Rittenhouse, Jessie Bell

Rittenhouse, Jessie Bell

(1869–1948) critic, anthologist, poet; born in the Genesee Valley, New York. She graduated from the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in Lima, N.Y. (1890) with a strong literary interest. She soon began reviewing books of poetry for newspapers in Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y. In 1899 she moved to Boston to devote her time fully to literary criticism. She published The Younger American Poets (1904), a volume of critical essays. She became a regular reviewer for the New York Times Review of Books (1905–15) and in New York she helped found the Poetry Society of America (1910). In 1913 she published the first of six innovative poetic anthologies, The Little Book of Modern Verse. Her own poetry, showing the influence of her friend Sarah Teasdale, was published in The Door of Dreams (1918), The Lifted Cup (1921), and The Secret Bird (1930).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.