T. S. Eliot, the subject of the first Paris Review Art of Poetry interview, was a towering figure of literary Modernism. As poet, dramatist, and critic, Eliot played a significant role in shaping the course of twentieth-century poetry. Born in Saint Louis in 1888, he attended Harvard University and then settled in England, working as a teacher and a banker before joining the publishing house that would become Faber and Faber, where he worked until the end of his career. Best known for his seminal book The Waste Land (1922), other major works include the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915); his last major book, Four Quartets; and his critical work The Sacred Wood (1920). His 1939 collection of light verse, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, served as the basis for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1948, Eliot died in London in 1965.