Event—Public Programming

Blood Too Bright: Floyd Dell Remembers Edna St. Vincent Millay


Listen to the audio of this program.

One hundred years ago, Bohemian author and editor of the radical Masses magazine, Floyd Dell, began a passionate affair with a newcomer to Greenwich Village—the yet to be discovered “girl poet,” Edna St. Vincent Millay. In the years that followed, both Dell and Millay became symbols of early twentieth century feminism, rebellion, and literary freedom.

A century later, while poring over her grandfather Floyd’s papers at Chicago’s Newberry Library, Jerri Dell discovered hundreds of handwritten letters and an unpublished memoir about his love affair with Millay. Finding him as outlandish, entertaining, and insightful as he was when she knew him fifty years before, she chose to bring him and his poet lover back to life within the pages of Blood Too Bright. Admirers of Edna Millay—as well as literary and political history buffs, Bohemian Village enthusiasts, and readers interested in writers who famously influenced social norms—are sure to enjoy this eyewitness account of a fascinating woman and exceptional poet.

After her talk, Jerri Dell will sign copies of the book in the Newberry lobby. Blood Too Bright will be available for purchase in the Newberry Bookstore. Your purchase helps support the Newberry Library and this program’s featured author.

This program is co-sponsored by the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.

Download a PDF flyer for this program to post and distribute, and explore our inventory of Floyd Dell's papers and a Quick Guide to related materials in the Newberry collection.

After a thirty year career working with illiterate women in poor countries for the World Bank, Jerri Dell moved to rural Pennsylvania where she writes creative non-fiction and memoir. Ms. Dell’s Blood Too Bright: Remembering Edna St. Vincent Millay is her vision of the book on which her grandfather, early 20th century author Floyd Dell, was working at the time of his death in 1969. Ms. Dell is currently writing a memoir of her travels for the World Bank and another of growing up with the ghosts of Greenwich Village.

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