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Anna Helen Crofts (22 December 1889 - 13 April 1975) was a writer, poet and teacher who is best known for her collaboration with H. P. Lovecraft on "Poetry and the Gods". She publish some other short stories in other various amateur press magazines. There was false speculation for a time that Crofts may have been a pseudonym for Winifred V. Jackson, or Lovecraft himself.

Details KnownEdit

Crofts was born Anastasia Crofts to the Nicolas M. Crofts (a physician and surgeon) and Julia B. Crofts on December 22 1889. She had a brother Edmond and is still listed as living with her family in the 1920 census, though she is incorrectly listed as 27 years of age (she would have been 31). She was elected Eastern Manuscript Manager at UAPA's Columbus, Ohio convention in July 1920 (this was the same convention which elected Lovecraft as Official Editor of the United Amateur).[1] In the North Adams directory, she is listed as a school teacher beginning in 1919, and it is likely that she corresponded and collaborated with Lovecraft during this period. Records indicate that taught from at least 1919-1944, and at Haskins School for some, if not all of this time.[2]

It is unclear how they first came to work together or why Lovecraft chose to collaborate with her. Faig proposes that Lovecraft may have been fond of the block of blank verse that likely appeared in the first draft. However, Faig notes that the poem was lifted in pieces from the poem "Sky Lotus" by Elizabeth J. Coatsworth. It is likely Lovecraft was unaware of this plagiarism.[3] It is also speculated that Lovecraft may have become aware of Crofts work through her poem "Le Silent" which appeared in the same issue as Lovecraft's poems, "A Winter Wish" and "Laeta: A Lament".[4] Crofts published several articles in Vocational guidance magazine the offical commuincations of the National Vocational Guidance Association, one entitled “Guidance versus Knights of the Road” (1932).[5]

She additionally published the following works:

“Le Silent”, (short story), The Tryout Feb 1918. “To Autumn”, (poem), The Vagrant Jun 1918. “War Literature”, (article), The Tryout Apr 1919.[6]

“S.T. Joshi credits Miss Crofts with at least one further story in the amateur press, “Life” (United Amateur, June 1921)”[7]

NotesEdit

  1. Ken Faig, Jr. "The Strange Story of 'Poetry and the Gods' by Anna Helen Crofts and Henry Paget-Lowe (United Amateur, September 1920)". pp. 6-17, The Fossil, Vol. 105, No. 4, Whole No. 341 2009
  2. Faig, 2009
  3. Faig, 2009
  4. https://tentaclii.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/a-few-additions-for-anna-helen-crofts-1889-1975/
  5. https://tentaclii.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/a-few-additions-for-anna-helen-crofts-1889-1975/
  6. http://www.philsp.com/homeville/fmi/s/s1400.htm#A32352
  7. https://tentaclii.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/a-few-additions-for-anna-helen-crofts-1889-1975/

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