Jazz-age poet Edna St. Vincent Millay as remembered
by bohemian radical, writer, and critic Floyd Dell before his death.
Jerri Dell, Biography | Memoir
Publication Date: 03/01/2017
260 Pages, 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Purchase in paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound; in eBook editions at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play and Kobo
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten*
One hundred years ago, Bohemian author and editor of the radical Masses magazine, Floyd Dell, began a passionate affair with a newcomer to Greenwich Village — the yet to be discovered “girl poet,” Edna St. Vincent Millay. In the years that followed, both Dell and Millay became symbols of early 20th-century feminism, rebellion, and literary freedom.
A century later, while poring over her grandfather Floyd’s papers at Chicago’s Newberry Library, Jerri Dell discovered hundreds of handwritten letters and an unpublished memoir about his love affair with Millay. Finding him as outlandish, entertaining and insightful as he was when she knew him fifty years before, she chose to bring him and his poet lover back to life within the pages of this book.
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night*
Admirers of Edna Millay – as well as literary and political history buffs, Bohemian Village enthusiasts, and readers interested in writers who famously influenced social norms – are sure to enjoy this eye-witness account of a fascinating woman and exceptional poet.
*Excerpts from Sonnet XLIII and First Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Advance Praise for Blood Too Bright
“Artfully brought to vivid life are the lives and loves of two
extravagantly romantic rebels who found themselves and each
other at the heart of America’s truest bohemia, the
Greenwich Village of the early 20th century.” —Douglas Clayton
Floyd Dell: The Life and Times of an American Rebel
“In memoir, letters, and prose, Millay and her Village world come alive. Floyd Dell deepens our understanding of her dedication to poetry, commitment to the radical causes of feminism and pacifism, and love affairs with women and men.” —Dana Greene
Denise Levertov: A Poet’s Life
“[Dell] … illuminates not only his astute powers of observation … but also Edna St. Vincent Millay’s self-defined conflict between romantic love vs. art, heart vs. mind, that she tackled in both her poetry and prose.” —Holly Peppe, Literary Executor, Edna St. Vincent Millay
“Floyd Dell’s granddaughter has unearthed a trove of his private letters. The result, collected here, is the first in-depth entrée into Floyd Dell’s brilliant mind as it tries to grasp that of Edna Millay, his still-elusive
and enigmatic lover.” —Barbara Hurd Listening to the Savage:
River Notes and Half-Heard Melodies
“Jerri Dell’s compelling preface, interlaced with memories of her grandfather, the fiery radical and astute man of letters, entices readers into this absorbing exploration of love and literature.”
—Krystyna Poray Goddu A Girl Called Vincent:
The Life of Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay
About Writer/Editor Floyd Dell
Floyd Dell (1887 – 1969), a central figure of the Chicago Literary Renaissance and Greenwich Village bohemianism of the early 20th century, was a pivotal writer whose advocacy of feminism, socialism, psycho-analysis and progressive education shocked the American bourgeoisie.
Managing editor of the radical magazine The Masses, Dell was twice put on trial for publishing subversive literature. He has been called one of the most flamboyant, versatile and influential American Men of Letters of his time.