Riding, Laura, 1901-1991
- Existence: 1901 - 1991
Laura (Riding) Jackson (January 16, 1901-September 2, 1991) was a poet, critic, novelist, essayist and short story writer. Born to Austrian Jewish immigrant parents in New York as Laura Reichenthal and educated at Cornell University, she first published poetry in 1923 as Laura Riding Gottschalk. Her poetry gained attention and she became associated with a Southern group of writers, the Fugitives. Her marriage to historian Louis Gottschalk ended in divorce in 1925.
The Close Chaplet, her first collection of poetry, was published in 1926; the following year she assumed the surname Riding. She traveled to England at the invitation of Robert Graves and his wife Nancy Nicholson to remain in Europe for fourteen years (1926-1939). While still in London, Riding and Graves founded the Seizin Press, and collaborated on A Survey of Modernist Poetry (1927), which revealed ideas for a close textual analysis influencing the development of New Criticism; A Pamphlet Against Anthologies (1928); and other works. During this period, she also wrote under the pseudonym “Barbara Rich”. In Majorca they expanded the work and scope of the Seizin Press and produced the magazine, Epilogue (1935-1938). Soon after arriving in the United States in 1939, they parted. Riding married Schuyler B. Jackson in 1941. They each produced volumes of collected poems in 1938 and worked together on lexicographical studies until his death in 1968. Riding was influenced by neo-Romantic views of the metaphysical nature of poetry, but after World War II she abandoned poetry for prose writing. She published short stories and essays after this period, including Progress of Stories, although her main focus was on philosophy and linguistics.