The widely respected Modernist poet Wallace Stevens was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. While living in New York in his twenties, he was friends with poets William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, and E. E. Cummings and began publishing his own work at this time. Breaking the stereotype of the poet-bohemian, Stevens spent years working as a lawyer for the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company in Connecticut and was politically conservative. He believed the imagination was one of the “forces of nature.” 

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