Mary Carolyn Davies

Mary Caroline Davies was born in Sprague, Washington in the early 1890s and moved to Portland, Oregon when she was 12. She attended the University of California-Berkeley for one year, where she won the Emily Chamberlin Cook prize for poetry in her freshman year, and was the first woman to win the Bohemian Club Prize for poetry. Davies moved to Greenwich Village as a young woman, working as a freelance writer and writing short stories and poems. After a move back to Portland, Oregon, she served as president of the Women’s Press Club of Oregon and president of the Northwest Poetry Society. Davies eventually moved back to New York in the 1930s.

Davies published the poetry collections The Drums on our Street: A Book of War Poems (1918), Youth Riding (1919), and The Skyline Trail: A Book of Western Verse (1924). Editor Louis Untermeyer included her poems in his widely read anthology Modern American Poetry (1921). Her poetry for children was published in A Little Freckled Person: A Book of Child Verse (1919). Individual poems and stories appeared in mainstream magazines, as well as more avant-garde venues, such as The Masses. Davies experimented in other forms as well. In 1918, the Provincetown Players produced her one-act play, “The Slave With Two Faces.” She also published a novel, The Husband Test (1921).

Little is known of Davies’s life after her move back to New York in the 1930s. There were reports of her living in poverty, and no records of her death. 

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Biography

Mary Caroline Davies was born in Sprague, Washington in the early 1890s and moved to Portland, Oregon when she was 12. She attended the University of California-Berkeley for one year, where she won the Emily Chamberlin Cook prize for poetry in her freshman year, and was the first woman to win the Bohemian Club Prize for poetry. Davies moved to Greenwich Village as a young woman, working as a freelance writer and writing short . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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