Wilcox, Ella Wheeler

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Wilcox, Ella Wheeler

(1850–1919) poet, writer; born in Johnstown Center, Wis. Although she studied briefly at the University of Wisconsin (1867–68), she was largely self-educated and her sentimental, inspirational verse, although immensely popular in its day, never found favor among serious students of poetry. Her Poems of Passion (1883) gained her early notoriety for writing "immoral" poetry; her poems thereafter tended to be on such subjects as temperance and, in later years, on religion and spiritualism. She wrote a daily poem in a newspaper syndicate for some years. She also wrote fiction and essays. After marrying (1884), she lived with her husband in Meriden, Conn., and New York City; they also traveled widely.