The Poetry Contest Edna St. Vincent Millay Lost

Emily Zarevich in JSTOR Daily:

According to poetry scholar John Timberman Newcomb, Millay is “among the most widely-known and read of all American literary figures,” representative of the subversive Modernist literary movement following World War I (F. Scott Fitzgerald’s career was also gaining steam around the same time). Millay’s life, a glamorous succession of popular publications and love affairs, has been the subject of much speculation by biographers and journalists, and she secured her place in history by winning the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923. But what many don’t know is that Millay’s first great “success” was actually a colossal failure. Imagine that your literary debut cheated you out of $500. That’s exactly what happened to Millay.

More here.