Poet Helen Hoyt, who also used the name Helen Hoyt Lyman, was born in 1887 in Norwalk, Connecticut. The daughter of former Pennsylvania governor Henry Hoyt, she was educated at Barnard College. She wrote her most well-known poem, “Ellis Park,” while living in Chicago and working as an associate editor for Poetry. Hoyt also edited an issue of Others: A Magazine of the New Verse (1916). In that issue, Hoyt addressed her interest in poetry as a space for women’s voices: “At present most of what we know, or think we know, of women has been found out by men. We have yet to hear what woman will tell of herself, and where can she tell more intimately than in poetry?”
In her poetry, Hoyt explored gender, the body, and nature. She authored several collections, including Apples Here In My Basket (1924), Leaves of Wild Grape (1929), and Poems of Amis (1946). Her poetry is also featured in several anthologies, including The New Poetry: An Anthology (1917) and The Second Book of Modern Verse (1920).
After marrying William Whittingham Lyman, Hoyt moved to St. Helena, California, where she spent her later years. She was the aunt of poet Elinor (Hoyt) Wylie. Hoyt died in 1972.