- Category : 1903-births
- Type : ME
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Explanation 2
American poet and the only woman associated with the Objectivist poets. She is widely credited for demonstrating how an Objectivist poetic could handle the personal as subject matter.
Niedecker's earliest poetry was marked by her reading of the Imagists, whose work she greatly admired and of surrealism. In 1931 she read the Objectivist issue of Poetry. She sent her poems to Louis Zukofsky, who had edited the issue. This was the beginning of what proved to be an important relationship for her development as a poet. Zukofsky suggested sending them to Poetry, where they were accepted for publication. Niedecker then found herself in direct contact with the American poetic avant-garde.
Near the end of 1933, Niedecker visited Zukofsky in New York City for the first time and became pregnant with his child. He insisted that she have an abortion, which she did, although they remained friends and continued to carry on a mutually beneficial correspondence following Niedecker's return to Fort Atkinson.
From the mid-1930s, Niedecker moved away from surrealism and started writing poems that engaged more directly with social and political realities and on her own immediate rural surroundings. Her first book, New Goose (1946), collected many of these poems.
Niedecker was not to publish another book for fifteen years. In 1949, she began work on a poem sequence called For Paul, named for Zukofsky's son. Unfortunately, Zukofsky was uncomfortable with what he viewed as the overly personal and intrusive nature of the content of the 72 poems she eventually collected under this title and discouraged publication.
The 1960s saw a revival of interest in Niedecker's work. Her books published in the last few decades of her life included My Friend Tree, T & G: The Collected Poems, 1936–1966, North Central, and My Life By Water.
In May 1963 she married Albert Millen, an industrial painter. Niedecker died on December 31, 1970 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Her comprehensive Collected Works were published by the University of California Press in 2002.