Individual Author Record
Masters was raised in Petersburg and Lewistown in Menard County. He also lived in Chicago.
Biographical and Professional Information
Edgar Lee Masters was a poet, novelist and biographer. He was one of the most important poets of the Chicago Renaissance. His Spoon River Anthology (1915) beccame the single most widely read book of American poetry. He was raised in Petersburg and Lewistown, Illinois, and studied law and literature.Masters, along with Vachel Lindsay and Carl Sandburg, was one of the three important poets of the Chicago Renaissance. A Chicago lawyer, he wrote Spoon River Anthology
(1915), a series of monologues in which residents of the small town of Spoon River speak from beyond the grave of the narrowness, constriction and disappointments of their lives. The book was immensely popular, becoming the single most widely read book of American poetry. It also had an important impact on the development of modern poetry, with its ironic, anti-romantic tone, freedom of form and plain, colloquial diction. Later works include a biography of Vachel Lindsay (1935), Across Spoon River
(1936) and The Sangamon
Selected Titles At Your Library
Mark Twain Silver Medal, 1936 Poetry Society of America medal, 1941 Academy of American Poets Fellowship, 1942 Shelley Memorial Award, 1944 Illinois Author of the Year, Illinois Association of Teachers of English, 1974 Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990 Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2014