Rodman, (Cary) Selden 1909-2002

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RODMAN, (Cary) Selden 1909-2002

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born February 19, 1909, in New York, NY; died November 2, 2002, in Ridgewood, NJ. Author. Rodman is remembered best as a poet and nonfiction writer who was also an active promoter of Haitian folk art. Educated at Yale University, where he earned a B.A. in 1931, Rodman came from a wealthy home and a trust helped finance his travels and writing pursuits. While at Yale, he cofounded the Harkness Hoot, a radical student paper that often criticized the school. After a trip to Europe, during which he met such famous writers as James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and Thomas Mann, Rodman returned to the United States to coedit another radical magazine, Common Sense, for which he wrote on cultural issues. In 1938 he visited Haiti for the first time and instantly fell in love with the people and culture of the island. Haiti inspired him to write his play, The Revolutionists, about Haiti's 1803 slave revolt, for which he was named Commander of the Haitian Legion of Honor and Merit. The play was produced in 1942, after which Rodman was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served in the Office of Strategic Services. After World War II he indulged in his interest in folk art, writing such books as Horace Pippin: A Negro Painter in America (1947), Conversations with Artists (1957), The Miracle of Haitian Art (1974), Artists in Tune with Their World (1981), and Where Art Is Joy: Forty Years of Haitian Popular Art (1988). As a poet, Rodman published such books as Mortal Triumph and Other Poems (1932) and Death of a Hero (1963), but he is perhaps best known for editing A New Anthology of Modern Poetry (1938), which was notable for not only including verses by well-known poets but also folk songs, light verse, and even the text from the recorded court plea of Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Rodman also loved traveling throughout the western hemisphere, and he wrote a number of travel books, such as The Guatemala Traveler (1967), The Colombia Traveler (1971), and The Brazil Traveler (1975).



Chicago Tribune, November 14, 2002, section 1, p. 11.

Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2002, p. B11.

New York Times, November 11, 2002, p. A19.