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Louise Bogan, What the Woman Lived

What the Woman Lived is a comprehensive collection of Louise Bogan's correspondence, spanning the last 60 years of her life. Published four years after her death, these letters and notes were presented at the Manhattan Theatre Poetry Club shortly after in 1975 through readings by actresses Marian Seldes and Katheryn Walker. This recording was directed and produced by Corinne Jacker and Janet Sterberg, respectively.

Louise Bogan (1897-1970) has been celebrated as one of the most accomplished female poets in the 20th Century. Often linked to the “reactionary generation” of writers, she prevailed against the Modernist writing styles that dominated her era. Her poems are lyrical yet economical in word usage and her language is immediate and not riddled with sentimentality.

Bogan was the poetry editor for The New Yorker for nearly 40 years. In addition to numerous book collections, her individual works were published in The New Republic, Atlantic Monthly, Scribner's, and The Nation. She was appointed the fourth Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress in 1945.

Bogan's life was filled with provocative provocations and dramatic physiological shifts. She abandoned her academic career in favour of her first husband at the young age of 19, lived abroad, and for a time was institutionalized for depression. One critic has noted that her letters are full of pithy observations and that she demonstrates a bright yet snarky perspective on personal drama. The collection spans over the many and diverse chapters of her life, including material such as candid reports of personal achievements and distressing comments on the successes of literary rivals. What the Woman Lived is representative of Bogan's passive, literary wit, and is a near objectification of her autobiography.


Historic Audio from the Archives of Charles Ruas


An unparalleled collection of recovered and restored programs from the seventies produced by Charles Ruas, and featuring Allen Ginsberg, John Giorno, Anaïs Nin, William Boroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Luis Borges, among numerous others.