Flora Strausse

Flora Strousse was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 3, 1897. She attended the Maryland Institute, a fine arts school there, moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after her marriage to Louis Strousse. While raising her two children, Louise and David, she took courses in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and English and creative writing “at every possible place,” including Temple University and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

   These various studies resulted in a number of diverse editorial posts—including ones in the editorial departments of Holt, Rinehart and Winston, and J. B. Lippincott—and a sizable literary output. A secondary interest in medicine led her to edit a paper for the Department of Disease Prevention at the Children's Hospital and to contribute stories and articles to Hygeia and The Journal of Medical Science. She also published stories in literary magazines, and one of these stories was included in All Manner of Men, a collection of representative fiction edited by Riley Hughes. Her books for young readers include The Friar and the Knight: Padre Olmedo and Cortez; John La Farge: Gentle Jesuit; John Milton: Clarion Voice of Freedom; John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Man of Courage (1964); and The Littlest Christmas Tree.

   In addition to teaching creative writing at the Junto Adult School in Philadelphia, Mrs. Strousse guided numerous young people to successful literary careers through her personal interest and expert advice. The Prairie Schooner literary magazine continues to award an annual $500 Strousse Award for the best poem or group of poems published that year. Flora Strousse died in Montgomery, Pennsylvania in March of 1974.