Conrad Aiken. Collection, 1961.
Biographical / Historical Note
Aiken, though neglected today and largely unappreciated during his
lifetime, is one of the most significant figures in the development of
American Modernism. Aiken enrolled at Harvard in 1907, thus qualifying
him as a member of one of the famous classes of 1910-1915 which included
T.S. Eliot, E.E. Cummings, John Reed, Robert Benchley, and Walter
Lippmann. Leaving Harvard in his senior year, Aiken embarked on the first of several trips to Europe. There he met Ezra Pound and Amy Lowell
who were then launching the Imagist movement. Soon after his graduation,
Aiken moved to Europe and began writing and reviewing for New Republic , Poetry ,
Dial , and other periodicals. By 1925, he
was settled in Boston and well into a writing career that produced more
than 50 books of poetry, fiction, and criticism.