Nancy Cunard  

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Nancy Clare Cunard (March 10 1896March 17 1965) was an English writer, editor and publisher, political activist, anarchist and poet. She was born into the British upper class but strongly rejected her family's values, devoting much of her life to fighting racism and fascism.

She became a muse to some of the 20th century's most distinguished writers and artists, including Wyndham Lewis, Aldous Huxley, Tristan Tzara, Ezra Pound, and Louis Aragon, who were among her lovers, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Constantin Brancusi, Langston Hughes, Man Ray, and William Carlos Williams. In later years she suffered from mental illness, and her physical health deteriorated. She died penniless at age 69.

Political activism

In 1928 (after a two-year affair with Louis Aragon) she began a relationship with Henry Crowder, an African-American jazz musician who was working in Paris. She became an activist in matters concerning racial politics and civil rights in the USA, and visited Harlem. In 1931 she published the pamphlet Black Man and White Ladyship, an attack on racist attitudes as exemplified by Cunard's mother, whom she quoted as saying "Is it true that my daughter knows a Negro?" She also edited Negro: An Anthology, collecting poetry, fiction, and nonfiction primarily by African-American writers, including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.


  • Outlaws (1921), poems
  • Sublunary (1923), poems
  • Parallax (1925, Hogarth Press), poems
  • Poems (1930)
  • Black Man and White Ladyship (1931) polemic pamphlet
  • Negro: An Anthology (1934) anthology of African literature and art, editor
  • Authors Take Sides (1937) pamphlet, compiler
  • Los poetas del mundo defienden al pueblo español (1937, Paris), co-editor with Pablo Neruda
  • The White Man's Duty: An analysis of the colonial question in the light of the Atlantic Charter (with George Padmore) (1942)
  • Poems for France (1944)
  • Releve into Marquis (1944)
  • Grand Man: Memories of Norman Douglas (1954)
  • GM: Memories of George Moore (1956)
  • These Were the Hours: Memories of My Hours Press, Réanville and Paris, 1928-1931 (1969), autobiography

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