The Kansas-born poet of "Spoon River Anthology" (1915), Edgar Lee Masters, wrote almost 50 volumes but continues to be known for only that one, so great was its extraordinary success. The character of the verses---short postmortem monologues in a cemetery in epitaph form---is borrowed from the old Greek Anthology. By invading the realm of social criticism usually reserved for prose fiction, "Spoon River" anticipated the mood of Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio" and Sinclair Lewis's "Main Street." For 11 years, he lived near the Spoon River, his source of inspiration for this work. The 244 characters in the Anthology lay bare, in their own epitaphs, the hypocrisies, jealousies, frustrations and infrequent triumphs of their lives. Masters is often regarded as the last best selling American poet. "Spoon River" has been adapted into a popular stage version that is frequently performed at colleges, high schools, and community theater.