Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
What Lips My Lips Have Kissed

What Lips My Lips Have Kissed

The Loves and Love Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Daniel Mark Epstein

Henry Holt and Co.



A noted biographer and poet illuminates the unique woman who wrote the greatest American love poetry of the twentieth century

What Lips My Lips Have Kissed is the story of a rare sort of American genius, who grew up in grinding poverty in Camden, Maine. Nothing could save the sensitive child but her talent for words, music and drama, and an inexorable desire to be loved. When she was twenty, her poetry would make her famous; at thirty she would be loved by readers the world over.

Edna St. Vincent Millay was widely considered to be the most seductive woman of her age. Few men could resist her, and many women also fell under her spell. From the publication of her first poems until the scandal over Fatal Interview twenty years later, gossip about the poet's liberated lifestyle prompted speculation about who might be the real subject of her verses.

Using letters, diaries and journals of the poet and her lovers that have only recently become available, Daniel Mark Epstein tells the astonishing story of the life, dedicated to art and love, that inspired the sublime lyrics of Edna St. Vincent Millay.


Praise for What Lips My Lips Have Kissed

“Epstein creates a rendering worthy of the poet's energetic life.” —People magazine

“Epstein is one of the strongest poets now writing in English. He is also a musician and a scholar; and, as [What Lips My Lips Have Kissed] makes clear, an expert biographer.” —Jeffrey Hart, National Review

“Rapturous . . . [Epstein] extols Millay, persuasively, as 'America's foremost love poet.'” —Merle Rubin, The Wall Street Journal

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Daniel Mark Epstein

Daniel Mark Epstein is an award-winning essayist, poet, playwright, translator, biographer, and musician. He's won the Prix de Rome, a Guggenheim fellowship, and been anthologized in several collections of essays and poetry. His books include biographies of Aimee Semple, Nat King Cole, and seven volumes of poetry. He lives in Baltimore, MD.

Daniel Mark Epstein