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Margareth Widdemer

Fiction Writer · Poet
Born September 30, 1885, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Died July 14, 1978, Gloversville, New York

My aesthetic bias has always been towards the classic and conservative; curiously mingled with a deep interest in social problems, which has given my poetry conservative form and modern content in many cases. I am strongly against specialization in art or life, and have continued to do work in as many literary mediums as I could find.-Margaret Widdemer


Margaret Widdemer, a Pulitzer prize winning poet and novelist, was born in Doylestown. She began her literary career with a series of light novels set in Asbury Park, where she spent most of her childhood. Her first novel, The Boardwalk, was semi-autobiographical. In 1919 she shared the Pulitzer Prize with Carl Sandburg for her anti-child labor poem, The Factories. Although Widdemer earned her living by writing novels, 32 in all, and short stories, including Graven Image, Lani, and Red Castle Woman, poetry remained her first love. She won several awards for her poems, among them the Trimmed Lamp Prize, the Literary Review Prize for satire, and the Lyric Prize. Her last collected volume of poetry, The Dark Cavalier, was published in 1958 at the age of 73.
Margaret was a teacher as well as writer, instructing at the Chautaugua Writer's Conference, at Columbia University, and through a series of radio talks on NBC's Do You Want to Write?
In addition to her fiction, Margaret published several books on writing, and summed up her life in her memoirs, Golden Friends I Had. She died in 1978 at age 93, while working on an unfinished novel entitled A Rope to Hang My Love.
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Image: Photo of Margaret Widdemer, courtesy of John D. Widdemer


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