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Figure Home Address 11338 MAYFIELD ROAD CLEVELAND, O. Edmund Vance Cooke The legitimate successor to James Whitcomb Riley is Edmund Vance Cooke. He has the same philosophy of cheerful kindliness, founded on a shrewd knowledge of human nature. Verse is his mother tongue. William Lyon Phelps in The Advance of English Poetry in the Twentieth Century. Get him if you can. He is a remarkable man. His poem on the birth of Lincoln is one of the most thoughtful, forceful and gripping ideas I ever heard. I know of no one who combines poetry, philosophy and social science in the same manner. He is not the 'successor' of anyone. He is absolutely unique. Karl F. Geiser, Professor Political Science, Oberlin College. An Autobiography—Edmund Vance Cooke (From Saturday Evening Post) Edmund Vance Cooke I was born Somewhere-in-Canada in the year of___________(deleted by censor). Place of interment not yet determined. I had one father and one mother, and while I was yet in long clothes I brought them with me to the United States. At that time I was unable to write or speak the English tongue, though my father was an Englishman, tracing his ancestry back to his ancestors, and my mother was a Canadian of Irish, Scotch, French and other allied strains. I finally settled in Ohio, overlooking the fact that I was not eligible to the presidency, and led a blameless life until the age of 12, when I began to write for publication. At the age of 14 an editor (name withheld at the request of his family) sent me a check for a contribution, and from that time I have never faltered in my downward career. Since then I have published a dozen books which have won the enthusiastic approval of my publishers and myself. Among these books are Chronicles of the Little Tot and Impertinent Poems, the original poems of which first appeared in the pages of The S_____E_____P_____ (name of magazine withheld at the request of George Horage Lorimer); and I have also written many better poems which have been rejected by the same publication. I early discovered that I was a more appreciative reader of my own writings than anyone else, and hence I have been reading them to whomever would pay the admission fee for over 20 years, unflinchingly facing audiences in every state of the Union except Nevada, there being no audience room in that state small enough to accommodate the total population. Aside from reading my own writings in public I have no other bad habits. I do not even play golf. In politics I am a Single-taxer and consequently I have few supporters in public office and my opinion of them is usually worse than that. In appearance I am a vanishing blond and I wear my clothes well. My shoes are just as well-worn as my clothes. My favorite composer is_______ (name deleted by rival) and my favorite author I have already mentioned. When I began my career I was a poor young man and now I have a wife and three children. Owing to the Hooverization of white paper and printer's ink, my full name and titles are not given here, but the rest of it is Edmund Vance Cooke. Edmund Vance Cooke produces some new strain of verse every year or two, creating new thousands of readers who are not satisfied to hear it broadcast, who would not be satisfied to see him filmed, but will buy tickets for the family that they may see his fascinating personality and hear his inimitable rendering of verses which no one else could have created. One of the rare personalities of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. EDITORIAL, Journal of Education. ABOUT HIS PROGRAMS A handful picked from the wilderness of press comments, printed here as an evidence of good faith, but which nobody is expected to read. Figure It would be difficult to imagine a more enjoyable or a more appropriate introduction to the winter entertainments than the recital by the well known American poet, Edmund Vance Cooke. To hear a poet giving a series of readings from his own writings must always be a source of great interest. The mere fact of beholding in the flesh a writer whose works we have admired is almost infallibly a thing to be looked back upon as among the pleasures of memory. Accordingly, bearing in mind the cheery, optimistic note which characterizes so much of Mr. Vance Cooke's poetry, it was easy to guess how completely the entertainer should hit it off. As a matter of fact Mr. Cooke completely captivated his friends and held them in expectant thrall from beginning to end. London (Eng.) Daily Telegraph. Edmund Vance Cooke is a recognized poet. How many have recognized his exquisite art as an actor? He fills the eye. He is unobtrusive, yet compelling. Aside from the great Willard, I have never seen an actor who had more delicacy and yet power. Mr. Cooke expressed a wide range of sentiment, philosophy, criticism and passion of the elemental sort, and I discovered never a false note. Who says poetry is not alive as much today as ever, let him hear Mr. Cooke interpret his poems and see the effect on old and young. He is not a singer for a day, but a musical prophet, a pure-hearted, common-sense, high-souled lover of life. Chas. Eugene Banks, noted dramatic critic, in Seattle Star. Ohio has produced a poet who is at least the equal of those who have been Indiana's boast. He recites in a charming, well-planned fashion, … the delivery, the enunciation and the entire effect are very rarely equalled by public speakers. In any field of poetry Mr. Cooke seems to be equally at home and equally as good, and therein lies the genius of the Ohioan. He has conquered all fields of artistic expression. The best part of all is that everyone went home with something to think of, something old, yet put in a new light. Purdue (University) Exponent. We went with great expectations to hear Mr. Edmund Vance Cooke, the American poet, and came away having laughed much at his clever recitals of his own poems. London (Eng.) Signal. Mr. Cooke has been called 'The poet laureate of children.' But he is a poet for young folk and for grown-ups as much as he is for children. He carries all sorts of poems in his magic bag for all sorts of people. Cleveland Plain Dealer. The afternoon lecture added to the splendid impression made last evening. Mr. Cooke is a writer of rare ability and is a most unusual reader of his own works. Springfield Republican NEW BOOK From THE BOOK OF EXTENUATIONS GEORGE H. DORAN CO. Publishers Condensed Comments on the Book NEW PROGRAM A flash of inspiration. Los Angeles Times. Both human and entertaining. Lizette Reese in Baltimore Sun. Wit, vigor and daring originality. Gamaliel Bradford. We cannot escape the truth which stings in many lines. Boston Transcript. Delicately and expertly audacious and exceedingly clever. Hartford Courant. I have read it with delight. Both thoughtful and interesting. Clarence Darrow. I read Extenuations from cover to cover last night. It is fine! fine! Newton D. Baker. Tinged with satire, lightened with humor, well worth anyone's reading. Kansas City Journal-Post I enjoyed your verses tremendously. You have done a very beautiful thing. Wm. Allen White. No man in America except Mr. Cooke could have written the Extenuations. Dr. Robert Waller Deering, W. R. U. It is a fascinating thing to have done—to have re-created these Biblical characters. —Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Free Synagogue, New York City. Interesting from cover to cover and almost every one of the poems is a masterpiece. Ted Robinson in Cleveland Plain Dealer. Poems filled with wit, satire, humor and always with a generous mixture of human kindliness. Columbus State Journal. A well-loved writer displays his kindly humor, faith and gayety. Feeling that is deep. Fine reading. Oakland (Cal.) Tribune. The poems startle by their boldness and seeming irreverence and yet shock the reader into serious thinking. Presbyterian Magazine. A grippiness and interest which are moving to me. They will turn the thoughts of people towards the Bible. An interesting series of etchings. He has read his bible shrewdly, carefully, scrupulously. The book has originality. Carl Sandburg in Chicago News. Refreshing, candid and original interpretations of great incidents in Scripture… let a lot of fresh air into stuffy rooms. Joel B. Hayden, Fairmount Pres. Church, Cleveland Heights. Chas. F. Thwing, Pres. Emeritus W. R. U. Decidedly worth reading. Very obviously Mr. Cooke had a good time thinking up these Extenuations. Our good time is proportionate. Virginia Moore, in The Bookman Simply great. Will take its place beside the Rubaiyat, as it reveals the same genius for understanding human nature and the problems of existence. David Rhys Williams, Third Unitarian Church, Chicago. Mr. Cooke is so accomplished a poet that his lines in any meter run as fluently as prose, but with a cutting edge much keener and more convincing. Portland Oregonian We need your message. How strange it is that most of us have never thought that these folks of old were entitled to any right to speak for themselves. Charles S. Medbury, University Church of Christ, Des Moines. Mr. Cooke not only presents the necessary touch of genius, but the requisite dashes of satire, humor and kindliness. Thus, when he presents Noah or David, Pilate or Ananias, we feel that we know them better and find ourselves drawn closer rather than pushed away. Boston Herald. Satire, humor, but above all the conviction that human nature is the same today as it was yesterday. The poems are written in a reverent spirit and lofty ideals are never lost sight of. St. Louis Globe-Democrat. Words about The Program Edmund Vance Cooke finds audiences particularly responsive to readings from his new Book of Extenuations. Mr. Cooke found great favor at the luncheon of the Dutch Treat Club. These poems are striking commentaries on life thrown into the form of discourses on Biblical Themes. Harry Hansen in New York World. Each of the Biblical personages was represented as giving in his words his own defense. Some contained occasion for much laughter, others were solely tragic, but most of them had humor and seriousness intermingled. The audience showed by frequent applause strong sympathy with the speaker's interpretation. Boston Globe. Unquestionably the best address that ever came out of Ford Hall. Most stimulating and thought provoking. It was not merely that it was cleverly evolved, enriched with a keen sense of humor, but it showed an unusual imagination, much study, and it was so impressively and dramatically presented. That it was daring and unconventional made it all the more interesting. The most interesting people in the world, anyway, are those who differ from us. Rabbi Harry Levi, Temple Israel, Boston.
|Title||Edmund Vance Cooke|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Cooke, Edmund Vance|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|