Martha Baird was a poet, editor, author, and musicologist. Born in Dodge City, Kansas, Baird earned a BA from the State University of Iowa. After working for WGN radio in Chicago, Baird moved to New York, where she joined the American Guild of Variety Artists and studied the aesthetic realism movement with founder Eli Siegel, whom she later married.
Passionately invested in aesthetic realism, an artistic philosophy that stresses the reconciliation of opposites, Baird published a book of poems, Nice Deity (1955), as well as the radio plays The Inside and Outside of Winnington Snail and The Comma That Didn’t Belong Anywhere, which was adapted for the screen in 2009. Baird’s poetry was featured in the anthology Personal and Impersonal: Six Aesthetic Realists (1959) and Poetry For Pleasure (1960), among others. She edited Eil Siegel’s James and the Children: A Consideration of Henry Jamess The Turn of the Screw” (1968); with Ellen Reiss, The Williams-Siegel Documentary (1970); and Goodbye Profit System, also by Eli Siegel (1970), which she later adapted, with Tom Shields, as a three-act musical. Her poetry, prose, and critical writings on music have been anthologized and published in various journals, books, and textbooks on aesthetic realism.
Poems by Martha Baird
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