatic Poems ?1*31@ llinois Poems ?1*51@ nvisi"le $andscapes ?1*37@

%ack &elso# A !ramatic Poem ?1*28@ $ee# A !ramatic Poem ?1*27@ $ichee '(ts ?1*3;@ More People ?1*3*@ Poems of People ?1*36@ Richmond# A !ramatic Poem ?1*35@ Selected Poems ?1*27@ Songs and Satires ?1*16@ Songs and Sonnets ?1*1;@ Songs and Sonnets# Second Series ?1*12@ Spoon River Anthology ?1*17@ Starved Rock ?1*1*@ )he End(ring River# Edgar $ee Masters's *ncollected Spoon River Poems ?1**1@ )he +ate of the %(ry# An Epilog(e to !omesday Book ?1*2*@ )he Golden +leece of ,alifornia ?1*36@ )he Great Valley ?1*16@ )he -armony of !eeper M(sic# Posth(mo(s Poems of Edgar $ee Masters ?1*96@ )he 'e. Spoon River ?1*25@ )he /pen Sea ?1*21@ )he Serpent in the 0ilderness ?1*33@ )o.ard the G(lf ?1*18@ Auto/Biography Across Spoon River# An A(to"iography ?1*36@ $evy Mayer and the 'e. nd(strial Era ?1*29@ $incoln# )he Man ?1*31@ Mark ).ain# A Portrait ?1*38@ Vachel $indsay# A Poet in America ?1*37@ 0hitman ?1*39@ Essays )he Blood of the Prophets ?1*;7@ )he 'e. Star ,ham"er and /the Essays ?1*;5@ Fiction ,hildren of the Market Place ?1*22@ &it /'Brien ?1*29@ Mirage ?1*25@ Mitch Miller ?1*2;@ Skeeters &ir"y ?1*23@ )he '(ptial +light ?1*23@ )he Sangamon ?1*52@ )he )ide of )ime ?1*39@ Non-Fiction -ymn to the *nkno.n God# 'e. Age Ministry of Religio(s Research ?1*39@ )he )ale of ,hicago ?1*33@ Plays

Althea ?1*;9@ !ramatic !(olog(es# +o(r Short Plays in Verse ?1*35@ Eileen ?1*1;@ Gettys"(rg, Manila, Acoma# )hree Plays ?1*3;@ Ma1imilian# A Play in +ive Acts ?1*;2@ )he $eaves of the )ree ?1*;*@ )he $ocket ?1*1;@ )he )read of dleness ?1*11@ )he )rifler ?1*;8@ 6 "ee more atA htt#ABBwww$#oets$orgB#oet$#h#B#rm0!,B638Csthash$%l)t7La'$d#uf

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