Genevieve Taggard

Benevieve Taggard. Courtesy Femilogue.

Genevieve Taggard (November 28, 1894 - November 8, 1948) was an American poet, best remembered today for her biography of Emily Dickinson.[1]


Taggard was born in Waitsburg, Washington, to Alta (Arnold) and James Taggard, both of whom were school teachers. Her parents were both active members of the Disciples of Christ, and when she was two moved with her to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they became missionaries and founded a school in which they also taught. Genevieve Taggard began writing poetry at the age of 13.

In 1914 the family left Hawaii, and Taggard enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley. Here she became an active member of the socialist political and literary community. She graduated in 1919 upon which she moved to New York City in 1920.[2]

Once in New York she started working for the publisher B.W. Huebsch, and in 1921 she co-founded the journal The Measure along with fellow writer and friend Maxwell Anderson. In the same year she married poet and novelist Robert Wolf, with whom she had her only child, Marcia Wolf (later Liles). Upon living in New York for most of the 1920s she assumed a teaching position at Mount Holyoke College where she taught from 1929 to 1930.

In 1931, she was a Guggenheim Fellow.[3] In 1932, she accepted a professorship at Bennington College. In 1934 Taggard and Wolf divorced, and the following year she married Kenneth Durant.[4] In 1934, she moved on to teach at Sarah Lawrence College, where she remained until 1947, a year before her death.

Her poems were published in The Nation,[5] The Kenyon Review, The New Yorker, and The New Republic.

During the 1930s, sparked in part by the Great Depression, but also largely by her philanthropic upbringing and her commitment to socialism, her poetry began to reflect her political and social views much more prominently. During this time a Guggenheim Fellowship allowed her to spend a year in Majorca, Spain and Antibes, France. The experience of Spain in its time shortly before the Spanish Civil War gave further rise and inspiration to her cause of raising social and political awareness of civil rights issues.

She died in New York City.[1]

Her papers are held at Dartmouth College[6] and the New York Public Library. [7]


Poetry Edit

  • For Eager Lovers. New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1922.
  • Hawaiian Hilltop. San Francisco: Grabhorn Press / Wyckoff & Gelber, 1923.
  • Words for the ChiselNew York: Knopf, 1926.
  • Travelling Standing Still. Poems, 1918-1928. New York: Knopf, 1928.
  • Not Mine to Finish: Poems, 1928–1934. New York & London: Harper, 1934.
  • Ten Introductions: A collection of modern verse. New York: Arrow, 1934.
  • Calling Western Union. New York & London: Harper, 1936.
  • Collected Poems, 1918–1938. New York & London: Harper, 1938.
  • Long View. New York & London: Harper, 1942.
  • Falcon: Poems on Soviet themes. New York: privately published, 1942.
  • A Part of Vermont. East Jamaica, VT: River Press, 1945.
  • Slow Music. New York & London: Harper, 1946.
  • Origin: Hawaii: Poems. Honolulu, HI: D. Angus, 1947.
  • Exchange of Awe. New York: John B. Watkins, 1949.
  • To the Natural World. Boise, ID: Ahsahta Press, 1980.

Non-fiction Edit

  • The Life and Mind of Emily Dickinson. New York & London: Knopf, 1930.


  • May Days: An anthology of verse from Masses-Liberator, 1912-1924. New York: Boni & Liveright, 1925.
  • Circumference: Varieties of metaphysical verse, 1456-1928. New York, Covici, Friede, 1929.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[8]

Audio / VideoEdit

  • Poems (LP). East Jamaica, Vt. : River Press, [1953?] [8]

See alsoEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 Genevieve Taggard, Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Web,
  2. Genevieve Taggar: Biographical note, Modern American Poetry, Department of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Web, Mar. 15, 2015.
  4. Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S. Boyer, Notable American Women, 1607-1950: a biographical dictionary, Volume 3, Harvard University Press, 1971, p422. ISBN 0674627342
  8. 8.0 8.1 Search results = au:Genevieve Taggard, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Mar. 15 2015.

External LinksEdit

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