(In fifty-four poems, Ann Struthers evokes the lives and t...)
In fifty-four poems, Ann Struthers evokes the lives and times of the group of writers who gathered around Ralph Waldo Emerson in Concord, Massachusetts in the middle of the 19th Century, and of some of those who were more distantly connected with Emerson's circle. These were the literary and political revolutionaries at the center of the intellectual ferment that helped to give a distinctive savor to our national character in the first great flowering of American literary culture. Here are Louisa May Alcott as an army nurse in the Civil War; Margaret Fuller, the first woman war correspondent, covering the Italian revolution; Harriet Beecher Stowe placing a reproduction of the half-naked Venus de Milo in her Hartford window; Herman Melville in the Holy Land; Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Emerson ice-skating on the Concord River. Each poem recreates a particular moment, showing vividly the material and spiritual circumstances in which famous writers lived and worked. In "Writing Moby-Dick," Struthers shows us Melville feeding pumpkins to his cow in the icy barn at Arrowhead, while his imagination explores warmer realms, and his women keep his home orderly. These are poems for lovers of American literature who want to catch glimpses of "dead" writers as living people; for teachers who want to enrich students' pictures of these authors; and for all who want to read poems that yield beauty on first reading and bounty as they are read again and again.
Bachelor magna cum laude, Morningside College, 1952. Master of Arts, University Iowa, 1971. Doctor of Philosophy, University Iowa, 1980.
Instructor writing and composition Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1973-1977. Assistant professor English composition University Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, 1977-1982. Writer in the Schools Iowa Arts Council, Des Moines, 1982-1986.
Visiting professor American literature, writer-in-residence Coe College, Cedar Rapids, since 1986. Lecturer American Literature University Aleppo, Syria, 1996-1998. Visiting professor Colombo University, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2002—2003.
Editor Coe Review Press, Cedar Rapids, since 1990.
Married Melvin Struthers Junior. Children: John, Georgia, Charity, Mary.