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Biography

Harold Edward Monro was a British poet, the proprietor of the Poetry Bookshop in London which helped many famous poets bring their work before the public. Monro was born in Brussels, but his parents were Scottish. He was educated at Radley and at Caius College, Cambridge. His first collection of poetry was published in 1906. He founded a poetry magazine, The Poetry Review, which was to be very influential. In 1912, he founded the Poetry Bookshop in Bloomsbury, London, publishing new collections at his own expense and rarely making a profit, as well as providing a welcoming environment for readers and poets alike. Several poets, including Wilfred Owen, actually lodged in the rooms above the bookshop. Monro was also closely involved with Edward Marsh in the publication of Georgian Poetry.

Although homosexual, he married before World War I, but he and his wife separated and were divorced in 1916. In 1917, he was called up for military service, a very unhappy experience for him. His health soon gave way, and he returned to run the Poetry Bookshop in 1919. He was not a mainstream war poet, but did occasionally write about the subject. In 1920, he married his long-standing assistant, Alida Klementaski. Their relationship seems to have been an intellectual rather than a physical one. Monro continued to suffer from alcoholism, which contributed to his early death.

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