What Lips My Lips Have Kissed by Daniel Mark Epstein
The Loves and Love Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Synopsis

A noted biographer and poet illuminates the unique woman who wrote the greatest American love poetry of the twentieth century

This is the story of a rare sort of American genius, who grew up in grinding poverty in Camden, Maine. Nothing could save the sensitive child but her talent for words, music and drama, and an inexorable desire to be loved. When she was twenty, her poetry would make her famous; at thirty she would be loved by readers the world over.

Edna St. Vincent Millay was widely considered to be the most seductive woman of her age. Few men could resist her, and many women also fell under her spell. From the publication of her first poems until the scandal over Fatal Interview twenty years later, gossip about the poet's liberated lifestyle prompted speculation about who might be the real subject of her verses.
Using letters, diaries and journals of the poet and her lovers that have only recently become available, Daniel Mark Epstein tells the astonishing story of the life, dedicated to art and love, that inspired the sublime lyrics of Edna St. Vincent Millay.
 

About Daniel Mark Epstein

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Daniel Mark Epstein is an award-winning essayist, poet, playwright, translator, biographer, and musician. He's won the Prix de Rome, a Guggenheim fellowship, and been anthologized in several collections of essays and poetry. His books include biographies of Aimee Semple, Nat King Cole, and seven volumes of poetry. He lives in Baltimore, MD.
 
Published September 1, 2001 by Henry Holt and Co.. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Like Milford (who appears twice as the “other biographer”), Epstein consulted the huge Millay archive (some 20,000 uncatalogued documents) housed at the Library of Congress since the 1986 death of Norma Millay Ellis, sister of the poet and literary executrix.

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The book's preface makes much of Epstein's use of unpublished material viewed by hardly anyone besides the poet's sister Norma and "possibly one other biographer whom [Norma] engaged to write a book in the 1970s."

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