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

Lola Ridge: Friends

Lola Ridge, studio photograph, 1935


Photograph, 1928

Bust of Lola Ridge by Louise Adams Floyd, photograph, 1928

Photograph, 1925

Louise Adams Floyd, Lola Ridge and friends at Mastic, Long Island, photograph, 1925

Letters, 1929

Lola Ridge to Louise Adams Floyd, signed letters from early June and 25 August 1929

In early June Ridge wrote to her friend the sculptor Louise Adams Floyd about Yaddo: “This place is lovely. Everyone most kind. Do tell Srab Mrs. Ames has been an angel to me. I do not however find this grand room ideal. It is too large. I like to be shut in and feel secret and hidden. [. . .] I am doing different work to any I have ever attempted. I am listening to Muse sounds that require that all the noises of the objective world shall be shut out. [. . .] Mrs. Ames lets me do as I like—not even come down to dinner if I do not feel like it.”

Toward the end of her stay at Yaddo Ridge wrote: “I think you’ll like my poem Elai—all the last parts Peter, Merchant of Babylon—now finished strong & the two last parts lead up to the Bondman—O if it were only written—a sharp pounding intense part—I feel like a race horse getting the whip on the last lap.”

Sheet music, undated

Henrietta Glick. "Sunrise Song of Mary of Magdala," holograph sheet music, undated

 

This extract from the oratorio Firehead by Henrietta Glick with text by Lola Ridge is inscribed to Ridge’s husband: “For Davey Lawson with all good wishes from Henrietta Glick.” Glick graduated from Chicago Musical College and composed symphonies that were performed in Italy and Rochester, New York. Gertrude Stein and Marianne Moore were her friends along with Ridge.

Other composers set Ridge’s lyrics to music, including Mildred Gardner who was a guest at Yaddo in 1930. Yaddo fostered collaborations of this kind between the arts.

letter, 1929

Laura Benét to Lola Ridge, 9 August 1929


The writer and newspaper editor Laura Benét wrote to Ridge at Yaddo in August 1929 soliciting poems for the New York Evening Sun. She also wanted some advice about her own poem “The Sheep,” which she wrote at Yaddo earlier in the year. Benét hoped that the long task of writing Firehead would conclude soon.

Laura’s mother, Frances Neill Rose Benét, wrote an appreciative note to Ridge in December after reading Firehead from cover to cover: “The entire majestic poem appears to me to be suffused by a burning light!”

letter, 1929

Frances Rose Benét to Lola Ridge, 6 December 1929

Photograph, early 1920's

Cyril Kay Scott, Evelyn Scott and their son, Creighton, early 1920s

Letter, 1929

Cyril Kay Scott to Lola Ridge, 23 January 1929

Cover, 1929

Santa Fe Art School, printed catalogue, 1929. Click the cover for more pages.

Excerpt from holograph outline, undated

Evelyn Scott, The Wave, holograph outline, undated

Postcard, 1929

Evelyn Scott to Lola Ridge, picture postcard, 12 August 1929


The writer and painter Cyril Kay Scott (born Frederick Creighton Wellman) wrote to Ridge before she went to Yaddo asking for a letter of recommendation: “Lola, I think of you a great, great deal. I’m glad in this world inhabited chiefly by cockroaches to have known a beautiful soul like you.”

 

 

 

The Scotts were close friends of Ridge and Lawson. The couple lived in Brazil for several years before they moved to New York. Cyril eventually ran an art school in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The American novelist Evelyn Scott, who was born Elsie Dunn in Tennessee, dedicated her fifth book, The Wave, about the American Civil War to Lola Ridge. Scott brought a copy of the book to Yaddo where she was a guest with Ridge in July 1929. In her review of Firehead for the Saturday Review of Literature, Scott wrote that “the dominant quality in all the writing of Miss Ridge is a clear, unsentimental compassion.”

Letter, 1930

Evelyn Scott to Lola Ridge, 13 March 1930. With corrected typescript review of Firehead.

Letter, 1928

Leon Srabian Herald to Lola Ridge, 14 August 1928

Letter, 1928

Leon Srabian Herald to Lola Ridge, 7 September 1928


The Armenian poet Leon Srabian Herald (Srab) was a guest of Yaddo in 1928. He wrote to Ridge from Mrs. Floyd’s house at Mastic, Long Island, in anticipation of his visit: “Alfred Kreymborg says Yaddo is the finest place of its kind. Though Mastic is itself a splendid place, and I will miss its spirit, but I like to go to Yaddo because there I shall have full time to do some work.” After his arrival in Saratoga Springs, Herald wrote to Ridge about the beauty of Yaddo. He thought the furniture, gardens, fountains, lakes, and statues were gems, but added “I’ll be damned if [g]ems alone can have anything to do with producing inward thunders.”

The poet Emanuel Eisenberg was a fellow guest at Yaddo. With encouragement from Ridge, he sent some poems to Laura Benét who took two sonnets for the New York Evening Sun. Many emerging talents were mentored in this way by the more established guests at Yaddo.

Typescript, 1929

Click to read all of Emanuel Eisenberg's horoscope for Lola Ridge, 23 July 1929

Excerpt from letter, 1930

Click to read all of Gerald Syke's letter to Lola Ridge, 2 January 1930

Letter and card, circa 1929

Lola Ridge's card and draft of a letter recommending Gerald Sykes to the Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1929 or 1930

 

 

The Canadian playwright and novelist Gerald Sykes met Ridge at Yaddo. She was very impressed with his brilliance and wrote a letter of recommendation on his behalf to the Guggenheim Foundation. Sykes read Firehead over the holidays and wrote to Ridge on 2 January 1930: “It is a great religious poem. What struck me most was its simplicity. At times it seems almost like a folk tale.”

Next Page: Lola Ridge, Case Three

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