Biographical / Historical
Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) was a noted American poet and soldier best remembered for his short poem "Trees." Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Kilmer attended Rutgers University and Columbia University. In 1911, he published his first book of poems, "Summer of Love." Kilmer converted to the Roman Catholic Church in 1913. In that same year, he first published his poem "Trees" in "Poetry" magazine. During his brief literary career, Kilmer published "Trees and Other Poems" (1914), "The Circus and Other Essays" (1916), "Main Street and Other Poems" (1917), and "Literature in the Making." (1917). Kilmer joined the U.S. Army during World War I and died in action near Seringes, France on July 30, 1918. [Source: "Encyclopedia Britannica" Online].
Aline Murray Kilmer (1888-1941) was a noted poet and the wife of Joyce Kilmer. Aline attended Rutgers Prep and the Vail-Deane School in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She married Joyce Kilmer in 1908, and the couple converted to the Catholic faith together in 1913. Aline published several poetry books and two children's books. Her works include "Candles that Burn" (1919), "Vigils"(1921), "Hunting a Hair Shirt" (1923), and "The Poor King's Daughter" (1925). Aline Kilmer died on October 1, 1941 in Stillwater, New Jersey. [Source: "American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present" (Gale Group, 2000).]
Kenton Kilmer (1909-1995), the son of poets Joyce and Aline Kilmer, was an editor and poet in his own right. Born in Morristown, New Jersey, Kenton worked as a legislative reference librarian at the Library of Congress from 1939 to 1967. Further, he was the poetry editor for the "Washington Post" from 1940 to 1947. He also edited a book of poetry about World War II and wrote "Memories of My Father, Joyce Kilmer" (1993). [Source: "New York Times" obituary, 1995 February 18].
Nicholas Kilmer (b. 1941), a writer and artist, is the son of Kenton Kilmer and the grandson of Joyce and Aline Kilmer. Nicholas received a B.A. from Georgetown University in 1962 and an M.A. from Harvard University in 1965. He wrote for the Department of Planning and Evaluation at the Action for Boston Community Development agency from 1966-1967. He worked as a professor at the Swain School of Design from 1970-1982. Then, Nicholas was an affiliate of Art Research of Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1984-1988. In 1988, he founded the Nicholas Kilmer Fine Art organization. [Sources: (1) "The Writers Directory," St. James Press, 2017, online. (2) "Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series," Gale, copyright 2009.]