Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1904, E.L. Mayo attended schools in Malden, Massachusetts, then Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. For three years thereafter he held miscellaneous jobs as a brush salesman, clerk in a music store, waiter in the Mount Washington Hotel, wine steward in the Bahamas, etc. In 1929 he returned to study at the University of Minnesota. He was graduated magna cum laude in 1932, later returning to take his M.A. in 1936. He was a recipient of the Payne Prize (1932), the Blumenthal Prize (Poetry, Chicago, 1942), and the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Fellowship (1953–54). From 1947 Mayo taught at Drake University. He was professor of English and in 1961 received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from Iowa Wesleyan. Professor Mayo died in 1979. He is survived by his wife, Myra, and three children, and grandchildren.

E. L. Mayo was a quiet poet who embraced obscurity almost as a condition for his intellectual freedom. Still, a few discerning critics noticed. David Daiches has said that “Mayo’s poems … pretend to be simple prose–like utterances, whereas in fact the best of them contain an echoing poetic meaning which begins to relase itself a split second after we have read the words.”


Lincoln, Congress, and Emancipation
“When Lincoln took office, in March 1861, the national government had no power to touch slavery in the states where it existed. Lincoln understood this, and said as much in his first inaugural address, noting: ‘I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.’”


The Crisis of Meaning and the Life-World
Husserl, Heidegger, Arendt, Patočka
Učník examines the existential conflict that formed the focus of Edmund Husserl’s final work: how to reconcile scientific rationality with the meaning of human existence. To investigate this conundrum, she places Husserl in dialogue with three of his most important successors: Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, and Jan Patočka.


Driven toward Madness
The Fugitive Slave Margaret Garner and Tragedy on the Ohio
The story of Margaret Garner—the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery—has inspired Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a film based on the novel starring Oprah Winfrey, and an opera.


Drawing on the Victorians
The Palimpsest of Victorian and Neo-Victorian Graphic Texts
Late nineteenth-century Britain experienced an unprecedented explosion of visual print culture and a simultaneous rise in literacy across social classes. New printing technologies facilitated quick and cheap dissemination of images—illustrated books, periodicals, cartoons, comics, and ephemera—to a mass readership.


Winter of Artifice
Three Novelettes
Swallow Press’s reissue of Winter of Artifice, with a new introduction by Laura Frost, presents an important opportunity to consider anew the work of Anaïs Nin who laid the groundwork for later writers, but whom critics frequently dismiss as solipsistic or overblown.