Poet Biographies

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This April, in celebration of National Poetry Month, check out one of these biographies on some of the world’s most renowned poets:

A Good Cry: What We Learn From Tears & Laughter by Nikki Giovanni – Offers an intimate, affecting and revealing look at Giovanni’s personal history as she ruminates on her life and the people who have helped shape her into the woman she has become.

Langston Hughes by Rebecca Carey Rohan – Social activist, poet, novelist, playwright, and pioneer, Hughes was the Renaissance man of the Harlem Renaissance. Learn about his life and influences, and how his work affected the world we live in.

Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 by Elizabeth Winder – A biography which captures the month Plath spent in New York City in June 1953 as a guest editor for the annual college issue of “Mademoiselle” magazine.

Rumi’s Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love by Brad Gooch – Recounts the life of Persian poet Rumi, from being displaced by Mongol terror to Turkey in his childhood to his education under Shams of Tabriz, who transformed Rumi from a respectable Muslim preacher to a poet and mystic.

Searching for Sappho: The Lost Songs & World of the First Woman Poet by Philip Freeman – Presents the life the Greek poet who lived in the sixth century BCE, covering the few details known about her life on the island of Lesbos and providing selections from the papyrus fragments which have been found of her poems.

The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life by Karin Roffman – A biography of the poet who won nearly every major American literary award reveals how he drew on the details of his youth to create the poems that made him an unpredictable literary force.

Holding On Upside Down: The Life & Work of Marianne Moore by Linda Leavell – A portrait of the modernist poet goes beyond popularized depictions to reveal her passionate and canny nature as well as her struggles between her devotion to family and desire for freedom.

The Bughouse: The Poetry, Politics, & Madness of Ezra Pound by Daniel Swift – Drawing upon accounts by the people who visited Pound at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for the Insane, details the life of the writer while he was institutionalized, which occurred just before he was due to stand trial for treason in 1945.

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