Kilmer, Joyce

Kilmer, Joyce (1886 - 1918)


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. By 1913, he was working on the Sunday magazine and book-review sections of the New York Times, but his first book of poems, Trees and Other Poems (1914), quickly established his reputation as a popular religious poet. He enlisted in the New York National Guard and died in the 165th Regiment of the Rainbow Division at the second Battle of the Marne on July 30, 1918. He received a posthumous Croix de Guerre and was buried in France. In that year Robert Cortes Holliday brought out a memoir with Kilmer's poems (reprinted in 1968 by Kennikat Press), but a fuller life appears in the autobiography of his mother, Annie Kilburn Kilmer, Leaves from My Life (New York: Frye, 1925; PS 3521 I38Z65 Robarts Library). Miriam A. Kilmer, the poet's granddaughter and child of his son Kenton, edits most of Joyce's poems on an attractive, informative Web site at I am grateful to Miriam Kilmer for a correction to the RPO Kilmer selection.

Given Name
Family Name
Birth Date
December 6, 1886
Death Date
July 30, 1918
  • Journalist

  • School-teacher

  • Lexicographer

  • Soldier

Literary Period
Literary Movement
Cause of Death