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This article is taken from PN Review 248, Volume 45 Number 6, July - August 2019.

on Lola Ridge
The Many-Faced Ridge
Jena Schmitt
To the Many: Collected Early Poems, Lola Ridge, ed. Daniel Tobin (Little Island Press, 2018)

ON 21 MAY 1941, the same year James Joyce died, Lola Ridge’s obituary appeared on page twenty-three of the New York Times:



‘Firehead’ Was Called One
of Most Extraordinary Poems
Written by an American




Champion of Poor Received
Guggenheim Fellowship in
1935 After Last Book

It appeared on the same page as ‘Columbia Fellowships: 20 Women and 85 Men Receive Study Grants’, and alongside the deaths of ‘E.W. Kneeland, Canadian Leader, Winnipeg Grain Merchant and Industrialist’, ‘Police Lieutenant William J. McMahon: Cleared Bomb Mystery’, ‘William S. Rowe: Director of Federal Reserve Bank During World War’, ‘Reuben C. Bolles, Veteran of Yale’s Races’, and farther down on the page, ‘Mrs. Augusta M. Statzer, grand secretary-treasurer of the ladies’ auxiliary of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen’.

Ridge was sixty-seven when she died, though she had lopped first three years, then a full decade off her age, and so her obituary read fifty-seven. Throughout her life she moved from Ireland to Australia to New Zealand back to Australia to California to New York, and though her birth name was Emily Rose, she changed it many times: Emily Rose became Rose became Rosa became Rosalie became Delores became Lola became Sybill Robson became ...

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