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Yaddo Founders
Lola Ridge
       Yaddo, 1929
       > Firehead
       Yaddo, 1930
       Dance of Fire
Sylvia Plath
       Coming Soon 
Newton Arvin
       Coming Soon 
Constance Carrier

Lola Ridge: Firehead

Click to read more of Lola Ridge's annotated typescript of Firehead, 1929.

Photograph, undated

Lola Ridge, studio photograph by Esta Varez, 1918

Letter, 1929

Lola Ridge at typewriter, photograph, no date

Letter, 1929Letter, 1929

Lola Ridge to David Lawson, signed autograph letters, 18 July and 25 August 1929


Ridge worked on Firehead while she was at Yaddo. The narrative poem takes place from dawn to dawn on the day of the Crucifixion.

Two weeks after she arrived at Yaddo, Lawson sent Ridge a book on “the historical Jesus,” along with the “Bible, Noah’s Dove and Roan Stallion.” He also suggested that she hire a commercial typist. On 18 July, Ridge told her husband that she sent William Rose Benét, by special delivery “53 pages of Firehead,” which included “all of He including mob and song and John” and she started “work on Judas.” Benét was an editor of the Saturday Review of Literature and helped publish Ridge’s work. Lawson wrote back on 22 August: “Bill spoke of you saying he soon hoped to have all of Firehead.” Ridge answered her husband on 25 August: “A nice letter from Bill Benet today [. . .] he says he thinks Judas very fine.” She ended her letter to Lawson by saying “I realize I have overworked [. . .] the Bondman is going to take out of me the last bit of nerve force I possess.”


Letter, 1929Letter, 1929

David Lawson to Lola Ridge, 15 June and 22 August 1929

Book Cover, 1929

Lola Ridge, Firehead. New York: Payson & Clarke, 1929

Letter, 1929

Elizabeth Ames to Lola Ridge, signed autograph letter, 16 December 1929


Payson & Clarke published Firehead on 9 December 1929 in time for the holiday season: 25 copies on handmade paper, 225 copies on rag paper, and a trade edition (shown here).  Ridge dedicated the book "TO YADDO" and sent an inscribed copy to Elizabeth Ames who affectionately thanked Ridge on 16 December 1929: “That you in your high estate in literature should pay this tribute to us with your magnum opus makes us proud indeed—and very humble.”



Next Page: Lola Ridge, Case Three

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