Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Vachel Lindsay  

Pen Name: (Nicholas) Vachel Lindsay

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: November 10, 1879 in Springfield, Illinois

Died: December 5, 1931

-- Vachel Lindsay Association --
-- Vachel Lindsay on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Lindsay was born and raised in Springfield. He graduated from Springfield High School. He moved from Spingfield to attend college and moved back in 1929. Lindsay is buried in Oakridge Cemetary in Springfield.

Biographical and Professional Information

Vachel Lindsay used his hometown of Springfield, Illinois as a base from which he launched a one-man campaign to reform American poetry and culture. His most original works were such poems as "General William Booth Enters into Heaven" and "Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan," which were strongly rhythmic chants about American heroes couched in colorful American colloquial speech. Such poetry was meant to express Lindsay's "Gospel of Beauty," an idealistic program to awaken Americans to art and learning.The Vachel Lindsay House is located at 603 South Fifth Street in Springfield, Illinois. It is the site of Lindsay's birth and death. The site is open to the public Tues-Sat: 12-4:00pm. Lindsay's grave is in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.

Published Works

  • General William Booth Enters Heaven and Other Poems, 1913
  • The Congo and Other Poems, Macmillan, 1914
  • The Daniel Jazz and Other Poems, 1920
  • Johnny Appleseed and Other Poems, Macmillan, 1928
  • Every Soul Is a Circus, Macmillan, 1929
  • Selected Poems of Vachel Lindsay, Macmillan, 1963
  • Springfield Town Is Butterfly Town, and Other Poems for Children, Kent State, 1969

Selected Titles At Your Library


  • Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990
  • Illinois Author of the Year,
  • Illinois Association of Teachers of English, 1970