Emma Willard School, 285 Pawling Ave, Troy, NY 12180
Vassar College,124 Raymond Ave, Box 10, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
The Marlton Hotel, 5 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011
Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Laura Benét (13 June 1884 – 17 February 1979), was an American social worker, biographer and newspaper editor.
Laura Benét was born at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, New York, on 13 June 1884, the daughter of Colonel James Walker Benet and Frances Neill Rose. Her brothers both won the Pulitzer Prize, the writer William Rose Benét and the poet Stephen Vincent Benét. She graduated from the Emma Willard School in 1903 and, four years later, from Vassar College with an A.B. degree, class 1907. She received a Litt.D degree from Moravian College, Bethelem, Pennsylvania.
Benét was a teacher and sorcial worker for the Spring Street Settlement House in New York City from 1913 to 1916 and then became an inspector for the Red Cross Sanitary Commission during World War I.
After the war, she returned home in 1919 to help care for her brother William's three children after the death of his first wife, Teresa Thompson (sister of the novelist Kathleen Thompson Norris), during the flu pandemic.
An accomplished poet, Benét’s Fairy Bread was named, along with sister-in-law Elinor Wylie’s Nets to Catch the Wind, “among the best” poetry books of 1921 by the New York Times.
She collaborated with artist Prentiss Taylor on a number of illustrated poetry broadsides, including “Christmas Eve,” (1929) which employs Taylor’s surprising images of “ants [sanding] the cold floor,” and Mary in a careworn posture to complicate the otherwise romantic tale of Christmas Eve.
She was secretary and assistant book page editor, New York Evening Post, 1927-28; editorial department at the New York Sun, 1928-29; book review editor's assistant and book review substitute, the New York Times, summer of 1930; and a free-lancewriter from 1930 until her death.
Benét occasionally wrote for the Literary Review and then began writing biographies for children and adults. She mostly wrote literary biographies, including ones on both of her brothers, and also compiled biographies like Famous English and American Essayists. She wrote biographies of Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and a biographical novel about poet Emily Dickinson.
She received a medal as an honor poet, National Poetry Center, 1936. Her poems were recorded at the Library of Congress in 1958.
“Bridge of a Single Hair,” a volume of her poems, was released by Braden Press, Boston, in 1974.
She wrote her memoir, When William Rose, Stephen Vincent, and I Were Young, in 1976.
Benét died in New York on 17 February 1979. She lived at the Marlton Hotel at 5 West Eighth Street. She was buried with her parents in Section 6 of Arlington National Cemetery.
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