Most readers will recognize the name of the lyric poet Louise Bogan (if at all) as a brief stop on the way from Elizabeth Bishop to Gwendolyn Brooks in modern poetry anthologies. Two decades after a temporary resurgence spurred by Elizabeth Frank’s Pulitzer-prize winning biography, Louise Bogan: A Portrait, her literary status was once again threatening to fade into the shadows and solitude that she herself so coveted during her long career as a poet, essayist, and literary reviewer. So we welcome Mary Kinzie’s new edition of Bogan’s fiction, letters, and criticism as a timely if not altogether well-executed attempt to draw this literary recluse back into the public eye.

An iconoclast and moralist, Bogan shared none of Ezra Pound’s taste for literary bombast nor T. S. Eliot’s flare for moral oratory. Yet the confident, plaintive verse in her slim Collected Poems, 1923–1953 won...

 
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