Carl Bode (1911-1993)

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Carl Bode (1911 - January 5, 1993) was author an editor of many books on H.L. Mencken, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. He also wrote three volumes of poetry, wrote several columns for The Baltimore Sun, and reviewed books and essays for The Washington Post.

Bode was the cultural attaché to the American Embassy in London as well as the member of the Cosmos Club in Washington who introduced the idea of including women in the club. He founded the Mencken Society, was president of Thoreau Society of America, and wrote the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Mencken and Thoreau entries. He also directed the development of the Mencken Museum.

At the University of Maryland, Bode taught English and American Studies for almost four decades, serving as executive secretary of its American civilization program. He was awarded fellowships from the Ford and Guggenheim Foundations and the Newberry Library. He also founded the American Studies Association and led the Middle Atlantic Section of the College English Association, the Popular Culture Association, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Maryland State Humanities Council, and the United States Education Commission in the UK. According to his obituary in The New York Times, Bode was known as an authority on American literature and culture.

Bode lived in the area from 1947 until 1993. His books of poems are The Sacred Seasons (1975) and Practical Magic (1981).

info from http://www.nytimes.com/1993/01/07/arts/dr-carl-bode-81-a-scholar-of-american-culture.html DC Writers’ Homes: http://dcwriters.poetrymutual.org/pages/bode.html

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


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