Lowenfels, Walter, 1897-1976Variant names
Walter Lowenfels began working on New jazz poets in 1962 to collect a group of poems written in a "modern rhythm influenced by street sounds and other non-literary sounds of the 1960s" that would be anthologized and a select few recorded for an album. Released in 1967, the album contained readings by twenty-one poets. The anthology containing the works of over seventy poets was published in 1970 as In a time of revolution, poems from our third world.
From the description of New jazz poets collection, 1962-1970. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 42375829
Walter Lowenfels, poet, journalist, editor, activist, and member of the Communist Party USA. Lowenfels wrote and published his own writings, co-founded the Carrefour Press, and anthologized the writings of many poets. He also wrote for and edited the Pennsylvania edition of the Daily Worker.
From the description of Walter Lowenfels papers, 1897-1979 (bulk 1930-1976). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702191824
Walter Lowenfels' original conception for this anthology was a collection of poetry by young blacks, Chicanos, and Native Americans. During 1970 when he began to assemble poems from different ethnic groups, he expanded the volume to include Eskimos, Hawaiians, and Puerto Ricans, and created a special section for blacks and whites whose poems reflected the history and struggle of native America. Random House finally published the book in July 1973 as a Vintage Books paperback.
From the description of From the belly of the shark : archives, 1967-1973. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 31020097
Walter Lowenfels was a poet whose social/political interests dominated his writing. Lowenfels edited the Daily worker for a time and in 1954 was convicted of a violation of the Smith Act.
From the description of Papers, 1946-1969. (Temple University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 122593998
Walter Lowenfels, born in New York City, was an American poet, writer and longtime member of the Communist Party.
From the description of A poet's petition : letter to the President in the form of a cantata for a narrator and two voices with film strip or slides [typescript], ca. 1962. (New York University, Group Batchload). WorldCat record id: 60951799
American poet and anthologist; d. 1976.
From the description of Papers, 1966-1967. (Washington University in St. Louis). WorldCat record id: 26089907
Walter Lowenfels was born in New York City in 1897, and lived for extended periods in Europe. He was one of the expatriate poets of the 20s and 30s and has been described by fellow poets and critics as one of the best of their generation. On his return to the United States, he became editor of the Pennsylvania edition of the Daily Worker and gave up poetry. In the mid-50s, he was arrested for advocating the overthrow of the government and later released for lack of evidence. He then resumed his career as a poet. Among his awards for literary achievement was the Richard Aldington Award for American Poets, shared with E.E. Cummings in 1930, the Mainstream Award in 1954, and the Longview Foundation Award in 1959. He died in 1976.
From the description of Philip Kaplan collection of Walter Lowenfels, 1959-1975. (Southern Illinois University). WorldCat record id: 298238505
Lowenfels was born on May 10, 1897 in New York City; published poetry includes Episodes and epistles (1925), Sonnets of love and liberty (1955), and Found poems and others (1972); books include The poetry of my politics (1968), The writing on the wall : 108 American poems of protest (1969), and The revolution is to be human (his autobiography, 1973); managing editor of the Pennsylvania edition of the Daily worker (1940-55); a member of the Communist Party, Lowenfels was convicted under the Smith Act, which was later repealed.
From the description of Papers, 1967-1969. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 39028416
Walter Lowenfels (1897-1976), was an American poet, journalist, and member of the Communist Party USA.
From the guide to the Walter Lowenfels Papers, Bulk, 1967-1977, circa 1942-circa 1977, (bulk 1967-1977), (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)
American poet, anthologist, and social critic Walter Lowenfels wrote poetry that reflected social commentary and political thought.
For a number of years, Lowenfels edited the Communist Daily Worker . Based on his membership in the Communist Party, Lowenfels was convicted in 1954 for conspiring to teach and advocate the overthrow of the U.S. Government by force. The verdict was later overturned when party membership was ruled not to be conspiratorial in nature.
Lowenfels has been recognized as an anthologist of avant-garde poetry, including Where is Vietnam?, a 1967 compilation of the poetic responses to the Vietnam War. This anthology and his editorial contributions to the anti-war publication Dialog, reflected his own anti-Vietnam War convictions.
Born May 10, 1897, in New York City, Lowenfels died on July 7, 1976, in Tarrytown, New York. He was married to Lillian Apotheker.
American editor, publisher, and writer Allen De Loach, who edited Walter Lowenfels book, We Are All Poets Really (1968), was also Lowenfels's literary executor and friend. De Loach' s primary interest was social history but other interests included the poetics of the Beats and Black Mountain poets, ethnoPoetics, Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, and William Carlos Williams.
"Walter Lowenfels." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Biography Resource Center). http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC (accessed July 2010). "Allen Wayne De Loach." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Biography Resource Center). http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC (accessed July 2010).
From the guide to the Walter Lowenfels letters to Allen De Loach, 1965-1970, 1968-1970, (University of Delaware Library - Special Collections)
Lowenfels was born on May 10, 1897 in New York City; published poetry includes Episodes and Epistles (1925), Sonnets of Love and Liberty (1955), and Found Poems and Others (1972); books include The Poetry of My Politics (1968), The Writing on the Wall: 108 American Poems of Protest (1969), and The Revolution is to be Human (his autobiography, 1973); managing editor of the Pennsylvania edition of the Daily worker (1940-55); a member of the Communist Party, Lowenfels was convicted under the Smith Act, which was later repealed.
From the guide to the Walter Lowenfels Papers, 1967-1969, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.)
Walter Lowenfels (1897-1976), born in New York City, was an American poet, writer and longtime member of the Communist Party. He began writing poetry following World War I and published his first collection, Episodes & Epistles, in 1925. In 1926 Lowenfels fled to Paris to write and to escape a career in the family business. In 1930 he and Michael Fraenkel founded the Carrefour Press and published the pamphlet Anonymous: The Need for Anonymity, a manifesto in which they declared that anonymous publication was the only way to avoid artistic competition and alienation. A play by Lowenfels, USA with Music, was published anonymously by Carrefour, but a plagiarism suit brought by Lowenfels against George Gershwin in 1932 forced Carrefour and Lowenfels to reveal the author's identity. Carrefour Press continued to publish, but identified the authors of its books.
Lowenfels wrote more than a dozen books of poetry and edited almost as many, most of which expressed his political beliefs in one way or another. Lowenfels was a member of the Communist Party for most of his life and his editorial work for the Daily Worker kept him from his own writing from the late 1930's until 1953, when he was arrested and convicted for conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government. The charges were based solely on his membership in the Communist Party and the conviction was overturned in a matter of weeks. Although Lowenfels was recognized as a poet in his own right throughout his life, from the late 1950's until his death in 1976, he was best known as the pre-eminent American anthologist of the avant-garde. Many of his collections of poetry reflect his commitment to Marxism and opposition to political repression. Among his political anthologies are Where is Vietnam? (1967), In The Time of Revolution (1969), From the Belly of the Shark (1973), and For Neruda, for Chile (1975). Lowenfels died in Tarrytown, New York in 1976.
- Derived from the guide to a collection of Walter Lowenfels' papers at Washington University, St. Louis. http://library.wustl.edu/units/spec/manuscripts/mlc/lowenfels
From the guide to the Walter Lowenfels: A Poet's petition, letter to the President in the form of a cantata for a narrator and two voices with film strip or slides [typescript], circa 1962, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)
Walter Lowenfels was born on May 10, 1897 in New York City. His family owned the successful butter manufacturing business Hotel Bar Butter, which provided a comfortable upbringing for Lowenfels. After graduating from preparatory school in 1914, he served in the military during World War I. Following his service, Lowenfels worked for his family’s company and wrote poetry, an interest he developed while in the military. Some early poems appeared in local newspapers and in 1925 he published his first collection of poems, Episodes & Epistles . In 1924 Lowenfels met Lillian Apotheker, who co-funded Episodes & Epistles, and moved to Europe with her after he decided to focus on writing and quit the family business. They married in 1926 in Europe. The couple spent time in Florence and settled in Paris, meeting many influential writers, including Henry Miller, T.S. Eliot and Ford Madox Ford, and for a brief time lived with composer George Antheil. Lowenfels’s writing was well received and he appeared in journals and little magazines, such as transition and This Quarter . Nancy Cunard admired his poetry and in 1930 published his collection Appolinaire: An Elegy, through her Hours Press. In 1931, he shared This Quarter’s Richard Aldington Poetry Prize with e.e. cummings.
While in Paris, Lowenfels met writer Michael Fraenkel. Fraenkel and Lowenfels became close friends and in 1930 co-founded the Carrefour Press. That same year, they published the pamphlet Anonymous: The Need for Anonymity, a manifesto that demanded total anonymity in art and in turn started the “anonymous movement.” Lowenfels anonymously published through Carrefour a musical play, U SA with Music: An Operatic Tragedy . The play’s anonymity was short-lived since he and Fraenkel were forced to reveal authorship in a 1932 plagiarism suit against composer George Gershwin for his musical Of Thee I Sing . Carrefour lost the case and began to identify published authors, thereby ending the anonymous movement. Lowenfels continued to write poetry and began to edit poetry of others. His interest in politics increased and his poetry began to feature his leftist political ideas, focusing on the rise of fascism in Germany and Italy. The Lowenfels’ first three daughters were born in France, Michal and twins Manna and Judy.
Lowenfels and his family returned to the United States in 1934, moving to Mays Landing, New Jersey. Lowenfels returned to his father’s butter business and worked alongside his brother, Albert. During that time, Lowenfels introduced new ideas to the business; he invented a new waxed paper packaging for butter and he applied date stamping to improve the butter’s freshness. At night and on the weekends, he continued to write poetry. In 1937, he published Steel 1937, a collection of poetry commemorating the steelworkers killed by US Steel during the 1937 Little Steel strike. Following the publication, Lowenfels quit writing poetry. In 1938, he left the family business again and moved to Philadelphia where he began writing for the Pennsylvania edition of the Daily Worker and became increasingly involved in the Civil Rights and Communist movements. He soon became editor and held that job through 1954. His social activism and writing focused on civil and worker's rights. Through the 1940s, he sometimes worked only part-time for the paper, while also selling intercommunication devices and relying on his wife’s teaching salary. The couple’s family grew to four daughters. In 1951, Lowenfels suffered a heart attack and recovered fully. The same year, his family moved to a cabin in Weymouth, New Jersey.
In July of 1953, Lowenfels was arrested with eight others (they were known as “The Philadelphia Nine”) and accused of sedition and conspiracy to overthrow the United States government under the Smith Act. While planning how they could best strategize their defense, the group agreed that Lowenfels should return to writing poetry to raise money. After seventeen years, Lowenfels began to write poetry again and started to translate others’ poetry from French and Italian into English. The group was convicted but the government’s case was overturned in August of 1953. He was arrested again in 1954 for distributing “subversive” materials and was imprisoned at the Holmsburg County Prison in Philadelphia for treason. His conviction was overturned for lack of evidence in 1954. That same year, he published A Prisoner’s Poems for Amnesty . In the midst of Lowenfels’s arrests and trial, Lillian was asked to sign a loyalty oath. She pled the Fifth Amendment and was fired from her teaching job. After his release from prison, Lowenfels quit the Daily Worker and devoted himself to writing and editing the writing of others.
Through the 1950s and 1960s, he worked prolifically as an anthologist, focusing on writings that reflected Marxism and opposition to political repression. He published an anthology of Walt Whitman’s poetry called Walt Whitman’s Civil War (1961); Where Is Vietnam? (1967), a collection of protest poetry for which he is perhaps best known; and In the Time of Revolution (1969), a collection of civil rights poems by African Americans. He was active in the anti-Vietnam War peace movement and edited the anti-war publication Dialog . To protest the war, Lowenfels joined with other writers and editors and refused to pay taxes. An anthology of Lowenfels’s own poems edited by Robert Gover, The Portable Walter, was published in 1968, and included the second half of his autobiography My Many Lives . In 1970, Lowenfels co-wrote The Life of Fraenkel’s Death with Howard McCord and continued to edit poetry anthologies, publishing several collections, including From the Belly of the Shark: a new anthology of Native Americans; poems by Chicanos, Eskimos, Hawaiians, Indians, Puerto Ricans in the U.S.A., with related poems by others (1973); and For Neruda, For Chile: an international anthology (1975).
Lowenfels died on July 8, 1976 in Tarrytown, New York.
From the guide to the Walter Lowenfels papers, 1897-1979, 1930-1976, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)
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|Chile |x History |y Coup d'etat, 1973.|
|Political poetry, American|
|African American poets|
|Poets, American - 20th century|