Maxwell Bodenheim Biography

Maxwell Bodenheim (May 26, 1892 – February 6, 1954) was an American poet and novelist who was known as the King of Greenwich Village Bohemians. His writing brought him international fame during the Jazz Age of the 1920s.
 
Biography
 
He was born Maxwell Bodenheimer in Hermanville, Mississippi, the son of Solomon Bodenheimer (born July 1858) and Carrie (born April 1860). His father was born in Germany and his mother in Alsace-Lorraine. Carrie emigrated to the United States in 1881 and Solomon in 1888. In 1900, the family moved from Mississippi to Chicago. The Federal Census gave their residence as 431 46th Street.
Bodenheim and Ben Hecht met in Chicago and became literary friends about 1912, a time when Bodenheim was nicknamed Bogie. (His later years in the Village he was called Bodie.) Together they founded The Chicago Literary Times. (1923–1924) The Chicago literary group also included Carl Sandburg, Theodore Dreiser, Edgar Lee Masters, Witter Bynner, Arthur Davison Ficke, Floyd Dell, Vachel Lindsey and Sherwood Anderson.
Bodenheim began publishing his earliest verse in Poetry Magazine in 1914. Over the next ten years, he established himself as a leading American author, publishing ten books of verse, which incorporate many techniques of the imagists, and 13 novels. His poetry books include Minna and Myself (1918), Advice (1920), Against This Age (1923), The King of Spain (1928), Bringing Jazz! (1930) and Selected Poems 1914–1944 (1946).
Bodenheim's novels include Blackguard (1923), Replenishing Jessica (1925), Ninth Avenue (1926), Georgia May (1927), Naked on Roller Skates (1930) and A Virtuous Girl (1930).
Bodenheim had three wives, Minna Schein (married 1918-divorced 1938), Grace Finan (married 1939-her death 1950), and Ruth Fagin (married 1952-their deaths 1954). He and Minna had one son who was born in 1920.
For many years a leading figure of the Bohemian scene in New York's Greenwich Village, Bodenheim deteriorated rapidly after his success in the 1920s and 1930s. Before he married his second wife, Grace, he had become a panhandler. They spent part of their marriage in the Catskills. After she died of cancer, he was arrested and hospitalized several times for vagrancy and drunkenness.
Bodenheim's memoir, My Life and Loves in Greenwich Village, released six months after Bodenheim's death in 1954, was ghostwritten by Samuel Roth, who had been cheaply paying a down-and-out Bodenheim for his biographical stories about Greenwhich Village at the time of his murder. Hecht based his 1958 play Winkelberg on the life of the Bohemian poet.
A biography titled Maxwell Bodenheim by Jack B. Moore was published in 1970. A doctoral disstertaton, "The Necessity of Rebellion: The Novels of Maxwell Bodenheim," was produced by Arthur B. Sacks at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1975.
His third wife, Ruth, was 28 years his junior. She lived with him in his derelict lifestyle. They were homeless and slept on park benches. He sometimes carried a sign that read, "I Am Blind," to panhandle, even though he was not blind, and he would jot down short poems for money or drinks. Ruth slept with other men and Bodenheim seemed not to mind.
Bodenheim and Ruth were murdered by a 25-year-old sociopathic dishwasher, Harold "Charlie" Weinberg, whom they befriended on the streets of the Village. He offered to let them spend the night in his room a few blocks from the Bowery. He was sexually attracted to Ruth, and the two of them became active on the floor near the cot where the 62-year-old drunken Bodenheim was supposedly sleeping. Bodenheim got up, challenged Weinberg and they began fighting. Weinberg shot Bodenheim twice in the chest. Ruth was beaten and stabbed four times in the back. Weinberg, taking advantage of the climate of McCarthyite repression, confessed to the double homicide, affirming that "I ought to get a medal. I killed two Communists." He was judged insane and sent to a mental institution. Some[who?] believed Weinberg was moderately retarded.
Hecht said he would pay for the funeral. Bodenheim's ex-wife, Minna, made arrangements to have him buried in her family plot in Cedar Park Cemetery, Emerson, New Jersey.
 
 
Selected works
 
Minna and Myself, poetry, 1918
Advice, poetry, 1920
Introducing Irony, poetry, 1922
Against This Age, poetry, 1923
Blackguard, novel, 1923
The Sardonic Arm, poetry, 1923
Crazy Man, novel, 1924
Replenishing Jessica, novel, 1925
Ninth Avenue, novel, 1926
Returning to Emotion, poetry, 1927
Georgie May, novel, 1928
The King of Spain, poetry, 1928
Sixty Seconds, novel, 1929
Bringing Jazz!, poetry, 1930
Naked on Roller Skates, novel, 1930
A Virtuous Girl, novel, 1930
Duke Herring, novel, 1931
Run, Sheep, Run, novel, 1932
New York Madness, novel, 1933
Slow Vision, novel, 1933
Lights in the Valley, poetry, 1942
Selected Poems, poetry, 1946
My Life and Loves in Greenwich Village, 1954
Cutie A Warm Mamma (Ben Hecht and Maxwell Bodenheim)

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Maxwell Bodenheim

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Poesia Consagrada/Biography Maxwell Bodenheim Biography 0 2.260 05/14/2011 - 13:51 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Your Mind is a Little, Clandestine Pastel 0 1.397 05/14/2011 - 13:47 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Your Criss-Crossed Ringlets of Hair 0 1.571 05/14/2011 - 13:46 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Your Cheeks are Spent Diminuendos 0 1.633 05/14/2011 - 13:45 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Your Breast is the Bridal Couch of Our Stillness 0 1.260 05/14/2011 - 13:45 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Your Body was Puzzling 0 1.544 05/14/2011 - 13:44 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Your Body Is a Closed Fan 0 1.447 05/14/2011 - 13:43 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Your Arms, in Faltering Crescendos 0 1.590 05/14/2011 - 13:42 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Young Woman 0 1.423 05/14/2011 - 13:42 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Young Poet 0 1.260 05/14/2011 - 13:41 English
Poesia Consagrada/Love Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : You Have a Morning-Glory Face 0 1.399 05/14/2011 - 13:40 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : You Draw My Heart about You 0 1.198 05/14/2011 - 13:39 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : You Are a Well Sprayed with Cool Rubies 0 1.330 05/14/2011 - 13:39 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : The Wrinkled Grimaces of Eastern Skies 0 1.548 05/14/2011 - 13:34 English
Poesia Consagrada/Meditation Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : When Spirits Speak of Life 0 1.454 05/14/2011 - 13:33 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : When Fools Dispute 0 1.410 05/14/2011 - 13:32 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Whenever a Love Dies Within You 0 1.150 05/14/2011 - 13:31 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : We Met Upon Nearby Hill-Tops 0 1.476 05/14/2011 - 13:31 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : We Blew a Luminous Confusion of Thoughts 0 1.299 05/14/2011 - 13:30 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Vaudeville Moment 0 1.123 05/14/2011 - 13:29 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Upon an Arched Sarcophagus of Pain 0 1.410 05/14/2011 - 13:28 English
Poesia Consagrada/Meditation Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Uneasy Reflections 0 1.277 05/14/2011 - 13:28 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Two Women on a Street 0 1.407 05/14/2011 - 13:27 English
Poesia Consagrada/General Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Two Walls, Dizzy with Rain-Touch 0 1.561 05/14/2011 - 13:26 English
Poesia Consagrada/Sonnet Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Two Sonnets to My Wife 0 1.516 05/14/2011 - 13:25 English