The Poetry Review of America
Date of Publication:
May 1916-February 1917
Place(s) of Publication:
Frequency of Publication:
Vol.1: 6 issues; Vol. 2: 4 issues
William Stanley Braithwaite, Poetry Review Co.
19.4 x 12.0 cm. Black and white cover; no cover illustration. Two-column format, no illustration throughout the magazine; 16-20 pages of poetry, articles, and reviews of poets in each issue.
William Stanley Braithwaite
Libraries with Original Issues:
University of California
PDF files of vol.1 and vol. 2 available online through Hathi Trust
The Poetry Review of America is a little modernist magazine edited by William Stanley Braithwaite that ran for just under a year. The magazine is Boston-based, poetry-focused, and relatively simple in both in content and design (Churchill and Jaffee 313). Though the magazine is not widely read or studied, Braithwaite, an African-American, was an instrumental figure in the development of American poetry (313). He was more passionate about furthering a dialogue on poetry than engaging in avant-garde debate or cultural reform at the time, such as the debate on the use of free verse versus metrical poetry (309). Braithwaite is better known for his work with anthologies of poetry than for his run with The Poetry Review of America, though the two areas of his work shared a common goal, “to unite competing factions and establish a canon of contemporary American Poetry” (316).
The Poetry Review of America’s statement of purpose appeared on the first page of the first issue of the magazine. It was written by William Stanley Braithwaite, editor for the duration of publication.
The spirit of The Poetry Review of America will be one of advancement and co-operation; the desire to serve the art of poetry and to consolidate public interest in its growth and popularity – to quicken and enlarge the poetic pulse of the country. In that spirit, we propose to our contemporaries in the field a union of effort and mutual encouragement; to the poets of America an open forum and a clearing-house for ways and means to serve the art we all love; to the poetry-reading public of our country we pledge a never-ceasing striving for the best in American poetry, and a constant effort to bring out the strength and joy to be derived therefrom.
The Editors of The Poetry Review intend to be wholly impartial as to the kinds of poetry that are to be published, being concerned only with the degree of success attained in the poem as an artistic product. Catholicity of taste and standard of performance will be the guiding factors in accepting poems.
Besides the poems, each issue will contain comprehensive and serious reviews of new volumes of poems, and of works concerning poets and poetry, written by competent critics in a thoroughly biased spirit; special articles touching every phrase of poetic activity; studies of important figures in contemporary American poetry; an open house for an exchange of ideas on matters poetic; editorials and notes, news and opinions, doings and theories, events and discussions— in truth, a comprehensive history of all the forces which make for progress of poetry in America.
( Issue No. 1 of Volume 1 of The Poetry Review of America)
William Stanley Braithwaite (1878 – 1962)
Editor: 1916 – 1917
William Stanley Braithwaite was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to mother Emily and father William, a mulatto from Barbados (Szefel 1). At age twelve, Braithwaite was forced to drop out of school to support his family after his father’s sudden death. He worked as a paper delivery boy, stockroom boy, and brush boy at a barbershop. In all his work, he faced prejudices against his African American race. When he was a teenager, he began working at Ginn and Company, a printing firm in Boston, where he found beauty in reading and writing poetry. He wrote poetry in his free time. He found help in Herbert Turner and the Boston Authors Club to get three volumes of work published. When they did not receive as much praise and accolades as he had wanted, Braithwaite realized he would better excel in “advocating, rather than authoring, poetry” (6). He became editor of the Boston Evening Transcript before beginning his own magazine, The Poetry Review of America from 1916 to 1917. He wanted to include writers in his magazine that would write on contemporary issues, such as “ethnicity, social strife sensuality,” in order to evoke political and social change in his readers (2-3).
Lydia Bradt Antholo
“Heavy Rain- Filling the Cup”
“Nunc Scio Quid Sit Amor”
Amelia Josephine Burr
“Poet of Living”
“The Ballad of Downal Baun”
John Gould Fletcher
Benjamin R. C. Low
“Number 3 on the Docket”
Amy Lowell, “Two Imagist Poets” [review]
Edward J. O’Brien
Edward J. O’Brien, “Walter Conrad Arensberg” [review]
Edward J. O’Brien, “James Oppenheim” [review]
“Contemporary Poetry in the College Classroom”
“Portrait of a Child”
“The Brooke Legend”
“The Poetry Review of America” compiled by Kevin Carlock and Lindsay Rufolo (Davidson College, Class of ’19)