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Conrad Aiken
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Poet
    (August 5, 1889-August 17, 1973)
    Born in Savannah, Georgia
    Poet, novelist and short story writer
    Poetry collections include 'Earth Triumphant and Other Tales in Verse' (1914), 'Turns and Movies and Other Tales in Verse' (1916), 'Nocturne of Remembered Spring and Other Poems' (1917), 'Priapus and the Pool and Other Poems' (1925), 'Selected Poems' (1929), 'Brownstone Eclogues' (1942), 'Skylight One: Fifteen Poems' (1949), 'A Letter from Li Po and Other Poems' (1955), 'Sheepfold Hill: Fifteen Poems' (1958) and 'The Morning Song of Lord Zero: Poems Old and New' (1963)
    Wrote the novels 'Blue Voyage' (1927), 'King Coffin' (1934) and 'Ushant' (1952)
    Short story collections include 'Bring! Bring!' (1925), 'Among the Lost People' (1934) and 'The Collected Short Stories of Conrad Aiken' (1966)
    Poetry Consultant of the Library of Congress (1950-52)
    He was put on academic probation at Harvard for missing too many classes.
    During WWI, he claimed a draft exemption on the grounds that he worked in an 'essential industry' -- poetry.
    He said his short story 'Silent Snow, Secret Snow' was 'a projection of my own inclination to insanity.'
    His opinions became increasingly vitriolic, with one interviewer saying he had 'scarcely a kind word for anybody or anything except comic strips, martinis and Conrad Aiken.'
    When he was eleven, he heard the shots and discovered the bodies after his father killed his mother and then committed suicide.
    He won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry (1930).
    He was credited with establishing Emily Dickinson's reputation as a major poet.
    Poet Allen Tate called him 'the most versatile man of letters of the century: He has excelled in criticism, in fiction and in poetry.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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