H.D.’s Life

H.D. (Hilda Doolittle): Biography

H.D. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Perdita Schaffner and New Directions Publishing Corp. Photo portrait of H.D. facing left with velvet ribbon in her hairH.D. made valuable contributions to many areas of literature and culture:

  • wrote poetry early in her career that shaped the direction of Imagism and modernism with Ezra Pound and Richard Aldington
  • translated Greek poetry, including poetry by Sappho and Euripides
  • wrote stunning long poems that recorded the modern response to world wars, reimagined changes in gender roles and status, and reshaped the function and purpose of poetry
  • pioneered work in semiautobiographical fiction, life writing, and experimental fiction
  • served in editorial roles and contributed to The Egoist, Close Up, Life and Letters To-Day, and other modernist little magazines
  • advanced the field of film studies and film production through her work with Bryher and Kenneth Macpherson in POOL Films, especially the film Borderline
  • championed, reviewed, and supported the work of a range of other modernists, including Marianne Moore, Sylvia Beach, Dorothy Richardson, Robert Herring, May Sinclair, and myriad others
  • worked with psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud, Hanns Sachs, Havelock Ellis, Melitta Schmideberg, Erich Heydt, and others
  • inspired later poets like Denise Levertov, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, and Susan Howe
Brief Biographies
Louis Silverstein’s H.D. Chronology
Ed. by Heather Hernandez

The Silverstein Chronology is one of the most comprehensive resources for tracing the dates and places of H.D.’s life and career. As Heather Hernandez describes on imagists.org, “Culling from the archives, Silverstein and later scholars have traced the timeline of important events, communications, publications, and travels throughout H.D.’s life, including details from her family history.”For a guide to nicknames and acronyms used in the chronology and elsewhere, see Silverstein’s “Nicknames and Acronyms Used by H.D. and Her Circle.“This resource is made available online by Heather Hernandez at imagists.org, with the permission of Monty Montee. As Louis Silverstein wrote in Planting the Seeds: Selections from the H.D. Chronology, “The H.D. Chronology is a “work in progress” being compiled by Louis H. Silverstein with the assistance, contribution, and encouragement of numerous H.D. scholars. Additional comments, corrections, and contributions will be greatly appreciated.” More information on the background of this incredible resource is available at http://www.imagists.org/hd/hdchron.html.

The H.D. Biography Wiki
Ed. by Celena E. Kusch and Rebecca Walsh

The H.D. Biography Wiki offers a collaborative space for publishing brief notes and identifying important links to other publications that illuminate the life and career of H.D.


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