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Short biography
Peggy Pond Church was born Margaret Hallett Pond in the tiny town of Valmora, New Mexico. Her family ranched in the Santa Fe area for a time. In childhood, she explored the canyons and valleys of the Pajarito Plateau on foot and on horseback, and wrote her first poems during this period. She attended high school and college at boarding schools in California and on the East Coast, and then went to Smith College for a year. In 1924, she married Fermor Church, a teacher at the Los Alamos Ranch School run by her father, Ashley Pond, Jr., and had three sons. Peggy published eight volumes of poetry, beginning with Foretaste in 1933, and contributed to national publications such as the Atlantic Monthly. She also was active in the modernist poetry movement that flourished in Santa Fe from the 1920s through the 1930s. In 1928, Edith Warner came to work as a governess for one of the ranch families, and a close friendship developed between the two women. Eventually, Edith moved into a small house below the Otowi Bridge over the Rio Grande River near Los Alamos. Her story and Peggy’s were intertwined in Peggy’s dual memoir, The House at Otowi Bridge: The Story of Edith Warner and Los Alamos (1959). A posthumous poetry collection, This Dancing Ground of Sky: The Selected Poetry of Peggy Pond Church, appeared in 1993.
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