Caresse Crosby (1891-1970)

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Caresse Crosby (April 20, 1891 - January 26, 1970) was author of five books of poetry and a memoir, as well as the co-founder of the Black Sun Press and founder of Crosby Continental Editions in Paris. Crosby invented the first modern bra to receive a patent and gain wide acceptance when she was 19.

Born Mary Phelps Jacob, in 1926 she left her expatriate life in Paris and bought Hampton Manor, a 486-acre estate in Bowling Green, VA, where she provided refuge to European artists during World War II. She lived in DC from 1937 to 1950, and opened a modern art gallery and founded the magazine Portfolio: An Intercontinental Review.

A peace activist and promoter of international artistic exchange, Crosby also founded Women Against War, and started an artist colony in a 15th c. castle in Rome, Castello di Rocca Siniblada. Her poetry books are: Crosses of Gold (1925), Painted Shores (1927), The Stranger (1927), Impossible Melodies (1928), and Poems for Harry Crosby (1930). Her autobiography is The Passionate Years (1953).

http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-03508.html Beltway Poetry Quarterly, “Three DC Editors,” Richard Peabody, Volume 7:4, Fall 2006: http://washingtonart.com/beltway/3dceditors.html DC Writers’ Homes: http://dcwriters.poetrymutual.org/pages/crosby.html

written by Word Works intern Monica Root, September 2013; edited by Kim Roberts, January 2016.



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