Date in History: 1903

Monday May 12th, 2003 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Fort Atkinson poet Lorine Niedecker. Perhaps best described as a poet of place, Niedecker’s work is closely linked to her environment and experiences on Blackhawk Island where she lived most of her life. Her precise and frugal use of words has inevitably led to comparisons with Emily Dickinson, though later in life Niedecker displayed greater range in her work.

Though often unrecognized in her own hometown, Niedecker’s international reputation continues to grow and her poetry is now ranked among the 20th century’s finest. Indeed, the English critic Basil Bunting called her “the most interesting women poet America has yet produced.”

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 05/12/2003.