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Marianne Moore

Marianne Moore (November 15, 1887 - 1972) was a Modernist American poet and writer.

Marianne Moore was born in Kirkwood, Missouri, the daughter of a construction engineer and inventor, John Milton Moore, and his wife, Mary Warner.

In 1905, Marianne Moore entered Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, and graduated four years later. A few years on, she began to teach courses at the United States Industrial Indian School, Carlisle, and continued until 1915, when Moore began to professionally publish poetry. Her most famous poem is perhaps the one entitled, appropriately, Poetry, in which she hopes for poets who can produce "imaginary gardens with real toads in them."

In part because of her extensive European travels before the first World War, Moore came to the attention, and received the respect of, poets as diverse as Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, H.D, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound. From 1925 until 1929, Moore served as editor of the literary and cultural journal the Dial. This continued her role, similar to that of Pound, as a patron of poetry, encouraging promising young poets, including Elizabeth Bishop and Allen Ginsberg, and publishing, as well as refining poetic technique, early work.

In 1933, Moore was awarded the Helen Haire Levinson Prize from Poetry. Her Collected Poems of 1951 is perhaps her most rewarded work; it earned the poet the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Bollingen Prize.

Moore continued to publish poems in various journals, including Nation, New Republic, and Partisan Review, as well as publishing various books and collections of her poetry and criticism. As evidence of her importance, Moore corresponded for a time with W.H. Auden and Ezra Pound during the latter's incarceration.

Along with James Dickey and Anne Sexton, Marianne Moore became something of a 'poet celebrity', as well as a leading member of the New York social circle. Moore often served as unoffocial hostess for the Mayor, was asked to suggest names, by Ford Motor Company, for the car that eventually was called the Edsel, and opened the 1968 baseball season at Yankee stadium. Similarly, Moore wrote the first liner notes to Muhammed Ali's record, I Am the Greatest!

Moore died in New York City, unmarried, in 1972 after suffering from a number of partial strokes.


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