NW Quadrant, West of Rock Creek, Female, Hosts of Literary Salons, Journalists, Radicals, Also of Interest

Katherine Garrison Chapin
(September 4, 1890 - December 30, 1977)

1669 31st St. NW, Georgetown neighborhood, DC.

Chapin is the author of seven books of poems, and was appointed in 1944 by Archibald MacLeish to serve as one of the original Fellows in Letters of the Library of Congress. She also served as a judge for the Bollingen Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the National Book Award in Poetry.

Chapin was a civil rights activist, volunteer lecturer on poetry to schools and clubs, and (with her husband, US Attorney General Francis Biddle) a patron who 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. She held a literary salon in this house from the early 1960s through 1971.

Chapin's essays and poetry reviews appeared widely in journals, including The Nation, New Republic, Poetry, Harper's and Ladies Home Journal. She translated poetry from Spanish and French into English, and was the author of two plays, The Tapestry for the Duchess (1925) and Sojourner Truth (1948). Her poetry books are: Outside of the World (1930), Bright Mariner (1933), Time Has No Shadow (1936), Lament for the Stolen (1938), Plain Chant for America (1942), The Other Journey (1959), and The Chinese Deer (1975).