I was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Haddonfield, NJ. My father was a chemist and administrator with Knox Gelatin, and my mother a primary school teacher. When my father would tune in to radio broadcasts in French during World War II, I would listen in rapt attention and thus began a lifelong affair with all things French. At the College of William and Mary, I majored in French and International Studies and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. I graduated with Honors in French and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for a year of study in France at the University of Besançon. While teaching French at the College of William and Mary, I obtained an MA degree in Spanish Studies and Secondary Education. Drawn to poetry and contemporary poetics, I chose to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where I did my MA in French Studies and my PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures. During my post-graduate career, I taught at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and, until my retirement as Professor Emerita, at the University of Kentucky for thirty years.
As a scholar, I specialized in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century French poetry and poetics. I published five books and over 100 articles and reviews under the name Virginia A. La Charité. My studies on the poets René Char, Henri Michaux, Stéphane Mallarmé, and twentieth-century French avant-garde poetry have twice earned me accolades and decorations by the French Government.
In 1976, my husband, Raymond La Charité, and I founded French Forum, a journal dedicated to the publication of the most outstanding scholarship on all periods and genres of French and Francophone literary production. Considered one of the top ten journals in the field, French Forum is now published by the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.
In retirement, my husband and I divide our time between St. Augustine, FL, and Atlanta, GA. When not traveling, I am busy writing fiction.
I can be reached via email at .
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