Cover image for The diaries of Marya Zaturenska, 1938-1944
The diaries of Marya Zaturenska, 1938-1944
Zaturenska, Marya, 1902-1982.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 259 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3549.A77 Z464 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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At age 36, acclaimed poet Marya Zaturenska's work reached its full potential even as she battled emotional and physical illness. Recently rediscovered diaries, published here, reflect that crucial period in the poet's life.

Author Notes

Marya Zaturenska, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Cold Morning Sky, published eight books of poetry and the biography Christina Rossetti: A Portrait with Background. With her husband, Horace Gregory, she wrote A History of American Poetry, 1900-1940
Mary Beth Hinton is a writer and editor for Syracuse University

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Russian-born Zaturenska (1902-1982), though a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, may not be well known to many contemporary readers, but these diary entries, selected by the editor of the Syracuse University Library Associates Courier, will introduce the innermost thoughts of a bright, prickly, melancholic figure. An immigrant to New York's Lower East Side at age seven, Zaturenska sought, in her son Patrick's words, "to flee the suffocating confines of her environment" through a "passionate love affair with the English language"; eventually, she won a scholarship to college and began publishing her poetry. She married the poet Horace Gregory a few weeks after meeting him. At their Riverside Drive apartment, they were at the center of New York's wartime literary scene, socializing with the likes of Muriel Rukeyser, Klaus Mann and Jim Farrell. In these utterly candid journals ("never prepared by her for publication"), Zaturenska displays a surprising self-reproach for her own social awkwardness ("I always feel I've said too much") and for what she sees as lack of poetic productivity, despite her considerable success. While Zaturenska's reactions to the war are illuminating, it is her deep anxieties about life in general that contemporary readers will find familiar. It is hard to believe Gregory's introductory claim that "the diaries do not... offer the reader a true portrait" of his mother especially regarding her "melancholy" and "dejection" given the constant, often oddly graceful, references to illness and sadness. These selections are from more than 800 pages written during the six-year period considered to be the time of Zaturenska's greatest maturity, and offer important and illuminating primary material for literary historians. Photos. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The Russian-born poet Zaturenska (1902-82) emigrated to America when she was seven years old and in 1938 won a Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry Cold Morning Sky. Married to Horace Gregory, she had begun publishing in magazines in the 1920s and was associated with the decadent literary movement, which proclaimed the superiority of art over nature. She wrote a total of eight volumes of poetry and a well-received biography of Christina Rosetti and kept diaries throughout her adult life. Selected here are diaries from six critical years in the poet's life and career. She and her husband were in New York at this time, when many writers and artists had fled Hitler's Europe, and the diaries reveal a unique life and era. Zaturenska's son Patrick, who provides a useful biographical sketch of his mother's life, introduces the diaries. These diaries give a glimpse into the mind and ideas of a writer and her creative process, and it is hoped that more of these diaries will be published in the future. Recommended for literary collections. Ron Ratliff, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. xiii
1938p. 1
1939p. 14
1940p. 59
1941p. 88
1942p. 132
1943p. 193
1944p. 214
Biographical Notesp. 241
Indexp. 251