Conrad Aiken

(1015 words)
  • David Garrett Izzo (Fayetteville State University )

Born in Savannah, Georgia, Aiken was an innovator in both poetry and prose fiction, Conrad Aiken forecast styles and genres that would later make other poets and writers and famous. He waited many years for recognition of his 1920s and 1930s work, which his contemporaries under-appreciated. Traumatized as a child when his father shot his mother and then himself – Aiken heard the shots and found their bodies – he spent the rest of his life writing poetry of psychological exploration, first grounded in Freud and Jung, then moving toward his own hybrid sense of Eastern mysticism in a Western context. Seeking through his deliberately musical poetry the form and order wrenched from him as a child, Aiken plunged into his inner self and …

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Garrett Izzo, David. "Conrad Aiken". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 August 2005
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]