“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago, November, 1920, West 12th Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York

Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, 28, is quite pleased with herself.

When she came back to Manhattan after spending this summer in Cape Cod with her mother, sisters, and various visitors, she discovered that she had become famous.

Millay had won a $100 prize for a poem (and spent it all on clothes). Her poetry collection, A Few Figs from Thistles, is in all the bookstores’ windows.

“First Fig” from A Few Figs from Thistles

And this month, one of her beaus, Edmund “Bunny” Wilson, 25, has given her poetry a whole page in Vanity Fair, where he is managing editor, calling her

the Most Distinguished American poet of the Younger Generation.”

In the issue she is squeezed between “The Anarchists of Taste” by Wilson and “The Art of Living as a Feminine Institution” by another Vanity Fair editor, John Peale Bishop, 28. Cozy.

Vanity Fair, November, 1920

As she had indeed been squeezed between the two on her daybed in this apartment just recently. Edna insisted on assigning John her upper half, and Bunny the lower. He agreed that he had the

better share.”

However, ironically, after having recently lent a birth control manual to her sister’s boyfriend, Edna now thinks she might be pregnant.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

My “Such Friends” presentations, The Founding of the Abbey Theatre and Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, are available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre.

This fall I am talking about writers’ salons in Paris and New York after the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. Early next year I will be talking about Perkins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway in the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

One thought on ““Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago, November, 1920, West 12th Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York

  1. Wonderful posts and inspiration, Kathleen! I have my Millay sonnets sitting out among books I’m sorting. Time to read some!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s