Margaret Eliza Ashmun (1875-1940) was my great aunt on my mother’s side. My mother, Phyliss Ashmun Benn, was the genealogist for our family. When she died in February 2011, she left behind her research and bound notebooks of family history, worried that none of us would carry it on.
One of my mother’s unfinished projects, and she always had many projects, was to publish a collection of her Aunt Margaret’s poetry. She had typed more than one hundred poems into her computer, many collected with the help of her cousin, Isabel Dougherty, and she had sorted them into different categories.
Now, rather than publishing a book, creating a website seems efficient and a good way to find others who have an interest in Margaret Ashmun’s writings. She never achieved great fame, but she made a life as a writer, and she lived as quite an independent woman for her day. I imagine that for my mother as a child, this aunt must have seemed quite a worldly woman. It was a legacy my mother wanted to carry on, at least within our family if not more widely.
Bit by bit more of Aunt Margaret’s poetry and other information about her will be added to this site. As the quote on the banner above indicates, she did not have success publishing a collection of her poetry, but she did have many poems published in magazines, newspapers, and journals. This information, or date and place of writing, is noted after each poem when available.
Ruth Benn, Brooklyn, NY
Some new poems added July 1, 2012.