Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Edgar Lee Masters  

Pen Name: Webster Ford

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: August 23, 1868 in Garnette, Kansas

Died: March 5, 1950

-- Website --
-- Website --
-- Website --
-- Wikipedia --

Illinois Connection

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 (1942).


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

Selected Titles At Your Library

Across Spoon River :
ISBN: 0252060512. OCLC Number: 21518018

University of Illinois Press,. .

Along the Illinois
ISBN: 1877869198. OCLC Number: 21051352

Mason County Members, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,. .

Domesday book.
ISBN: 1313150630. OCLC Number: 926768790

Hardpress Ltd,. .

Mark Twain; a portrait.
ISBN: 0819601713. OCLC Number: 270967

Biblo and Tannen,. .

New spoon river.
ISBN: 1568491204. OCLC Number: 948366450

Buccaneer Books,. .

Poems that touch the heart
ISBN: 0385044011. OCLC Number: 16720393

Doubleday,. .

A collection of poems, compiled by A.L. Alexander, who used one of the inspirational verses to close each of his radio broadcasts of The Good Will Court, and The Court of Human Relations.

Singing America
ISBN: 0670861502. OCLC Number: 32399532

Viking,. .

An anthology of poems that describe, celebrate and bring to vivid life the American experience.

Spoon River Anthology
ISBN: 9600040014596. OCLC Number: 1078557284

. .

The family album of favorite poems
ISBN: 0399129324. OCLC Number: 1358478

Grosset & Dunlap,. .

A collection of more than 500 poems for the entire family, including nature poems, ancient ballads, story poems, love poems, inspirational verse, children's verse, occasional poems, patriotic poems, Christmas and New Year's verse, humorous poems--Jacket.

The golden fleece of California
ISBN: 188598328X. OCLC Number: 463477794

Turtle Point Press,. .

The Sangamon
ISBN: 0252060385. OCLC Number: 484463

Farrar & Rinehart,. .