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Charles Olson QuotesShowing all quotes
|Birth:||27th December, 1910|
|Death:||10th January, 1970|
Olson was born to Karl Joseph and Mary Hines Olson. and grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts, where his father worked as a mailman. Olson spent summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts, which was to become the focus of his writing. At high school he was a champion orator, winning a tour of Europe as a prize. He studied literature and American studies, gaining a B.A and M.A at Wesleyan University. For two years Olson taught English at Clark University then entered Harvard University in 1936 where he finished his coursework for a Ph.D. in American civilization but failed to complete his degree. He then received a Guggenheim fellowship for his studies of Herman Melville. His first poems were written in 1940.
In 1941, Olson moved to New York and joined Constance "Connie" Wilcock in civil marriage, together having one child, Katherine. Olson became the publicity director for the American Civil Liberties Union. One year later, he and his wife moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked in the Foreign Language Division of the Office of War Information, where he spent the rest of the war years, eventually rising to Assistant Chief of the division. In 1944, Olson went to work for the Foreign Languages Division of the Democratic National Committee. He also participated in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt campaign, organizing a large campaign rally at New York's Madison Square Garden called "Everyone for Roosevelt". After Roosevelt's death, upset over both the ascendancy of Harry Truman and the increasing censorship of his news releases, Olson left politics and dedicated himself to writing, moving to Key West, Florida, in 1945. From 1946 to 1948 Olson visited poet Ezra Pound at St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington D.C., but was repelled by Pound's increasingly fascist tendencies.
He died in New York in 1970, two weeks past his fifty-ninth birthday, while in the process of completing The Maximus Poems.
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