NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, Female, Hosts of Literary Salons, Radicals

Caresse Crosby
(April 20, 1891–January 26, 1970)

2008 Q St. NW, Dupont Circle neighborhood, DC.

Crosby, born Mary Phelps Jacob, is the author of five books of poems, one memoir, and was editor of one of the earliest literary journals based in DC, Portfolio. Crosby was also the inventor, at age 19, of the first modern brassiere to receive a patent and gain wide acceptance.

In 1925, she founded Black Sun Press in France with her husband, Harry Crosby, publishing such writers as James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, and T.S. Eliot. In 1926 she left her expatriate life and bought Hampton Manor, a 486-acre estate in Bowling Green, VA, where she provided refuge to European artists during World War II. She lived in DC from 1937 to 1950, and opened a modern art gallery.

A peace activist and promoter of international artistic exchange, Crosby also founded Women Against War, and started an artist colony in a 15th c. castle in Rome, Castello di Rocca Siniblada. Her poetry books are: Crosses of Gold (1925), Painted Shores (1927), The Stranger (1927), Impossible Melodies (1928), and Poems for Harry Crosby (1930). Her autobiography is The Passionate Years (1953).


Beltway Poetry Quarterly, "Three DC Editors"