|Karle Wilson Baker|
October 13, 1878|
Little Rock, Arkansas
November 8, 1960|
|Pen name||Charlotte Wilson|
|Occupation||teacher, poet, prose writer|
Karle Wilson Baker (October 13, 1878 - November 8, 1960) was an American poet, prose author, and academic.
Baker was born Karl Wilson in Little Rock, Arkansas, to Kate Florence (Montgomery) and William Thomas Murphey Wilson. In 1893, she decided to add a final "e" to her 1st name to avoid gender confusions. Yet, despite this change, her name continued to be mistaken as a man's by fans and reviewers of her writings.
Under the pseudonym of "Charlotte Wilson," she was co-author of Women and Prisons (1912), published in London by the Fabian Society. She contributed fiction and poetry to Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, Yale Review, The Century, etc., and was the author of Blue Smoke, a collection of poetry (1919), The Garden of the Plynck (1920), The Burning Bush (1922), and Old Coins (1923).
In 1900, Baker 1st visited Nacogdoches, Texas to see her parents. In 1906, she permanently moved from Little Rock, where she had been teaching school, to Nacogdoches. There, she fell in love with the beauty of the surrounding nature, which she would later describe in her book, The Birds of Tanglewood.
At Nacogdoches, she also met her future husband, Thomas Ellis Baker, and the couple married in 1907. Together they had 2 children: Thomas Wilson Baker (born 1908), who later became a banker; and Charlotte Baker Montgomery (born 1910), who later wrote and illustrated many of her own children's books, as well as 2 adult novels.
From 1924 to 1934, Baker was a teacher in Nacogdoches, teaching contemporary poetry at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU). When her poem titled "The Pine Tree Hymn" was written, it also became adopted as the school song for SFASU. During this time, she was also able to publish 2 children's readers, Texas Flag Primer (1926) and Two Little Texans (1932), one of which became a state textbook for school children from 1926 to 1929.
She also published 4 more books: The Birds of Tanglewood describing the birds within Nacogdoches, Dreamers on Horseback (her collected poems), Family Style (1937), a novel recounting the occurrence of the East Texan oil boom, and Star of the Wilderness (1942), which became a Book-of-the-Month Club selection.
In addition to teaching at SFASU, Baker also gave lectures at various colleges, women's clubs, and literary groups in Texas. Later in her life, she also attended University of Chicago, Columbia University, and University of California, Berkeley.
She died on November 8, 1960, aged 82.
Baker received the most recognition and honors of any female poet in Texas during the 20th century.
A charter member of the Institute of Letters, the Poetry Society of Texas, and the Philosophical Society of Texas, she was also the 3rd person and 1st female to be named a Fellow of the Texas Institute of Letters.
She was awarded with an honorary Litt.D. by Southern Methodist University in 1924, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her last collection of poetry, Dreamers on Horseback, in 1931.
A statue of Baker by sculptor Brian Keith was dedicated in April 2013 in Nacogdoches, on the lawn of Sigma Tau Gamma on Mound St. (the property where Baker's home was located).
Texas Woman of Letters Edit
Texas Woman of Letters: Karle Wilson Baker (2005), by Sarah Ragland Jackson, describes Baker's life as a remarkable Texas poet of the 20th century, whose important contributions to Texas literature have been overshadowed by her male contemporaries. The book provides thorough well-researched details on Baker's life, and gives readers more of an insight to her challenge in making her way into the mainly male-dominated literary world of that time.
- Blue Smoke: A book of verses. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1919.
- Burning Bush. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1922.
- Dreamers on Horseback. Dallas, TX: Southwest Press, 1931.
- Family Style. New York: Coward-McCann, 1937.
- Star of the Wilderness: A novel. New York: Coward-McCann, 1942.
- Old Coins. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1923.
- The Seeker. Madison, NJ: Golden Hind Press, 1927.
- The Reindeer's Shoe, and other stories. Austin, TX: E.C. Temple / Nacogdoches, TX: Stephen F. Austin State University, 1988.
- Women and Prisons (as "Charlotte M. Wilson", with Helen Blagg). London: Fabian Society, 1912.
- The Birds of Tanglewood. Dallas, TX: Southwest Press, 1930;
- (illustrated by Charlotte Baker Montgomery, with introduction by Sarah Ragland Jackson). College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2006.
- The Garden of the Plynck (illustrated by Florence Minard). New Haven, CT, & New York: Yale University Press, 1920.
- Texas Flag Primer (illustrated by Rodney M. Thomson). Yonkers-on-Hudson, NY: World, 1925.
- Texas Flag Primer Coloring Book (adapted by Carl McQueary). Austin TX: Me for Ma, 2001.
- Two Little Texans (illustrated by Rodney M. Thomson). Yonkers-on-Hudson, NY: World, 1931.
- Karle Wilson Baker Papers at Stephen F. Austin State University.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Poetry X » Poetry Archives » Karle Wilson Baker » "Biography"
- ↑ the biography of Karle Wilson Baker - life story
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Biographical Sketch on Karle Wilson Baker based on the collection of Karle Wilson Baker Papers - Stephen F. Austin State University
- ↑ http://cets.sfasu.edu/story/founders/Sept6/KWB_Star.html SFA's First Star: Karle Wilson Baker (Karle Wilson Baker as Poet and Teacher)
- ↑ Local poet, author to be honored with historic marker
- ↑ "Local poet, author to be honored with historic marker"
- ↑ Karle Wilson Baker statue, Friends of Historic Nacogdoches Inc. Web, Sep. 14, 2019.
- ↑ Link: http://www.tamupress.com/product/Texas-Woman-of-Letters-Karle-Wilson-Baker,268.aspx
- ↑ Search results = au:Karle Wilson Baker, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, May 22, 2015.
- Karle Wilson Baker - Poetry at About.com (2 poems)
- 7 poems by Baker: "Rondel for September," "November" (4 poems), "The Housewife: Winter Afternoon," "Winter Dusk"
- Karle Wilson Baker in Poetry: A magazine of verse, 1912-1922: "Unser Gott," "The Housemother," "A Simple Song for America," "To Get Wisdom," "Meekness and Pride," "Courage," "Not in the Whirlwind"
- Karle Wilson Baker at the Poetry Archive (13 poems)
- Karle Wilson Baker at PoemHunter (14 poems)
- Karle Wilson Baker at Poetry Nook (87 poems)
- Baker, Karle Wilson at the Texas State Historical Association
- Karle Wilson Baker: The making of a Texas poet at the National Council of Teachers of English
- SFA's First Star: Karle Wilson Baker at SFA
- Article introducing Texas Woman of Letters (biography of Karle Wilson Baker)
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