Born in New York City in 1901, Laura (Riding) Jackson occupies the
American literary landscape of the Twentieth Century as a poet, critic, and
author increasingly concerned with language "as the natural human
truth-system." She is best known for her association with the Fugitives in the
1920s, her personal and literary partnership with Robert Graves between 1925
and 1938, and as editor of Epilogue. Yet, as a modernist poet, a critic whose
work was at the base of the New Criticism, and in her editorial work, she
engaged in a relentless dialogue with scores of poets, authors, and critics of
the Twentieth Century, which she pursued until her death in 1991. The Laura
(Riding) Jackson and Schuyler B. Jackson Collection fully documents the
strength of her dedication to the search for the sources of meaning, as well as
her appeal to those who worked with her.
||Born in New York City, the daughter of Nathaniel Reichenthal
and Sadie Edersheim Reichenthal (Nathan's first wife was Laura Lorber, with
whom he had a daughter, Isabel).
||Enrolls at Cornell University, which she attends for three
years. Here she meets Esther (Polly) Antell, who will become a lifelong friend,
and Louis Gottschalk, a history instructor.
||Louis Gottschalk and Laura Riding are married. In 1921
accompanies him first to Urbana, Illinois, then to Louisville, Kentucky, where
he has teaching positions.
||Assumes the name Laura Riding Gottschalk.
Her poems begin to appear in various magazines, including
||The literary circle 'The Fugitives' awards her the Nashville
Prize. In November, attends one of their meetings in Nashville.
||She and Louis Gottschalk are divorced. She moves to New York
City where she becomes friends with the poet Hart Crane and various other
Her first critical essay, "A Prophecy or a Plea," published
Robert Graves invites her to collaborate on a book about
modern poetry. Sails for England at the end of the year.
||In January, accompanies Robert Graves and his wife Nancy
Nicholson to Egypt, from which they return to England in July.
Her first book of poems,
The Close Chaplet, is published by Leonard and
Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press in England and by Adelphi in the United
||Her verse fantasy
Voltaire (written 1921) is published by the
Hogarth Press. Publishes, with Robert Graves,
A Survey of Modernist Poetry.
Founds the Seizin Press with Graves.
Changes name, by deed poll, to Laura Riding.
||Some of her major critical works are published:
Contemporaries and Snobs in February;
Anarchism is Not Enough in May;
A Pamphlet Against Anthologies, with Robert
Graves, in July (all by Jonathan Cape).
The Seizin Press publishes her collection of poems
Love as Love, Death as Death.
Publishes poems in various magazines, including
Meets Gertrude Stein during a visit to Paris.
||Attempts suicide on April 27.
In October leaves London with Graves and moves to Deya,
Mallorca, where they relocate the Seizin Press.
||Jonathan Cape publishes
Poems: A Joking Word and
Experts Are Puzzled; Nancy Cunard's Hours Press
Twenty Poems Less and
Four Unposted Letters to Catherine; and
Though Gently is published by the Seizin
||During her stay at Deya in the 1930s she is visited by a
number of English and American friends including poets Norman Cameron and James
Reeves, mathematician and writer Jacob Bronowski, filmmaker and artist Len Lye,
artist John Aldridge, journalist and novelist Honor Wyatt, and T.S. Matthews,
who will become managing editor of
With Robert Graves founds
Epilogue. Other collaborative projects include
Life of the Dead (1933) illustrated by John
14A (1934), written with George Ellidge.
||Progress of Stories is published by
||After the start of the Spanish Civil War, Riding and Graves
are forced to evacuate Deya with only one suitcase apiece; they relocate to
||A Trojan Ending is published by Constable/Seizin
Press in England and Random House in the United States. Riding and Graves spend
four months in Switzerland, working on various writing projects including their
||Collected Poems is published by Cassell and Random
House. With others, composes
The Covenant of Literal Morality, and publishes
The World and Ourselves and
The Left Heresy in Literature and Life, whose first
author is Harry Kemp. In June, settles in France with Graves, sharing a house
with Beryl and Alan Hodge.
||In April, returns to the United States at the invitation of
Meets Schuyler B. Jackson.
Lives of Wives is published by Cassell and Random
Seizin Press terminated.
Her relationship with Robert Graves ends.
With Schuyler Jackson she resumes work on
A Dictionary of Related Meanings, which she had
started with Jacob Bronowski and continued with Robert Graves and Alan Hodge in
the 1930s. Dent in England and Little, Brown in the United States contract to
publish the work.
||Schuyler Jackson and Laura Riding are married; they settle
near New Hope, Pennsylvania.
||"The Latest in Synonymy," by Schuyler and Laura Jackson,
published in the Wilson
||Moves to Wabasso, Florida.
New contracts for
Dictionary signed with Little, Brown and
Jacksons begin fruit shipping business while continuing to
work on the
||Little, Brown cancels the contract for the book.
||Jacksons begin work on a new language project, which would
Rational Meaning: A New Foundation for the Definition of
Words. Also continue work on Charles M. Doughty, which Schuyler Jackson
had begun years earlier on his own. Terminate fruit shipping business in
September, due to Schuyler's ill-health.
||Publishes, as Laura (Riding) Jackson, her first statement
indicating her renunciation of poetry ("a cautious generalization") in
Twentieth Century Authors: First Supplement.
||Reading of Laura Riding poems broadcast by BBC, prefaced by
first statement of reasons for renunciation of poetry. "Introduction To A
Broadcast" subsequently appeared in
Chelsea magazine--the first of many periodical
articles, on varied topics, published 1962-1991, and after.
Four Unposted Letters to Catherine broadcast by BBC.
First public use of the name Laura (Riding) Jackson in
Civilta' delle Macchine (next in
Chelsea, January 1964).
The Telling published in
||Schuyler Jackson dies on July 4th.
||Faber and Faber publishes
Selected Poems: In Five Sets in Great Britain (W.W.
Norton &Co. publishes the book in the United States in 1973).
||Granted the Mark Rothko Appreciation Award.
||The Athlone Press of the University of London publishes
The Telling in Great Britain, Harper & Row in
the United States (1973). In January a reading of her poetry is recorded for
Lamont Library, Harvard College.
||Recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship.
||Chelsea publishes a special issue (35) dedicated to
Laura (Riding) Jackson, which collects many of her works of the 1970s.
||Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts
||The Poems of Laura Riding, a re-issue of the 1938
Collected Poems with appendices and a new
introduction, published by Carcanet Press in Manchester, England, and Persea
Books in New York. Targ Editions publishes
Description of Life.
||Nominated by Danish poet Poul Borum for the Neustadt
||Carcanet and Dial Press republish
Progress of Stories with other early stories, new
preface, and other new material.
||Some Communications of Broad Reference published by
Lord John Press, Northridge, California.
A Trojan Ending with a new preface by Laura (Riding)
Jackson. The book is translated into Spanish and appears as
Final Troyano from Edhasa, Barcelona, in
Lives of Wives.
||90th-birthday celebration published in
Chelsea (USA) and
PN Review (UK). Laura (Riding) Jackson is
co-recipient, with Donald Justice, of the Bollingen Prize.
She dies in Wabasso on September 2nd.