Theodore Enslin

Picture of author Theodore Enslin
Photo courtesy of John Phillips.

Shearsman Titles

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About the author

Theodore Enslin (1925–2011) is widely regarded as one of the most musical of American avant-garde poets. He was born in Chester, Pennsylvania. His father was a biblical scholar and his mother a Latin scholar. He studied musical composition at Cambridge, Mass. His teacher, Nadia Boulanger, was the first person to recognize his ability as a writer and encouraged him to pursue his interest in poetry. He said, "I like to be considered as a composer who happens to use words instead of notes." His first book, The Work Proposed, was published by Origin Press in 1958.
      Enslin moved to Maine in 1960 and lived in Washington County until his death, working at odd jobs and making and selling handmade walking sticks. The Maine landscape forms an integral part of his poetry, as does the isolation, both geographic and in terms of the distance from literary fashion and the academy that his life on the physical margin of the United States allowed. 

 

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