MAY LITERARY BIRTHDAYS

(Complete list of May authors here.)

Featured Authors

Walt Whitman, May 31, 1819 - March 26, 1892

Extensive Walt Whitman Archive, with manuscripts, published works, biography, criticism, images, audio recordings, teaching materials, bibliography, etc.; The Academy of American Poets' Whitman's page, with biographical sketch and text of some poems; full text of Song of Myself from the Modern American Poetry website; full text of Leaves of Grass

Elizabeth Coatsworth, May 31, 1893 - 1986

Coatsworth, born in Buffalo, NY, and a graduate of Vassar (BA 1915) and Columbia (MA 1916), was the wife of Henry Beston (married 1929) and lived with him in Hingham, Mass., and then on a farm in Nobleboro for decades; she's buried in the cemetery on Chimney Farm. Coatsworth travelled widely, spending time in England, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Morocco, Japan, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and the Yucatan. She incorporates her travel memories into her writing.

Coatsworth wrote over 90 books, most of them children's books, including Five Bushel Farm (1939), a Maine pioneer story; The Enchanted: An Incredible Tale (1951); and Giant Book of Cat Stories (1953). She won the 1931 Newbery Award for her children's book, The Cat Who Went To Heaven (1930), which is set in Japan.

Her first novel, Here I Stay: A Maine Novel, was published in 1938. She also wrote a number of autobiographical books and poetry.

The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi has a short autobiography, photos, letters, and some material pertaining to Coatsworth's writing, as well a good and concise biographical sketch of her life and work.

[Eleanor] May Sarton, May 3, 1912 - July 15, 1995

Sarton was born Eleanor Marie Sarton in Wondelgem, Belgium, on 3 May 1912 and emigrated to the U.S. with her family in 1916, settling in Massachusetts. Sarton lived in New Hampshire as an adult, moving to York, Maine, in 1973, where she lived until the end of her life, on 16 July 1995. A comprehensive Sarton bibliography is found on the Celebration of Women Writers page, as is a biographical sketch. Poetry magazine produced a lengthy article on Sarton in March 2000, and Sojourner's magazine provides a short death notice.


Other May Birthdays