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Disambiguation Notice

Isabella Gardner was an American poet and the 2nd wife of Allen Tate. She and Isabella Stewart Gardner are not the same person. Please do not combine them.

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Short biography
Isabella Gardner was born into one of New England's wealthy elite families, a great-niece of the Isabella Stewart Gardner who bequeathed a museum to the city of Boston. After causing a serious accident at age 18, Gardner went to London and studied acting. She became a professional actress, and married and divorced three famous American husbands in succession. Turning to poetry, her first published collection of verse was Birthdays from the Ocean (1955). She became associate editor of Chicago’s Poetry magazine. In 1955, she met the southern poet Allen Tate, who left his wife to marry Gardner, and the couple settled in Minneapolis. Gardner and Tate associated with many prominent cultural figures of the day, including T.S. Eliot, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Tennessee Williams. After the end of the marriage to Tate in 1966, Isabella Gardner moved on to the bohemian art life of the Hotel Chelsea in New York in the 1970s. She was the first recipient of the Walt Whitman Citation of Merit in 1981, and was named the first poet laureate of New York State. (See her biography, Not at All What One Is Used To by Marian Janssen.)
Disambiguation notice
Isabella Gardner was an American poet and the 2nd wife of Allen Tate. She and Isabella Stewart Gardner are not the same person. Please do not combine them.

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