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Since its inception in 1912, Poetry magazine has been widely regarded as a premier resource for modern poetry and poets. Published in Chicago as Poetry: a Magazine of Verse, its legacy continues today through the Poetry Foundation, a superlative online resource for seekers of poets, poems, and random lines needing identification. A less immediately recognizable legacy is that of its founder, Harriet Monroe (1860–1936), one of those fin de siècle “intellectual women” typically dismissed as a contradiction in terms. But Monroe was a force to be reckoned with, and this beautifully crafted volume participates in the recuperation of a life and career dedicated to facilitating and promoting modern poetry in the twentieth-century and beyond.

Michael Hill’s Harriet Monroe, An American Poet In Vevey: Her Diary Entries, May 16 - July 26, 1898 offers sensitively rendered, artfully embellished insights into Monroe’s European travels. Its focus on her sojourn in Vevey vibrantly illustrates the broader “geopoetic excursions” that shaped the life and career of one whose impact on the Chicago arts scene continues today. Along with his work in geography and “pedestrian travel,” Professor Hill brings to this study his distinguished record of contributions to the history of sociology. His pioneering work on Victorian traveler and sociologist Harriet Martineau — a consummate hiker — finds resonance in the late-century American traveler and arts activist, Harriet Monroe; the parallels and differences marking the two offer striking perspectives on the alternative experiences of nineteenth-century women who were not married-with-children.

Well-educated and given access to many books, Harriet Monroe had literary ambitions that included poetry, verse-dramas, nonfiction prose, art criticism and journalism (Chicago Tribune). From early in life, she was determined to be “great and famous,” to leave behind “some memorable record.” Conventional associations linking poetry with a sort of immortality here play out in a writer who chose to ignore the “truism” that women cannot write poetry. As an editor, Monroe’s signature contribution to literary history concerns her emphasis on the professionalization of poetry through establishing a publication devoted to writing that was new and innovative, and for which poets were fairly paid. In the words of Poetry editor Don Share, Monroe “invented a box … and promptly set to work thinking outside it.”

doi: 10.32873/unl.dc.zea.1508


978-1-60962-317-3 ebook

Publication Date



Jane Addams Research Center Publication Series, No. 3


St. Joseph, Michigan 49085


poetry, Poetry Magazine, diaries, Switzerland, Harriet Monroe


Arts and Humanities | Literature in English, North America | Modern Literature


Copyright © by Michael R. Hill 2023

Foreword Copyright © by Deborah Anna Logan 2023

HARRIET MONROE: An American Poet in Vevey. Her Diary Entries, May 16 – July 26, 1898