A Magazine of Verse
1910-11, the established Chicago poet Harriet Monroe made a trip
to China to visit her sister, the wife of the American ambassador,
and there undertook an intensive study of Chinese art. Upon her
return to the U.S., Monroe founded Poetry: A Magazine of Verse,
through which vehicle she introduced the Imagists and other "new
poetry" to American readers.
Monroe Poet, publisher 1860-1936
Monroe founded Poetry: A Magazine of Verse in 1912 with the hope
of fostering wide public interest in poetry and increasing compensation
rates for published verse. Despite a constant struggle to sustain
the magazine, Monroe successfully promoted a lively forum for innovative
poetry and new poetic movements. As the 20th Century drew to a close,
the magazine remained a vital source of poetic innovation and energy.
in Chicago in 1860, Monroe graduated from the academy of Visitation
Convent in Washington, D.C., in 1879. In 1892, her long patriotic
piece, "Columbian Ode," was performed by a chorus of thousands at
a dedication ceremony for the World's Columbian Exposition. In succeeding
decades, she published several volumes of poetry and worked as an
arts critic for various Chicago papers.
legacy lies less in her own writing than in her role as editor and
publisher. Though Monroe was a lifelong Chicagoan, her travels and
range of contacts brought a cosmopolitan modernism to Poetry, one
of several important small-circulation magazines that generated
intellectual and cultural ferment in the period before World War
I. The magazine was headquartered at 543 Cass St. (now Wabash Avenue).