Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Louise Van de Verg (1906-1973)

Author, Poet, Playwright
Born July 11, 1906, Los Angeles County, California
Died May 26, 1973, Los Angeles, California

Louise E. Van de Verg was born on July 11, 1906, in Los Angeles County, California. She lived in Ballona and Los Angeles as a child and attended the Manual Arts High School. There she was a member of the MA Studio Club and the staff of her school yearbook, The Artisan. Her stories and poems for that publication may have been her first work in print. (Louise contributed a story, "All's Well That Ends Well," and two poems, "Wanted: A Phonograph" and "Like Vision in a Cloud," to the annual in 1923.) Louise matriculated at the University of Southern California. Once again, she was drawn to her school publications. "Louise Van de Verg is one of the most talented of the campus literati," her yearbook wrote. "Short plays, short stories, and poetry are the medium of expressing her gift." Louise was a contributor to and staff member of The Wampus, the campus literary magazine. She was also a member of the Quill Club. Her play, "Thesus [sic] and Ariadne," was performed in 1928 at the annual Apolliad at USC, held at the Touchstone Theater on campus.

Louise Van de Verg was among the class of 1929 at USC, but she appears to have remained on campus after that. In the final session of her undergraduate career, Louise's story, "The Three," was published in Weird Tales (Feb. 1929). She also authored a story called "Afternoon of the Pedagogue" for Harper's Magazine (Dec. 1937) and a play, "Once Upon a Prom Night: A Comedy of Girls in One Act," published in 1951. Her married name was Louise Gomez. Louise passed away on May 26, 1973, in Los Angeles.

Louise Van de Verg's Story in Weird Tales
"The Three" (Feb. 1929)

Further Reading
"The Three," a Twilight Zone kind of tale, was reprinted in 100 Tiny Tales of Terror, edited by Robert Weinberg, Stefan R. Dziemianowicz, and Martin H. Greenberg (Barnes and Noble, 1996).

Photographs of the University of Southern California Quill Club, 1928. Louise Van de Verg is at the lower right.
Louise's poem, "Wanted: A Phonograph," from half a decade earlier when she was a student at the Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles.
Text and captions copyright 2012 Terence E. Hanley

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