Adah Isaacs Menken

1835–1868
Adah Isaacs Menken
Adah Isaacs Menken was a writer, lecturer, and actress whose infamous private life brought widespread attention to her acting career. Born near New Orleans, most likely of African American, white, and Creole heritage, Adah Isaacs married affluent businessman Alexander Isaac Menken when she was around 21 and adopted his faith, Judaism. In 1856, Menken began a successful and lucrative acting career in New Orleans. While she was well known for her dramatic roles, Menken longed for literary recognition. Her poetry condemns male domination and its effects on creative women, and celebrates Judaism and women’s lives. She died of tuberculosis in her early 30s in Paris.

Poems

What People are Saying

"Poetry Out Loud has taught me not to give up after one mistake. Or two mistakes. Or a few mistakes. It has taught me not to sell myself short, but also to love every unique perspective I come across. People, like poetry, cannot be read once and immediately
understood."
Addi Garner
2017 WA POL Champion