Poet, novelist, and editor Jessica Nelson North was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the older sister of children’s book author Sterling North. She earned her BA at Lawrence College and pursued graduate work at the University of Chicago, where she was the president of the University of Chicago Poetry Club. Her collections of poetry include The Prayer Rug (1923, as Jessica North MacDonald), The Long Leash (1928), and Dinner Party (1942). Her novels include Arden Acres (1935), winner of the Friends of American Writers first novel award, and Morning in the Land (1941). Her children’s books include The Giant’s Shoe (1967).
North had a long relationship with Poetry Magazine, succeeding Harriet Monroe as editor in 1936 and coediting the magazine with Peter De Vries from 1937 to 1942. She continued to work for the magazine into the 1960s.