Edna St Vincent Millay (1892–1950) was one of the most popular American writers of her generation, and the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Thomas Hardy once remarked that America had only two great wonders to show the world: skyscrapers, and the poetry of Edna St Vincent Millay. Poems and Satires restores that wonder to view, while also revealing Millay as a more innovative and versatile talent than she is usually given credit for being. It includes some of her wickedly funny satires (published under the pseudonym Nancy Boyd, out of print since 1924), as well as her acclaimed play Aria da Capo, and reveals her to be not only the defining 'flapper' poet of the 1920s but a crucial voice for the 2020s.
The 'fierce and trivial' persona she cultivated in her early lyric poems and sonnets – with their dazzling wit and daring attitudes towards love and sexuality – captured the whirl of bohemian life in New York. In her genre-defying satires, she questioned society's treatment of women and artists in surreal stories and plays, non-fiction and spoof agony aunt letters, and even a Handmaid's Tale-esque dystopia disguised as an almanac from the future.