May Swenson

Born: 1913

May Swenson was born in Logan, Utah to Swedish immigrant parents—English was Swenson’s second language, and she grew up speaking Swedish at home. Swenson earned a BA from Utah State University and briefly worked as a reporter in Salt Lake City. She moved to New York City in the 1930s and in 1959 she began working at New Directions Press, the modernist publishing house founded by James Laughlin. Swenson is considered one of mid-century America’s foremost poets; her typographic innovations and exuberance earned comparisons to E.E. Cummings and her careful attention to the suggestiveness of objects, persons, and events of ordinary life could recall Elizabeth Bishop, with whom Swenson corresponded for decades. Swenson’s numerous collections of poetry include Another Animal (1954), A Cage of Spines (1958), To Mix with Time: New and Selected Poems (1963), Half Sun Half Sleep (1967), Iconographs (1970), New and Selected Things Taking Place (1978) and In Other Words (1987). Further collections, including The Love Poems (1991), Nature: Poems Old and New (1994), and May Out West (1996) were all published after her death. Source