Eleanor Ross Taylor (1920-2011)

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Eleanor Ross Taylor (1920-2011) wrote six books of poetry. After graduating from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, she taught high school English at several schools, then did graduate work at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Her works were published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review, and were praised by several accomplished poets such as Randall Jarrell. In 2010, she won the $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for her collected work. Other awards include the Shelley Memorial Award, and the William Carlos Williams Award. Taylor lived for many years in Charlottesville, VA before moving to her final address in Falls Church, VA. Taylor grew up on a farm in North Carolina, so her poetry often reflected her country/folksy roots. She wrote mostly about the monotony of a woman’s life, and was known to make up words in her work. She often wrote in a way that combined metric structures with free verse. Two of her poetry books include Welcome Eumenides (1972) and Captive Voices: New and Selected Poems, 1960-2008 (2009).

Written by Monica Root December 2013

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