Katherine Garrison Chapin (1890-1977)

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Katherine Garrison Chapin (September 4, 1890 - December 30, 1977) was a poet whose work was published in Harper’s, Scribner’s, Saturday Review, North American Review, Poetry, and the Ladies’ Home Journal. Some of her other works were performed to music by leading orchestras. She published seven volumes of poetry as well as two plays, short stories, and articles, as well as translations of poetry from Spanish and French into English.

Chapin’s book of poetry The Other Journey (1959), perhaps her best known work, explores the complex process of going deeper into oneself while going further in an exterior journey. Other books include: Bright Mariner (1933), Lament for the Stolen (1938), and The Chinese Deer (1975). In 1944, Chapin was appointed one of the original Fellows of Letters at the Library of Congress. She served as a judge for the Bollingen Award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the National Book Award in Poetry. Chapin was a civil rights activist and hosted a literary salon in her home in the 1960s. With her husband, US Attorney General Francis Biddle, she helped to support a number of artists in need, including Owen Dodson, Langston Hughes, Saint-John Perse and William Carlos Williams, as well as several composers and painters.

DC Writers’ Homes: http://dcwriters.poetrymutual.org/pages/chapin.html

written by Word Works intern Monica Root, September 2013, edited by Kim Roberts, December 2013

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