Women in the Arts

Photographs of Anna Hempstead Branch Hempstead House

Hempstead House

Anna Hempstead Branch (1875-1937)

American poet Anna Hempstead Branch attended Smith College in 1893. Following graduation, her works were regularly published in national magazines, and the first of four collections she authored were published by Houghton Mifflin in 1901.

Branch lived much of her life in New York City where she participated in literary life and volunteered at the Lower East Side settlement house, Christodora House. There she formed the Poets' Guild to teach classes, form writing groups, and encourage the residents of the area tenements in their poetic efforts. She brought in other poets to support the Guild, including Pulitzer prize winners E.A. Robinson, Margaret Widdimer, and William Rose Benét.

Anna's mother, Mary, wrote popular children's poems and stories. Hempstead House was built in 1643 and was home to many generations of the Hempstead family. It is one of the oldest homes in New England and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.