Manhattan Men: AK Correspondence in NY

In a letter to Joel Spingarn in 1924, Kreymborg wrote, “I think, don’t you, that it’s about time we shook hands?” (Joel E. Spingarn). Although there isn’t anything particularly revealing about the letter, it serves as a representative example of Kreymborg’s character. As Harold Loeb writes in The Way it Was, “[Kreymborg’s] list of acquaintances must have included half the poets of America” (9).

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Mentions of Kreymborg

“The best thing that could happen for the good of poetry in the United States today would be for someone to give Alfred Kreymborg a hundred thousand dollars. In his mind there is the determination for freedom brought into relief by a crabbedness of temper that makes him peculiarly able to value what is being done here.”

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Tackling Kreymborg’s Extensive Oeuvre

For my second installment in the three-part post for this month, here’s an update on Kreymborg’s work that I have read so far.

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Kreymborg’s Correspondence

After weeks of research on Kreymborg, I have much to share—having read hundreds of letters written to him, the occasional letter written by him, much of his creative and critical work, and a variety of autobiographical and critical sources that address him, I feel as though I’ve become a personal acquaintance of Kreymborg’s, and have begun to develop a much fuller picture of his work and life.

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A Summer with Kreymborg

Hello, all. My name is Ben Norris and I’ll be spending my summer researching Alfred Kreymborg, a literary figure who was influential in the development of Modernist poetry and literature but is now largely overlooked. After taking multiple courses with Professor MacGowan—who is advising my project—I became aware of Kreymborg as an important figure, but I wrongly perceived him as the type of poet that is mentioned only in his relation to more canonical figures like William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore. After doing a little research, however, I found that Kreymborg was a very central figure in the literary world, writing, publishing, and editing in the artistic groups that are now considered among the most influential of the early twentieth century.

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