Hilda Morley (September 19, 1916–March 23, 1998) was an American poet associated with the Black Mountain movement. She was born Hilda Auerbach in New York City to Russian parents. At the age of fifteen she moved to Haifa, Palestine, with her mother, and later to London to study at the University of London. When the Blitz in World War II began in London she moved back to the United States.
In 1952, she married her third husband, Stefan Wolpe, who through Morley was introduced to the abstract expressionist art scene. Wolpe taught at Black Mountain College, where Morley taught as well. Morley maintained that the atmosphere at Black Mountain was not favorable to women, although she enjoyed her time there. At Black Mountain, Wolpe and Morley became close friends with John Cage, David Tudor, Merce Cunningham, Dorothea Rockburne and Robert Rauschenberg, in addition to poets Charles Olson and Robert Creeley. Wolpe and Morley traveled widely in Europe as Wolpe taught at Darmstadt and had a residency in Rome. Wolpe developed Parkinson's Disease in 1964, and Morley's life was greatly affected by her need to care for him until his death in 1972. Morley's understanding of her own art was greatly influenced by her life with Wolpe and he and his music are a major theme of her work.
It was not until 1976 (at the age of 60) that her first collection, A Blessing Outside Us, was published through the efforts of Denise Levertov. Levertov and Morley became friends in the late 1950s, and they had an extensive correspondence. Morley had five volumes of poetry published within her lifetime, and another after her death.
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Originally laid in A Blessing Outside Us by Hilda Morley. PS3505 R43 B57
Accession number 1507
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