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Vachel  Lindsay

portrait of poet & critic Vachel Lindsay [1879-1931]          short profile

poetry & prose
other works

works about Vachel Lindsay

family & friends


"He convinced his parents that college was interfering with his education, and he was allowed to enroll
in art courses at the Chicago Art Institute." — Vachel Lindsay Association website

"In the end, I want you to join my gang. I do not want to join yours."
— Vachel Lindsay

          B I O
          t e x t
          h e r e

Nicholas Vachel Lindsay was born 10 November 1879 at 603 So. Fifth Street in Springfield, Illinois; he lived elsewhere during his adult years, then returned there with his wife & two children in 1929, and committed suicide in the upstairs bedroom in December 1931.
Lindsay became known in the 1910s as the 'Prairie Troubador'
Nicholas Vachel Lindsay attended Hiram College [est. 1850] in Ohio from 1897 to 1900

Vachel Lindsay Association and Home State Historic Site
Vachel Lindsay entry at Wikipedia
browse books at Vachel Lindsay Store at Amazon

Poetry & Prose
browse Vachel Lindsay Store at Amazon

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"Where Is Aladdin's Lamp" [1904] hand-made first book of poetry by Vachel Lindsay

"The Tree of The Laughing Bells" [privately printed 1905]

"These Ten Lectures by Nicholas Vachel Lindsay For Men Only" [1908]

"The Tramp's Excuse" [1909] by Vachel Lindsay

"The Village Magazine" [privately printed 1910 & 1920] by Vachel Lindsay
magazine text & illustrations scanned by J.R., 2005 & 2010

"The Spring Harbinger" [privately printed 1910]

"Rhymes To Be Traded For Bread" [privately printed 1912] by Vachel Lindsay
Kessinger Publng pb [10/2007] for $12.44
Kessinger Publng 11x8½ hardcover [5/2010] for $23.52

poem "General William Booth Enters Into Heaven" [1913]
first published in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, Volume 1, No. 4
online poem etext at Wikisource

title page for 1919 U.K. edition of General William Booth Enters Into Heaven & Other Poems book by The Congo and Other Poems  "General William Booth Enters Into Heaven and Other Poems"
[M. Kennerly 1914] by Vachel Lindsay

Kindle Edition from Public Domain Books [2006 edition] for FREE!
Hard Press 9x6 pb [11/2006] for $9.95
Kessinger Publng 9x6 hardcover [7/2007] for $27.32
Macmillan hardcover [1924] out of print/scarce
online book etext at Wikisource
online book etext at Project Gutenberg

poem "The Congo: A Study of The Negro Race" [1914]
first published in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse
online book etext at Project Gutenberg
online etext at iPoet

When I was in the Air Force in the 1960s, one of my barracks-mates had gone to Tulane University in Louisiana;
he told of having gone often over to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, where he would recite Poe's "The Raven" and
other long poems from memory for beer money; if no free drinks were forthcoming, he would recite
"The Congo" in a loud voice until paid to stop.

The Congo and Other Poems book by The Congo and Other Poems  "The Congo and Other Poems" [Macmillan 1914]
Kindle Edition from Neeland Media [7/2004 edition] for $1.99
Borgo Press 8½x6½ pb [11/2002] for $17.95
Borgo Press 9¼x6¼ hardcover [11/2002] for $27.95
online book etext at Project Gutenberg

"Adventures While Preaching The Gospel of Beauty" travel journal [Macmillan 1914]

poem "The Eagle That Is Forgotten" [1913]

poem "Net To Snare The Moonlight" [1913]

poem "The Santa Fe Trail: A Humoresque" [1914]

poem "Abraham Lincoln Walks At Midnight" [1914]
critique & text by LSG

Art of the Moving Picture classic book by Vachel Lindsay  "The Art of The Moving Picture" [orig 1915; rev 2000]
by Vachel Lindsay; edited by Martin Scorsese

Kindle Edition from Modern Library [12/2010] for $11.99
Modern Library 8x5 pb [3/2000] for $13.77
original editions:
CreateSpace 10x8 pb [9/2011] for $12.99
IndyPublish 9x6 pb [2/2005] for $35.99
Handy Guide For Beggars book by Vachel Lindsay  "A Handy Guide For Beggars, Especially Those of The Poetic Fraternity"
[Macmillan 1916] by Vachel Lindsay

Univ Michigan Library 7x5 facsimile pb [1916 edition] for $17.99
Cornell Univ Library 7x4¾ pb [12/2009] for $20.99
BiblioLife 9¼x6 hardcover [10/2008] for $28.99

poem "The Ghost of The Buffaloes" [1917]

"The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems" [1917]

"Daniel Jazz and Other Poems" [1920]

1929 cover for The Golden Book of Springfield book by Vachel Lindsay  "The Golden Book of Springfield: Being The Review of A Book That Will Appear In The Autumn of The Year 2018, and An Extended Description of Springfield, Illinois In That Year" [Macmillan 1920]
by Vachel Lindsay

Charles H. Kerr 9½x5½ pb [2000] for $22.00
Cornell Univ Library 7¾x4¾ pb [1/2010] for $23.99
Nabu Press 8¾x7½ pb [8/2010] for $24.89
book entry at Wikipedia

"The Golden Whales of California and Other Rhymes In The American Language"
collection [Macmillan 1920]

"The Little Turtle" short children's poem [circa 1920]
original subtitle "A Recitation for Martha Wakefield, Three Years Old"
Announced 7/2012: Fundraiser for a hardcover edition with illustrations by folk artist George Colin,
sponsored by the Vachel Lindsay Assn. • online etext at Poetry Foundation

poem "In Praise of Johnny Appleseed" [1922]
online etext at Wikisource

"Springfield Town Is Butterfly Town and Other Poems For Children" [Macmillan 1922]
self-illustrated, edited by Pierre Dussert, introduction by Louis Untermeyer

"Going-to-The-Sun" [D. Appleton 1923]

Progress and Poetry of The Movies book edited by Myron Lounsbury  "The Progress and Poetry of The Movies: A Second Book of Film Criticism by Vachel Lindsay" [written 1925, publd 1995]
Edited with commentary by Myron Lounsbury

Scarecrow Press 9x6 hardcover [8/95] for $124.30 {sic}

"Going-to-the-Stars" [D. Appleton 1926]

"Candle In The Cabin: A Weaving Together of Script and Singing" [D. Appleton 1926]

Johnny Appleseed and Other Poems book by Vachel Lindsay  "Johnny Appleseed and Other Poems For Children" [Macmillan 1928]
by Vachel Lindsay, Illustrated by George Richards

Buccaneer Books hardcover [8/81] out of print/used
Macmillan hardcover [1970] out of print/scarce

see also Spirit of America Bookstore's 'Johnny Appleseed' Page

"Every Soul Is A Circus: Poems" [Granger Book Co. 1929]

paper jacket for Litany of Washington Street book by Vachel Lindsay  "The Litany of Washington Street: Essays and Articles" [Macmillan 1929]
by Vachel Lindsay

Macmillan 9½x6 hardcover [1929] out of print/many used

"Through A Poet's Eyes" [Marshall Mitchell Printing 1957] by Vachel Lindsay

Earth Man & Star Thrower book by Vachel Lindsay  "Earth Man & Star Thrower: Vachel Lindsay - His Adventures, Rhymes,
and Designs" [1968] Crossing America Penniless and Afoot, including "Rhymes To Be Traded For Bread" and "The Village Improvement Parade"; Edited & with an essay on Lindsay by Robert F. Sayre

Eakins Press pb [6/68] out of print/used
Eakins Press pb [6/68] out of print/used
"Adventures, Rhymes, and Designs" [1968]
Eakins Press 9¼x6¼ hardcover [6/68] for $27.43

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Collected Poems of Vachel Lindsay book  "Collected Poems of Vachel Lindsay" [Macmillan 1923]
BiblioLife 9¾x7½ pb [4/2009] for $19.16
BiblioLife 9¼x6½ hardcover [4/2009] for $30.99
contains: Adventures While Preaching Hieroglyphic Sermons; Invocation For The Map of The Universe; Adventures While Singing These Songs: Section I - Nightingales; Section II - Orations, College War-Cries, and Olympic Games; Section III - Litany of The Heroes; Section IV - Verses of An Especially Inscriptional Character; Section V - Moon Poems; Section VI - Incense, and Praise, and Whim, and Glory; Section VII - Runes of The Road; Section VIII - Home Town; Section IX - Politics; Section X - Songs Based On American Hieroglyphics, Cartoons, and Motion Pictures; and Section XI - A Song Based On Egyptian Hieroglyphics

"Vachel Lindsay: Selected Poems" [1931] Edited with Introduction by Hazelton Spencer
Macmillan hardcover [1931] out of print/scarce

Selected Poems of Vachel Lindsay book edited by Mark Harris  "The Selected Poems of Vachel Lindsay" [1966]
Edited and with Introduction by Mark Harris

Collier mass pb [1966] out of print/used
Collier 8x5¼ pb [1967] out of print/used
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Vachel Lindsay page at Spoon River Poetry Press

Poetry of Vachel Lindsay books edited by Dennis Camp   "Poetry of Vachel Lindsay: Volume 1, 1909-1920" [1984]
Edited by Dr. Dennis Camp

Spoon River Poetry Press 9x6¼ hardcover [7/84] out of print/used
"Poetry of Vachel Lindsay: Volume 2, 1921-1929" [1985]
Edited by Dr. Dennis Camp

Spoon River Poetry Press hardcover [1985] not available at Amazon
"Poetry of Vachel Lindsay, Volume 3: Notes, Appendices & Index" [1986]
Edited by Dr. Dennis Camp

Spoon River Poetry Press 9x6 hardcover [5/86] out of print/used

Prose of Vachel Lindsay book edited by Dennis Camp  "The Prose of Vachel Lindsay: Volume 1" [1988]
Edited by Dr. Dennis Camp

contains "Adventures While Preaching The Gospel of Beauty" [1914], "The Village Magazine" [1920], and "The Art of The Moving Picture" [1915]
Spoon River Poetry Press hardcover [12/88] out of print/used

"The Prose of Vachel Lindsay: Volume 2" [not yet published]

Movies, Plays, Other Media

Letters of Nicholas Vachel Lindsay book edited by A.J. Armstrong  "Letters of Nicholas Vachel Lindsay To A. Joseph Armstrong"
[Baylor Univ Bulletin Sept 1940] Edited by A.J. Armstrong

Literary Licensing, LLC 9x6 pb [10/2011] for $25.95
Letters of Vachel Lindsay book edited by Marc Chénetier  "Letters of Vachel Lindsay" [1978]
Edited by Marc Chénetier

Lenox Hill/Franklin 9½x6¼ hardcover [11/79] out of print/used
'In Praise of Johnny Appleseed Ballet' book by Lou Harrison  "In Praise of Johnny Appleseed: A Ballet For Three Percussion and Dancers" [1999] by Lou Harrison - based on the 1922 poem by Vachel Lindsay
Alfred Publng 11½x9 pb [10/99] for $29.95
Great Performances 1997 episode I Hear America Singing  "Great Performances: I Hear America Singing" [P.B.S. Jan 1997]
Performances include opera baritone Thomas Hampson singing composer Sidney Homer's version of "General Booth Enters Into Heaven"
Produced & directed by David Horne; hosted by Thomas Hampson
Kultur Video color VHS [1997] for $19.99
episode credits at IMDbPBS profile of Vachel Lindsay
Vachel Lindsay entry at Hampson's "Song of America" website
Troubadour In The Wild Flower City book edited by Shaun Higgins  "Troubadour In The Wild Flower City: Collected Writings From The Spokesman-Review and Spokane Chronicle" [1999]
Edited & with Introduction by Shaun O'L. Higgins

Vachel Lindsay lived in Spokane, Washington from 1924 until April 1929. While there he married a woman half his age, who bore him a daughter and a son. He worked as a reporter and made several exhausting speaking tours.
New Media Ventures 9½x6½ hardcover [6/99] out of print/used
Vachel Lindsay Prairie Troubadour audio CD  "Vachel Lindsay: Prairie Troubadour" [2005]
Written & hosted by Betty Carlson Kay, with Bob Large as Vachel Lindsay

audio lecture/performance on CD available from the author
or at Vachel Lindsay Association and Home State Historic Site (and-or their website}
Vachel Lindsay reads The Congo and Other Poems on audio CD  Vachel Lindsay Reads The Congo and Other Poems" [2010]
Saland Publng audio CD [7/2010] for $19.99
sound quality circa 1926; contains The Congo [7:39], The Chinese Nightingale [13:59], General William Booth Enters Into Heaven [3:14], The Moon's The North Wind's Cooky [0:24], The Flowers Fed Buffaloes [0:49], and The Mysterious Cat [0:54]

Works About Vachel Lindsay

uncompleted Vachel Lindsay biography "Uncle Boy" by Dennis Camp, PhD [1937-2011]
online etext of references used for the "Uncle Boy" manuscript

"Tramping With A Poet In The Rockies" [D. Appleton & Co. 1922] by Stephen Graham

"Vachel Lindsay: An Adventurer" [1929] by A.E. Trombly
Lucas Brothers hardcover [1929] out of print/scarce

"Vachel Lindsay: The Life and Death of A Bard" [1932] by Hazelton Spencer
this is probably an article or cover story in H.L. Mencken's American Mercury Magazine

Vachel Lindsay, A Poet In America biography by Edgar Lee Masters  "Vachel Lindsay: A Poet In America" biography [1935]
by Edgar Lee Masters

Biblo-Moser 8x5¼ pb [6/69] for $30.00
Charles Scribner's Sons hardcover [1935] out of print/used

"Vachel Lindsay: The True Voice of Middle America" [Keystone 1947] by H.L. Mencken
info not found 4/2012

"Vachel Lindsay: A Study In Retreat and Repudiation" [1951] by George Scouffas

City of Discontent Interpretive Biography of Vachel Lindsay book by Mark Harris   "City of Discontent: An Interpretive Biography of Vachel Lindsay, Being Also The Story of Springfield For That City, That State, and That Nation"
[Bobbs-Merrill 1952] by Mark Harris

Univ Illinois Press 8½x5¾ pb [1993] for $22.00
Second Chance Press 9x6 hardcover [4/90] for $28.00

"The West-Going Heart: A Life of Vachel Lindsay" [W.W. Norton 1959] by Eleanor Ruggles

"Where A Lad Is: An Account of Vachel Lindsay" [Syracuse Univ Library 1962] by Ralph Schroeder

Vachel Lindsay, Poet As Film Theorist book by Glenn Joseph Wolfe   "Vachel Lindsay: The Poet As Film Theorist" [1964]
by Glenn Joseph Wolfe

Arno Press 9¾x6½ hardcover [6/73] out of print/scarce

"Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931)" biography [A.G. Nizet, Paris 1968] by Raymond Purkey

"Vachel Lindsay: Fieldworker For The American Dream" [Indiana Univ Press 1970]
by Ann Massa, illustrations by Lindsay

"Vachel Lindsay: Poet In Exile" [Galleon Press Jun 1987] by Mildred Weston

"Look Into Your Heart: The Challenge of Vachel Lindsay" 30-minute VHS or audio cassette, circa 1988
played all day at the Home/Museum in Springfield, also available there for purchase

Vachel Lindsay Strange Gold book by Job Conger  "Vachel Lindsay: Strange Gold" [2003] by Job Conger
Described as "a concise biography and compendium of Lindsay poems and lore"; privately published, rapidly sold out long ago. Contact author, songwriter, performance artist & Vachel Lindsay expert Joe Conger via his website
Call of The Road, Geographical Journey of Vachel Lindsay book by Samuel Rogal  "The Call of The Road: The Geographical Journey of Vachel Lindsay"
[2006] monograph by Samuel J. Rogal

Academica Press 9x6¼ hardcover [3/2006] out of print/rare
Springfield's Sculptures, Monuments & Plaques book from Images of America  "Springfield's Sculptures, Monuments, and Plaques (Images of America)"
[2008] by Carl & Roberta Volkmann

This book is included here because the blurb on its back cover begins with "Springfield is the capital of Illinois and the home of Abraham Lincoln and Vachel Lindsay."
Arcadia Publng 9x6½ pb [2/2008] for $15.59

Family & Friends

Vachel Lindsay, wife Elizabeth & two children, circa 1930

father Vachel Thomas 'Dr. Tom' Lindsay, MD
mother [d. 1922]
older sister Olive Lindsay Wakefield [married June 1904, d. 1957]

wife Elizabeth Conner Lindsay [1901-54]
married May 1925 in Spokane, Washington; widowed December 1931

daughter Susan Doniphan Lindsay Russell [1926-90]

son Nicholas Cave 'Nick' Lindsay [b. 1927] lives in South Carolina
his wife Dr. Louisa Shannon DuBose Lindsay, PhD [1926-2011]

L i n k s
Vachel Lindsay Association and Home State Historic Site
Vachel Lindsay entry at Wikipedia
browse books at Vachel Lindsay Store at Amazon
U-Illinois chronology of Vachel Lindsay's life
Vachel Lindsay page at American Poems website {over 160 Lindsay poems}
Vachel Lindsay online texts at Project Gutenberg
Vachel Lindsay biography page at the Poetry Foundation website
Vachel Lindsay biography pages at the Modern American Poetry website of UI-UC
Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature at Hiram College [est. 1850] in Ohio
Hiram College's Vachel Lindsay Poetry Prize {deadline March} for students
JC's 'The Vachel Pages' website
{smallish} Vachel Lindsay Manuscripts Collection at Princeton University

here on Spirit of America Bookstore's poet & critic Vachel Lindsay [1879-1931] Page

top of pageshort profilepoetry & proseother works

works about Vachel Lindsayfamily & friendslinks

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