Harry Crosby was born in 1898 into a wealthy American family, had a privileged upbringing and attended Harvard University. However during the First World War he volunteered as an ambulance driver and his experiences in France, including his ambulance being destroyed by a shell, affected him deeply. He gave up his expected career in banking and instead moved to Paris with his wife, where he mixed with the artistic set that includes writers such as James Joyce, D H Lawrence and Hart Crane.
During this period Crosby travelled widely and started to have his poetry published. In 1927 he and his wife founded Black Sun Press, through which he published his own work as well those of the literary circle he now moved in.
On the 10 December 1929 he was found dead in a hotel room with his lover, both dead from gunshot wounds, a presumed double suicide. Harry’s last entry in his notebook before dying read:
‘One is not in love unless one desires to die with one’s beloved. There is only one happiness it is to love and be loved’