NW Quadrant, West of Rock Creek, Georgetown, Federal Government Employees, Female, Major Literary Awardees, Translators, U.S. Poets Laureate, Also of Interest

Louise Bogan
(August 11, 1897 – February 4, 1970)

1207 35th St NW, Georgetown neighborhood, DC.

Bogan was born in Maine to a working class family, and her mother struggled with mental illness. She completed only one year of college. Despite these impediments, Bogan was appointed US Poet Laureate in 1945, the first woman to be so honored, and was poetry editor of the New Yorker for nearly 40 years, from 1931 to 1969. She is considered by many critics to be one of the finest lyric poets of the first half of the 20th century.

Bogan is the author of six books of poems: Body of This Death (1923), Dark Summer (1929), The Sleeping Fury (1937), Poems and New Poems (1941), Collected Poems, 1923 – 1953 (1954), and The Blue Estuaries (1968). In addition, she translated works by Ernst Jünger, Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, Yvan Goll, and Jules Renard. Her criticism was collected in Achievement in American Poetry, 1900-1950 (1951), and she co-edited The Golden Journey: Poems for Young People (with William Jay Smith, 1965). Her selected letters were published posthumously in 1973, as was an autobiography, Journey Around My Room (1980).

Bogan was a visiting professor at the University of Washington, the University of Chicago, the University of Arkansas, and Brandeis University. Her honors include a Bollingen Award and am Academy of American Poets award.

During her year in DC as Poet Laureate, she sublet the Georgetown apartment of another poet, Selden Rodman. She was not happy here, writing in a letter to a friend, “It was a true exile, in many ways, in spite of the frequent week-ends.” In another letter, written toward the end of her term, she wrote: “The Library machinery still baffles me; but I have leaned over backwards to be cool and detached and cheerful and obliging.” She concluded that the experience was “pleasant, and I have learned a lot; and the Library has learned a few things, too.”

Also home of Selden Rodman.