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Tietjens
Matzene
Eunice Tietjens
Harriet Monroe
A Poet’s Life
New York: Macmillan
1938

 

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Eunice Tietjens became Harriet Monroe’s associate editor at Poetry in 1913. A poet, novelist, editor, and anthologist, Tietjens was born Eunice Hammond in Chicago in 1884. Her poems began to appear in Poetry in 1913 and Harriet Monroe soon invited Tietjens to join the magazine’s editorial staff. Years later, Monroe remembered Tietjens' striking appearance: “Eunice was tall and dark...and her olive skin and midnight eyes were emphasized by a heavy mass of dark brown hair.”1 The two women developed a close personal friendship and an effective editorial collaboration that lasted for many years. An extremely generous editor, Tietjens had a style that contrasted with that of Monroe, an editor who was not likely to treat would-be contributors with kid gloves. According to Monroe, Tietjens was “tender toward the hapless aspirants whose touching letters and worthless verse might move us to tears of sorrow or mirth, but never to acceptance.”2 Tietjens eventually became an associate editor with the magazine and she continued to work there on and off for the rest of her life. Though her work is no longer read widely, Tietjens was a poet of considerable note in her time. One contemporary reviewer wrote, “that old fashioned type of mind that that enjoys the same things repeated in the same form ad infinitum will have no use for Mrs. Tietjens when she vigorously kicks what she regards as the swaddling hands of rhyme aside.”3 More recently, literary scholars have commented that, of all the women writers associated with the Chicago Renaissance, she “came closest to adopting a colloquial voice.”4

1 Harriet Monroe, A Poet’s Life, NY: Macmillan, 1938, p. 324.
2 Harriet Monroe, A Poet’s Life, NY: Macmillan, 1938, p. 324.
3 Herbert S. Gorman, “Poetry’s Battleground of Substance and Form,” New York Times, 1 Mar. 1925.
4 Lisa Woolley, American Voices of the Chicago Renaissance, DeKalb : Northern Illinois, 2000, p. 104.

 

 

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