Laura (Riding) Jackson (January 16, 1901 – September 2, 1991) was an American poet, critic, novelist, essayist and short story writer.
She was born Laura Reichenthal in New York to a family of Austrian Jewish immigrants, and educated at Cornell University, where she began to write poetry, publishing first (1923–26) under the name Laura Riding Gottschalk. She became associated with the Fugitives through Allen Tate, and they published her poems in The Fugitive magazine. Her first marriage, to historian Louis R. Gottschalk (1899–1975), ended in divorce in 1925, at the end of which year she went to England at the invitation of Robert Graves and his wife Nancy Nicholson. She would remain in Europe for nearly fourteen years.
The excitement stirred by Laura Riding's poems is hinted at in Sonia Raiziss' later description: "When The Fugitive (1922–1925) flashed down the new sky of American poetry, it left a brilliant scatter of names: Ransom, Tate, Warren, Riding, Crane.... Among them, the inner circle and those tangent to it as contributors, there was no one quite like Laura Riding." ("An Appreciation," Chelsea 12 1962, 28.) Riding's first collection of poetry, The Close Chaplet, was published in 1926, and during the following year she assumed the surname Riding. By this time the originality of her poetry was becoming ever more evident: generally she favoured a distinctive form of free verse over conventional metres. She, Robert Graves and Nancy Nicholson lived in London until Riding's failed suicide attempt in 1927. It is generally agreed that this episode was a major cause of the break-up of Graves's first marriage: the whole affair caused a famous literary scandal...
Quotes by Laura Riding
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