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Yaddo Founders
Lola Ridge
       > Biography
       Yaddo, 1929
       Yaddo, 1930
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Sylvia Plath
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Newton Arvin
Constance Carrier

Lola Ridge: Biography

American poet Lola Ridge (1873-1941) was born Rose Emily Ridge in Dublin, Ireland, and educated in New Zealand and Australia. Her first marriage in 1895 to Peter Webster, manager of a gold mine in New Zealand, was not a success. They had two boys together; their first son died in infancy. Ridge took classes through Trinity College (England) and studied art under Julian Ashton at the Academie Julienne in Australia.

In 1908 Ridge moved to New York. Her poetry appeared in Emma Goldman’s monthly, Mother Earth, as well as in more mainstream periodicals. After World War I, Ridge revived Alfred Kreymborg’s literary magazine, Others, and served as the American editor of the modernist avant-garde magazine Broom.

Lola Ridge, 1935

Lola Ridge, studio photograph, undated

Lola Ridge, 1935

Lola Ridge, photograph by Marjorie Content, 1935

During her lifetime, Ridge published five books of poetry, including Firehead, about the Crucifixion, which she wrote during a fifteen-week residency at Yaddo. Her last book, Dance of Fire, published in 1935, contained two poems about the execution of anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. The execution also inspired Firehead. Her socially motivated poetry often represented human suffering. She was an early proponent of women’s rights, workers’ rights, and the rights of African Americans, Jews, and other immigrant groups. She was also interested in mysticism and her lyrics often celebrated spiritual beauty. In the 1930s she visited Paris and Baghdad, and a Guggenheim fellowship enabled her to travel to Taos, New Mexico, and parts of Mexico. She died of cardiomyopathy in 1941

Lola Ridge wearing a hat, studio photograph, 1935

Business card, 1922

Business card of Lola Ridge, American editor of Broom, 1922

Sculpture, 1922

Constantin Brancusi sculpture of Mlle Pogany, photograph for Broom, 1922

Copperplate and printed calling card for Lola Ridge, undated

Alfred Kreymborg, undated

"Mother Earth," 1915

Cover for Emma Goldman's Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty (1908), designed by Lola Ridge

"The Ghetto, 1918""Sun Up," 1920"Red Flag," 1927

Published volumes of Lola Ridge's poetry including The Ghetto and Other Poems(1918), Sun-up and Other Poems(1920) and Red Flag (1927).

Death mask

Nancy Cox-McCormack Cushman, Lola Ridge, plaster death mask, 1941

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