Frost, Frances, 1905-1959

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Frances Mary Frost (1905-1959), poet, novelist, and author of chidren's books, wrote several volumes of poetry including Hemlock Wall (1929), a dozen books of juvenile fiction, and five novels.

From the description of Frances Frost papers, 1919-1976 (inclusive), 1928-1959 (bulk). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702131651

American author, born 3 August 1905 in St. Albans, Vermont. Mother of the poet Paul Blackburn.

From the description of Papers, 1936-1959, bulk 1940-1952. (University of California, San Diego). WorldCat record id: 18494540

Biography

Frances Mary Frost contributed to contemporary literature both through her own writing and through the advise and encouragement she provided her son, the poet Paul Blackburn. The daughter of Amos and Susan Frost, Frances was born in St. Albans, Vermont, 3 August 1905. Her father was a railroad engineer for most of his adult life, and the Frosts were a religious, working-class couple whose values and perspective on life permeated most of Frances' poetry and prose. Before leaving Vermont in the 1930's, Frost attended Middlebury College and received a Ph.B. from the University of Vermont in 1931.

Frost's first marriage was to William Blackburn, with whom she had two children--Paul and Jean. Frost and Blackburn separated in 1929, after the birth of their daughter, and the two children were left to be raised by their maternal grandfather, Amos Frost. Following Frances' graduation from the University of Vermont, she moved to New York City and married Samuel G. Stoney, the author of Black Genesis.

Frost's first success at publishing poetry came in the early 1930's, with such works as "Hemlock Wall," "Blue Harvest," and "These Acres." In 1933 she was awarded the Katherine Lee Bates poetry prize by the New England Poetry Club, and in 1934 she won the Shelley Memorial Award. She published the first of her four novels, INNOCENT SUMMER, in 1936, and the most popular of her novels, YOKE OF STARS, became a best seller. Frost also published a number of children's stories, including LEGENDS OF THE UNITED NATIONS, THE WINDY FOOT SERIES, THE CAT THAT WENT TO COLLEGE, and ROCKET AWAY.

Although Frost's children were raised by their grandparents, Frances always stayed in close contact with them. After the breakup of her second marriage, Frances returned to Vermont and took permanent custody of her son Paul, who returned to New York to live with her. Frost's daughter, Jean, remained in Vermont with her grandparents. In 1954 Jean became a nun with the Order of St. Joseph in Vermont. Paul lived with his mother until 1946, when he joined the army and served as a laboratory technician in Colorado. While Paul was in the army and overseas, him and his mother continued to offer each other both professional and personal direction through their frequent correspondence.

Frost published a number of children's books during the 1940's and 1950's, but she continued to write poetry whenever possible. Her poems appeared in such publications as THE NEW YORKER, THE SATURDAY EVENING POST, and AMERICAN MERCURY. She continued to live in New York until her death of cancer in 1959.

From the guide to the Frances Frost Papers, 1936-1959, (University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.)

Frances Mary Frost, poet, novelist, and author of children's books, was born in St. Albans, Vermont, on August 3, 1905, to Amos and Susan Keefe Frost. She attended Middlebury College from 1923-26 and later graduated from the University of Vermont with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy in 1931.

Frost worked as a reporter in 1927 and taught creative poetry at the University of Vermont from 1929-31 before devoting her time to writing. Her first book, Hemlock Wall, was published by the Yale University Press in 1929 as part of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. It was succeeded by ten volumes of verse, including Woman of this Earth, published by Houghton, Mifflin, & Co. in 1934. She was a frequent contributor of poetry and fiction to the New York Herald Tribune and to such magazines as Harper's and Saturday Review . In addition to the four volumes of poetry she wrote for children-- Pool in the Meadow, Christmas in the Woods, The Little Whistler, and The Little Naturalist --Frost published over a dozen books of juvenile fiction, including the Windy Foot series. Farrar & Rinehart also published five of her novels between 1936-42, including Yoke of Stars, Uncle Snowball, and Village of Glass . She spent her summers from 1931-37 at the MacDowell Colony in Peterboro, New Hampshire, and received the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America along with Lola Ridge and the Golden Rose Award of the New England Poetry Club in 1933.

Both of Frost's marriages--to W. Gordon Blackburn of Portland, Oregon, on April 4, 1926 and to Samuel Gaillard Stoney of Charleston, South Carolina, on September 18, 1933--ended in divorce. She spent the last years of her life in New York City and died of cancer at her home at 79 Horatio Street on February 11, 1959. She was survived by her son, the poet Paul Blackburn, and by her daughter, Sister Marguerite of the Order of St. Joseph.

From the guide to the Frances Frost papers, 1919-1976 (inclusive), 1928-1959, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Frances Frost Papers, 1936-1959 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
creatorOf Frost, Frances, 1905-1959. Typed letter signed Frances M. Frost to: Miss Manwaring August 26, 1931. Wellesley College
creatorOf Fisher, Charlotte E. (Charlotte Eleanore). Autumn leaves / music by Carlotta Fisher ; words by F. Frost. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Read, Gardner, 1913-2005. Songs for a rainy night : op. 48 / Gardner Read ; [text by Frances Frost and James Joyce]. University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, Sibley Music Library
creatorOf Frost, Frances, 1905-1959. Papers, 1936-1959, bulk 1940-1952. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Duvoisin, Roger, 1900-1980. Amahl and the night visitors : production material. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
creatorOf Frost, Frances, 1905-1959. Typed letter signed Frances M. Frost to: Miss [Elizabeth] Manwaring September 27, 1931. Wellesley College
creatorOf Frost, Frances, 1905-1959. Autograph letter signed Frances Frost to: "My dear Mrs. Burgess" Wellesley College
creatorOf Frost, Frances, 1905-1959. Typed letter signed Frances Frost to: "My dear Miss Manwaring" December 5, 1933. Wellesley College
creatorOf Frost, Frances, 1905-1959. Frances Frost papers, 1919-1976 (inclusive), 1928-1959 (bulk). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Frost, Frances, 1905-1959. Typed letter signed Frances M. Frost to: Miss Manwaring July22, 1931. Wellesley College
creatorOf Bauer, Marion, 1882-1955. To losers [microform] / [words by] Frances Frost ; [music by] Marion Bauer. Library of Congress
creatorOf Frost, Frances, 1905-1959. Typed letter signed Frances Frost to: Miss [Elizabeth] Manwaring September 6, 1931. Wellesley College
referencedIn Read, Gardner, 1913-2005. Songs for a rainy night; three songs for baritone voice and orchestra, op. 48, no. 1-3. [Text by Frances Frost and James Joyce.] Eastman School of Music
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company contracts, 1831-1979 (inclusive) 1880-1940 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Paul Blackburn Papers, 1919 - 1971 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
referencedIn Leippert, James George,. American poetry collection, 1933. Library of Congress
referencedIn Read, Gardner, 1913-2005. Songs for a rainy night : three songs for baritone voice and orchestra / Gardner Read ; [text by Frances Frost and James Joyce.] Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
referencedIn Lewis Gannett papers, 1681-1966 (inclusive) 1900-1960 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Richard G. Badger papers, 1917-1932. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Anita Weschler Papers, 1902-1989, 1924-1960 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Blackburn, Paul. Papers, 1900-1971, bulk 1919-1971. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Frost, Frances, 1905-1959. Autograph letter signed Frances Frost to: Mrs. Burgess. Wellesley College
referencedIn Mackay-Smith, Alexander. Papers of Alexander Mackay-Smith, 1925-1958. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Frost, Frances, 1905-1959. Typed letter signed Frances Frost to: Miss [Elizabeth] Manwaring November 2, 1931. Wellesley College
creatorOf McLean, Don, 1944-. Earth-rhythms : five pieces for women's voices, S.M.A. and flute / music by Don McLean ; poems by Frances Frost. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Bauer, Marion, 1882-1955. To losers / [words by] Frances Frost ; [music by] Marion Bauer. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Frances Frost papers, 1919-1976 (inclusive), 1928-1959 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbe, George, 1911-1989. person
correspondedWith Badger, Richard G. person
associatedWith Bauer, Marion, 1882-1955. person
correspondedWith Blackburn, Paul person
associatedWith Blackburn, Paul. person
associatedWith Duvoisin, Roger, 1900-1980. person
associatedWith Edward MacDowell Association (Peterboro, N.H.) corporateBody
associatedWith Fisher, Charlotte E. (Charlotte Eleanore) person
correspondedWith Frost, Amos person
associatedWith Frost, Amos, person
correspondedWith Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966 person
associatedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Larson, Earl Roland. person
associatedWith Leippert, James George, person
associatedWith Mackay-Smith, Alexander. person
associatedWith Manwaring, Elizabeth Wheeler, b. 1879. person
associatedWith McLean, Don, 1944- person
associatedWith Read, Gardner, 1913-2005. person
associatedWith Weschler, Anita person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
New England
Vermont
Vermont
New England
Subject
Poets, American--20th century
Women poets
Poetry, Modern--20th century
American poetry--20th century--Manuscripts
American poetry--20th century
Poetry--Authorship
Women poets--United States
Lyric poetry
Children's literature
Occupation
Poets
Function

Person

Birth 1905-08-03

Death 1959-02-11

Information

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SNAC ID: 3850861