Isabelle Dinwiddie

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(June 6, 1887 – April 19, 1957)

Isabelle E. Dinwiddie (nee Johnson), an Oakland, CA, fan and prolific poet, was active in the 1940s through ’50s. Her principal fanac seems to have been penning stfnal poetry, and scads of her poems appeared in a wide variety of fanzines, including the Mutant, Confusion, Spaceship, Orb, Psychotic and SF. Her poetry also appeared regularly in such newspapers as the Oakland Tribune and National City Star-News.

Marion Zimmer Bradley condemned Dinwiddie’s work as “saccharine verse” in Kipple 15 (July 1961, p. 14). And in Gambit 30 (December 1958, p. 13), Noreen Falasca wrote:

I have tried to the best of my ability to go straight and live down my errors, but every time I think people have forgotten, along comes some his­torian who says, in loud ringing tones, "Noreen Falasca used to be a *lady poet* for Ellison".... Now that it's out in the open about my Dinwiddie past, I ask all of you to forgive and forget and let me start over.

Dinwiddie attended SFCon, the 1954 Worldcon, as mentioned in Stan Woolston’s The Outlander 11 conreport (1954, p. 21).

She was born in Washington state, married James Dinwiddie. She moved to the Oakland, California area following the death of her husband in the 1940s.

Isabelle Dinwiddie

A brooding calm lay over the Earth
On the night of a masquerade ball.
The guests were clad in fancy attire 
Circling the dimly-lit hall.
Louis XIV danced with a rag doll,
The Queen of Hearts with a chimney-sweep 
Puss-in-Boots with Mother Hubbard's Dog 
And Lucifer with Little Bo-Peep.

Music grew merrier, then quite mad 
Unnoticed the figures that now stole
In and out amid the hectic throng, 
Following the wake of Old King Cole.
Venusian visitors scattered
Death laden dustmotes over the crowd, 
While some escaped to spread the plague 
Others died, there masquerade a shroud. 
Wherever the dustmotes fell and clung 
They multiplied a billion fold.
Soon Terra was numbered among
The planets of death and cold.

——From Spaceship 17 
(April 1952, p. 22, Bob Silverberg, ed.)

Person 18871957
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