The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Masters, Edgar Lee
MASTERS, Edgar Lee, American lawyer and writer: b. Garnett, Kan., 23 Aug. 1868. He studied at Knox College, Illinois, and was admitted to the bar in 1891. His publications include ‘A Book of Verses’ (1898); ‘Maximilian,’ a drama in blank verse (1902); ‘The New Star Chamber and Other Essays’ (1904); ‘Blood of the Prophets’ (1905); ‘Althea,’ a play (1907); ‘The Trifler,’ a play (1908); ‘The Spoon River Anthology’ (1915); ‘The Great Valley’ (1916). Mr. Masters writes his poems both in vers libre and in rhymed verse. His ‘Spoon River Anthology’ is the best known of his works. It is a unique collection of truthful epitaphs on the inhabitants of a middle Western village. It is marked by a biting vigorous satirical style, and is pervaded by a materialism that shocks and surprises. Despite its obvious limitations, its naive force has won many readers and much favorable comment. Consult Lowell, Amy, ‘Tendencies in Modern American Poetry’ (New York 1917).