Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff

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Blanche Wagstaff, from a 1918 publication.
Blanche Wagstaff, from a 1918 publication.

Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff (1888–1959) was an American poet.

Life[edit]

Born in Manhattan, Wagstaff spent much of her life in New York City. She began writing at age 7, and had sold her first poem, to Town & Country, by age 16.[1] In 1905 her portrait was painted by the French artist Théobald Chartran. She served for a time as the associate editor of The International,[2] a magazine founded by her close friend George Sylvester Viereck, whose sensual, decadent verse mirrored Wagstaff's. She praised his work, although the two had a falling out over Viereck's support of Germany in the first World War, later reconciling in 1924.[1] Her verse often dealt with sensual and classical themes, and twelve of her poems were anthologized in T.R. Smith's 1921 erotic verse collection Poetica Erotica.[3][4] Her 1944 book for children, The Beloved Son, was a life of Jesus in verse.

Reception[edit]

H. L. Mencken praised Wagstaff's poetic drama Alcestis for its "constant novelty and ingenuity of epithet", though he thought at times she let "her adjectives run riot".[5]

Works[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff". ViereckProject. 2014. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  2. ^ The Lyric Year: One Hundred Poems. Page 314. M. Kennerley, 1912.
  3. ^ "From The Book of Love", in T.R. Smith (ed.), Poetica Erotica, Volume 2. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1921, pp. 260-263.
  4. ^ "Bacchante", in T.R. Smith (ed.), Poetica Erotica, Volume 2. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1921, p. 281.
  5. ^ H. L. Mencken, The Collected Drama of H. L. Mencken: Plays and Criticism, edited by S. T. Joshi (Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, 2012), p. 217.

External links[edit]