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Madeline Gleason, Poet / Painter / Playwright, Born: Fargo, North Dakota (1903 - 1979)

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Literature +3 Age Levels High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults

Madeline Gleason was a poet and the founder of the San Francisco Poetry Guild. In 1947, she directed  the first poetry festival in the United States, laying the groundwork (along with other figures such as Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan, William Everson, Jack Spicer, James Broughton, et al.) for what became known as the San Francisco Renaissance. She was, with Helen Adam, Barbara Guest, and Denise Levertov, one of only four women whose work was included in Donald Allen's landmark anthology, The New American Poetry 1945-1960 (1960).

In 1934, Gleason moved to San Francisco, California to work on a history of California for the WPA Writer's Project. Two years later, a sequence of her poems was published in Poetry. For a number of years, she worked with the composer John Edmunds, translating songs by Schumann, Schubert and J. S. Bach. The pair also organised song festivals.

Her first book, Poems, was published in 1944. By this time she had moved to Phoenix, Arizona because of the war.

She also was an artist who painted many whimsical paintings.

Unfortunately, she is sometimes left out of historical roundups about poetry from the era (as noted in one of the attached resources tiled "Rebels...").