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Bodenheim, Maxwell.

Bodenheim, Maxwellalso known as Bodenheimer(b. May 26, 1893, Hermanville, Miss., U.S.--d. Feb. 6, 1954, New York, N.Y.)

Poet who contributed to the development of the modernist movement in American poetry but is probably best known as a personality in literary bohemia.

Bodenheim appeared in Chicago in about 1913, during the period of the Chicago literary renaissance. He wrote plays with Ben Hecht and helped him edit the short-lived Chicago Literary Times (1923-24). Later they conducted a much-publicized feud, featuring each other as characters in their novels.

Bodenheim's poems were first published in Poetry magazine in 1914; his earliest collection was Minna and Myself (1918). Several other volumes of poetry followed, his Selected Poems, 1914-44 appearing in 1946. In these works he employed many of the striking visual techniques of the Imagists.

Bodenheim settled in New York's Greenwich Village in the late 1920s. His novels and poetry appeared regularly during that decade and the next, but increasing dissipation had reduced him to peddling his poems in bars when he and his third wife were murdered by a former mental patient in their lodgings. His unfinished autobiography, My Life and Loves in Greenwich Village, appeared in 1954, shortly after his death. Among the better of his largely forgotten novels are Blackguard (1923), Crazy Man (1924), Georgie May (1928), Sixty Seconds (1929), and Naked on Roller Skates (1931).

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Publication:Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature
Date:Jan 1, 1995
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