Lizette Woodworth Reese was born and raised in Waverly, Maryland, now in the heart of the city of Baltimore. At age 17, she began teaching at the parish school of nearby St. John's Episcopal Church. She later moved to Baltimore's Western High School, where she taught English from 1901 until she retired in 1921. Her first collection of poems, A Branch of May (1887), brought her wide recognition, and she became a prominent literary figure in Baltimore. In 1931 she was named Poet Laureate of Maryland. Miss Reese served as honorary president of the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore from 1922 until her death. She also co-founded the Women’s Literary Club of Baltimore, acting as its poetry chair from 1890. She wrote eight other volumes of poetry, plus short stories, memoirs, and an autobiographical novel. Much of her work drew on images of her rural girlhood. She has been considered a transitional writer who bridged the gap between Victorian and modern poets, and also has been cited as an influence on younger women poets of the modern era such as Edna St. Vincent Millay. Miss Reese lived in her childhood home until her mother died, then lived the last 20 years of her life with her sister's family.