A lover of the sound of poetry from her earliest childhood, Eve Merriam (born Eva Moskovitz) began writing poems at the age of seven and published her first works in high school. After graduating from college, she wrote radio scripts for the Columbia Broadcasting System. Her first book of poetry, Family Circle (1946), earned for her the Yale Younger Poets Prize. Over the next fourteen years, she published more poetry, fiction, a fictionalized biography of Emma Lazarus, and her first feminist nonfiction book, The Double Bed from the Feminine Side (1958).
Merriam established her importance as a children’s poet with her first volumes of children’s poetry: There Is No Rhyme for Silver (1962), It Doesn’t Always Have to Rhyme (1964), and Catch a Little Rhyme (1966). All were named Junior Literary Guild selections, bringing her celebration of the sound of words to a wide audience. Her poems, read and studied in classrooms across the country, were instantly recognized as intelligent and fun—works to be read aloud and enjoyed. She also wrote several books of juvenile prose during this decade.
Although she had a lifelong concern for gender equality, in her early career she had revealed this belief only occasionally, consciously avoiding the label “feminist writer.” The children’s book Mommies at Work (1961) depicted women in...
(The entire section is 596 words.)