SE Quadrant, Architecturally Significant, Major Literary Awardees, Translators, Also of Interest

Ezra Pound
(October 30, 1885 - November 1, 1972)

St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Chestnut Ward,
2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Anacostia neighborhood, DC.
Now a National Historic Site. Not open to the public..

Pound, winner of the Bollingen Award, was imprisoned here for treason for 12 years, from 1946 to 1958.

A major figure in early modernist poetry, Pound developed the Imagist movement, and is best known for Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920) and his unfinished epic poem, The Cantos (1917-1969). Pound was foreign editor for several American literary magazines, and helped to discover and shape the work of several writers, including T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway. He lived most of his adult life in London, Paris, and Rapallo, Italy.

When Pound was released from St. Elizabeth's Hospital, thanks to a protracted campaign by Archibald MacLeish and other writers, he returned to Italy. He published over 30 books of poems during his lifetime, in addition to essays and translations.

Architect: Thomas U. Walter
Year: 1855
The Government Hospital for the Insane was the first federal mental institution in the US; it was organized by the Department of the Interior in 1855, and renamed St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in 1916. The center building was designed in the Gothic Revival style by the same architect who designed the dome and wings of the US Capitol. The hospital played a national role in developing standards for the treatment of mental illness. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1990.


Beltway Poetry Quarterly, "Rod Jellema on Ezra Pound"