Louise Bogan was born in Livermore Falls, Maine, in 1897. She attended
Boston Girls' Latin School and spent one year at Boston University. She
married in 1916 and was widowed in 1920. In 1925, she married her second
husband, the poet Raymond Holden, whom she divorced in 1937.
Her poems were published in the New Republic, the Nation, Poetry: A Magazine
of Verse, Scribner's and Atlantic Monthly. For
thirty-eight years, she reviewed poetry for The New Yorker.
Bogan found the confessional poetry of Robert Lowell and John Berryman distasteful and self-indulgent. With the poets whose work she
admired, however, such as Theodore Roethke, she was extremely supportive and encouraging. She was reclusive and disliked talking about herself, and for that reason details are scarce regarding her private life.
Bogan's ability is unique in its strict adherence to lyrical forms, while
maintaining a high emotional pitch: she was preoccupied with exploring the
perpetual disparity of heart and mind. The majority of her poetry was written in the earlier half of her life when she published Body of This Death (1923) and Dark Summer (1929) and The Sleeping Fury (1937). She subsequently published volumes of her collected verse, and The Blue Estuaries: Poems 1923-1968, an overview of her life's work in poetry. She died in New York City in 1970.
A Selected Bibliography
Body of This Death (1923)
Collected Poems 1923-1953 (1954)
Dark Summer (1929)
Poems and New Poems (1941)
The Blue Estuaries 1923-1968 (1968)
The Sleeping Fury (1937)
Achievement in American Poetry, 1900-1950 (1951)
Selected Criticism: Poetry and Prose (1955)
What the Woman Lived, selected letters (1973)