Witter Bynner was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1881. He graduated from Harvard University in 1902. After college, he worked as a newspaper reporter and, later, as the assistant editor of McClure’s magazine.
Bynner published his first poetry collection, An Ode to Harvard (Small, Maynard, & Co.), in 1907. He was also the author of New Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1960); Take Away the Darkness (Alfred A. Knopf, 1947); The Beloved Stranger (Alfred A. Knopf, 1919); Tiger (M. Kennerley, 1913); and several other poetry collections.
Bynner was also known for his works in translation, including The Way of Life According to Laotzu: An American Version (John Day Co., 1944), and a literary biography, Journey with Genius: Recollections and Reflections Concerning the D. H. Lawrences (J. Day Co, 1951).
In 1916, Bynner and Arthur David Ficke published Spectra: A Book of Poetic Experiments, under the pseudonyms Emanuel Morgan and Anne Krish. The book included poems and a manifesto on “spectrism,” a parody of Imagism. In 1918, Bynner admitted that the book was a hoax.
In 1922, Bynner settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his partner, Robert Hunt. He died there on June 1, 1968.