These references to Cather in the new Letters of Robert Frost, vol. 2 (Harvard, 2016) were unfamiliar to me, so I thought others might be interested, too.


Letter to Louis Untermeyer, April 15, 1921: “But the best writing of all is Coming Aphrodite. Now I’m envious. We have had no such short story. You must agree with me. Every stroke of it to the very last. I wept for the sheer perfection—and I’m the fellow who won’t allow artists to take artists for their subject.” (p. 160)


Letter to George R. Elliott, professor of English, Bowdoin College, c. October 15, 1924, regarding speakers for 1925 Bowdoin Institute of Modern Literature: “Willa Cather is A No. 1. You must have her, and you may tell her I said so. Besides being a real figure in letters, she’s both thinker and speaker.” (p. 422)  (Woodress’s biography includes Cather’s attendance at this event, but not the information that she was recommended by Frost.)


Letter to John Bartlett, c. January 1, 1926: “Willa Cather is our great novelist now. Her Professor’s House is all right” (p. 504).


Also, in a note, the information that Frost nominated Cather in 1924 to the Fellowship in Creative Arts at the University of Michigan (which Frost had held) and “was disappointed when the committee in charge thought it unwise to give the fellowship to a woman . . .” (p. 455).




Diane Prenatt, Ph.D.

Professor of English

Marian University