Discipline: Literature – poetry

Louise Bogan

Discipline: Literature – poetry
MacDowell fellowships: 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1964
Louise Bogan (1897-1970) was an American poet. She was appointed the fourth Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress in 1945, and was the first woman to hold this title. She attended Boston Girls’ Latin School and spent one year at Boston University. She married in 1916 and was widowed in 1920. In 1925, she married her second husband, the poet Raymond Holden, whom she divorced in 1937. Her poems were published in the New Republic, the Nation, Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, Scribner’s, and Atlantic Monthly. For 38 years, she reviewed poetry for The New Yorker. Bogan found the confessional poetry of Robert Lowell and John Berryman distasteful and self-indulgent. With the poets whose work she admired, however, such as Theodore Roethke, she was extremely supportive and encouraging. Bogan’s ability is unique in its strict adherence to lyrical forms, while maintaining a high emotional pitch: she was preoccupied with exploring the perpetual disparity of heart and mind. The majority of her poetry was written in the earlier half of her life when she published Body of This Death (McBride & Company, 1923), Dark Summer (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1929), and The Sleeping Fury (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1937). She subsequently published volumes of her collected verse, and The Blue Estuaries: Poems 1923-1968 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1968), an overview of her life’s work in poetry. She received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1968.

Studios

Schelling

Louise Bogan worked in the Schelling studio.

Learn more