SE Quadrant, Federal Government Employees, Major Literary Awardees, U.S. Poets Laureate

Conrad Aiken
(August 5, 1889 – August 17, 1973)

323 Second Street SE, Capitol Hill neighborhood, DC.

Aiken lived here while serving as US Poet Laureate Consultant, from 1950 to 1952.

Aiken wrote to his daughter that the job provided “so little to do that I am bored except when I can do work of my own…It’s largely a matter of receiving visitors and answering peculiar questions and turning down invitations to speak or read…The best thing is my office, generally reputed to be the handsomest in the city, top floor, overlooking Capitol on one side and Supreme Court on tother, with view out to river and country too—all Washington. A fine stone balcony on which to perch, too…Washington is dull, I think, like something abandoned by a World’s Fair…”

Aiken wrote or edited over 50 books. His poetry books include Nocturne of Remembered Spring (1917), The Kid (1947), The House of Dust (1920), and A Letter from Li Po and Other Poems (1955). In 1930, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for his Selected Poems. In addition to poetry, he also published novels, short fiction, an autobiography, and literary criticism.


Also later home of Stephen Spender.