22 April 2013

remembering Jean Bothwell

one of the earliest poems in my forthcoming collection Blossoms (NightBallet Press) is "Roses and Onions" (1963).  it's dedicatd to one of my favorite authors as a child -- Jean Bothwell (1892?-1977). I reference two books of hers The Promise of the Rose and Onions Without Tears.

I believe I was 11 when I read my first Bothwell book Star of India.  I wrote to her & it was one of my first literary correspondences.  those letters are part of my papers at Kent State.

I finally met her when I went to NYC in 1962 & visitd again the following year.  on one of those visits I took this photo of her.

she was generous to me & important in my beginnings as a writer.  she gave me at least one original Margaret Ayer illustration from one of her books.  & when I came to her apartment she fixd dinner using one of the recipes from her famous 1950 onion cookbook (which I still have).

I have no idea if any of her books remain in print or if children still read her.  but she was important to me.

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