A Poet’s Prose
Selected Writings of Louise Bogan

By Louise Bogan
Edited by Mary Kinzie

“In whatever she wrote, the line of truth was exactly superimposed on the line of feeling. One look at her work—or sometimes one look at her—made any number of disheartened artists take heart and go on being the kind of dedicated creatures they were intended to be.”

The New Yorker

“I am deeply grateful for this collection of Louise Bogan’s prose. She is an American lyric master, both in prose and poetry, a critic of singular distinction and acuity. She has not been given her due, and this collection will go far to redressing the balance.”

Mary Gordon

“This master lyric poet’s crisp, insightful New Yorker pieces on poetry hold up superbly to the passing of time and fashions. But beyond those brilliant reviews, here are unexpected treasures: Bogan’s fiction, letters and journal entries disclose in new ways a literary mind of distinction, wit and depth. In the unpublished poems too, there are flashes of gold. A treasure-book.”

Robert Pinsky

Although best known as a master of the formal lyric poem, Louise Bogan (1897–1970) also published fiction and what would now be called lyrical essays. A Poet’s Prose: Selected Writings of Louise Bogan showcases her devotion to compression, eloquence, and sharp truths.

Louise Bogan was poetry reviewer for the New Yorker for thirty-eight years, and her criticism was remarkable for its range and effect. Bogan was responsible for the revival of interest in Henry James and was one of the first American critics to notice and review W. H. Auden. She remained intellectually and emotionally responsive to writers as different from one another as Caitlin Thomas, Dorothy Richardson, W. B. Yeats, André Gide, and Rainer Maria Rilke.

Bogan’s short stories appeared regularly in magazines during the 1930s, penetrating the social habits of the city as well as the loneliness there. The autobiographical element in her fiction and journals, never entirely confessional, spurred some of her finest writing. The distinguished poet and critic Mary Kinzie provides in A Poet’s Prose a selection of Bogan's best criticism, prose meditations, letters, journal entries, autobiographical essays, and published and unpublished fiction.

Louise Bogan won the Bollingen Prize in 1954 for her collected poems. She is the subject of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by Elizabeth Frank, Louise Bogan: A Portrait.


Mary Kinzie is a poet and critic who teaches in the creative writing program she founded at Northwestern University. Her books of poetry include Summers of Vietnam and Autumn Eros. Most recently, her collection Drift was published by Alfred A. Knopf.

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Related Subjects

Literary Studies · Women Authors · American Literature

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Paperback

978-0-8040-1071-9
Retail price: $29.95, S.
Release date: May 2005
352 pages · 6 × 9¼ in.
Rights: World

Hardcover

978-0-8040-1070-2
Retail price: $49.95, S.
Release date: May 2005
429 pages · 6 × 9¼ in.
Rights: World