Ezra Loomis Pound was born in 1885 in Hailey, Idaho; he was raised in Wyncotte, near Philadelphia, PA. As a young man, Pound moved to Europe, where he lived for the rest of his life. In 1908, while staying in Venice, Pound published his first book, A Lume Spento at his own expense. After settling in London Pound became the London correspondent for Poetry magazine. Pound befriended and helped establish some of the most notable writers of the 20th century, including: T. S. Elliot, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, William Carlos Williams, Hilda Doolittle, and Robert Frost. Pound spent much of his more than fifty-year-long writing career focused on the epic poem, The Cantos. While living in Italy, Pound delved into Fascist politics and helped disseminate propaganda by radio to the United States during WWII. In 1946 he was arrested and put into a mental hospital. During his confinement, the jury of the Bollingen-Library of Congress Award decided to overlook Pound’s political career in the interest of recognizing his poetic achievements, and awarded him the prize for the Pisan Cantos (1948). Continuous appeals from many well-established friends won Pound his freedom in 1958, and upon release he returned to Venice, Italy. He died there in 1972.
Ezra Pound’s literary archive is housed at the Beinecke Library; for a detailed description of the collection visit the Guide to the Ezra Pound Papers, YCAL MSS 43. Letters, manuscripts, and photos from the archive can be seen online in the Beinecke’s Digital Library by visiting the Ezra Pound Papers Image Guide. Additional related resources in Beinecke Library collections may be found in Orbis and the Finding Aid Database.