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Source: Nickolas Muray - Strip 17

"Zoe Akins, playwright, was born in Humansville, Missouri on October 30, 1886. She was educated at home, at Monticello Seminary in Godfrey, Illinois, and at Hosmer Hall in St. Louis. For many years, Akins lived in St. Louis where she wrote poetry and criticism for Reedy's Mirror. Later she contributed to leading magazines. She was married to Captain Hugo C. L. Rumbold on March 13, 1932. 

Akins first stepped into the dramatic field in 1914 with "Papa." A sophisticated comedy, it was too liberal for that day. She followed this with "The Magical City" and "Declassee," the latter achieving a measure of success. Her efforts during the 1920s did not quite measure up to the expectations of the audiences, but when "The Greeks Had a Word For It" was produced in 1929-1930, it brought her deserved recognition as a popular dramatist. Akins' greatest achievement in the writing field came when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1935 for her dramatization of Edith Wharton's story, The Old Maid. 

Other plays written by Akins include: "Foot-Loose," "Daddy's Gone A-Hunting," "The Little Miracle," and "The Love Duel." She also authored many screenplays, two volumes of poetry, Interpretations, and The Hills Grow Smaller, and a novel, Forever Young. She died in 1958." (From This Week in Missouri Hitory)

"I am the Wind" (1914)

I AM the wind that wavers,
You are the certain land;
I am the shadow that passes
Over the sand. 

I am the leaf that quivers,
You, the unshaken tree;
You are the stars that are steadfast,
I am the sea.

You are the light eternal--
Like a torch I shall die.
You are the surge of deep music,
I but a cry!

"The Wanderer" (1914)

The ships are lying in the bay,
The gulls are swinging round their spars;
My soul as eagerly as they
Desires the margin of the stars.

So much do I love wandering,
So much I love the sea and sky,
That it will be a piteous thing
In one small grave to lie.

Primary Works

Plays: Papa, 1914; The Magical City; Declassee; The Greeks Had a Word For It, 1929-30; The Old Maid, (dramatization of Edith Wharton's story, "The Old Maid," Pulitzer Prize, 1935); Foot-Loose; Daddy's Gone A-Hunting; The Little Miracle; The Love Duel.

Poetry: Interpretations; The Hills Grow Smaller, 1937.

Novel: Forever Young

Screenplays: Camille, 1936; Christopher Strong, 1933; Three Broadway Girls, 1932.

Declassee; Daddy's gone a-hunting; and Greatness - a comedy. NY: Boni, 1923. PS3501.K5 A19

The hills grow smaller; poems by Zoe Akins. NY and London, Harper & brothers, 1937. PS3501.K5 H5

 Selected Bibliography 1980-Present

Demastes, William W. ed. American playwrights, 1880-1945: a research and production sourcebook. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood P, 1995. Ref / PS351 .A52

Schlueter, June. ed. Modern American drama: the female canon. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1990. PS338 .W6 M6

MLA Style Citation of this Web Page

Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 8: Zoe Akins." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. URL: (provide page date or date of your login).
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