Monroe, Harriet (1860–1936) By Hadjiyiannis, Christos
Harriet Monroe was an American woman of letters who — from her position as founder and long-time editor of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse — fostered, promoted, and disseminated modernist literature. Although also a poet, critic, biographer, dramatist and anthologist in her own right, it is her editorship of Poetry that accounts for Monroe’s reputation and warrants her significance as an influential figure in the development of literary modernism. From its inception in October 1912 and throughout modernism’s formative years, Poetry served as the primary venue for the work of prominent modernist writers. H. D., T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, and Ford Madox Ford, among many others, all found in Poetry a welcoming venue for their work. In her effort to encourage and disseminate modernist literature, Monroe was significantly aided by the magazine’s associate editor (1912-1922), Alice Corbin Henderson, and by Ezra Pound, who acted as Poetry’s foreign correspondent from 1912 to 1917. Poetry continues to publish more than one hundred years after Monroe founded it.