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Stephen (Butler) Leacock was born in Swanmoor, Hampshire, on December 30, 1869, and came to Canada in 1876. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Strathroy Collegiate Institute, and the University of Toronto (B.A. 1891). He taught modern languages at Upper Canada College in Toronto from 1889 to 1899.

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Poet and literary journalist, Joyce Kilmer was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, attended Rutgers and obtained his A.B. degree from Columbia University in 1908, and married Aline Murray the same year. They had four children, and during this time Kilmer became a Roman Catholic.

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Born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri, Langston Hughes grew up and was educated in Lawrence, Kansas, and Cleveland, Ohio. He briefly enrolled in Columbia University in New York in 1921, the year that he published "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" in Crisis, a journal which was edited by W. E. B. Du Bois. In 1923-24 Hughes worked as a seaman on trips to Africa and Europe.

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Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 29, 1809, Oliver Wendell Holmes proceeded to Phillips Academy and Harvard, from which he graduated in 1829. His first, most popular poem, written at 21, was "Old Ironsides." Like most of Holmes' poems, this was an occasional piece, prompted by some incident.

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Arthur Clement Hilton was born in 1851 and educated at Marlborough College and St. John's College, Cambridge, where he published in 1872 The Light Green, a collection of verse parodies. After graduating from Wells Theological College in January 1873, Hilton was ordained deacon on March 1, 1874, became curate of St. Clement and St. Mary, Sandwich, and was ordained priest in 1875.

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