Porter’s tumultuous personal experiences in the 1910s heavily influenced her later writing, and her frequent travels, primarily within Texas but also to Chicago and Denver, established the pattern of the rest of her life. In her twenties, Porter began writing for trade publications and newspapers, endured three divorces, was diagnosed with tuberculosis and successfully treated, narrowly survived the flu during the 1918 influenza pandemic, and mourned the death of her beloved young niece.
Katherine Anne Porter, sitting, wearing a flower-patterned kimono. Photograph taken in Corpus Christi, Texas when Porter was 22 years old, 1912. Katherine Anne Porter Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Maryland Libraries.
Porter begins publishing poetry, non-fiction pieces, children’s stories, and articles in trade publications and newspapers. She also works as an actress, touring singer, teacher, and staff reporter.
Porter divorces John Koontz in 1915, marries and divorces T. Otto Taskett in 1915, marries Carl von Pless in 1917 but divorces him within a year, and is engaged to Park French in 1919. Her beloved niece, Mary Alice Holloway, is born in 1912 and dies in 1919. Porter seeks treatment and recovers from tuberculosis, first diagnosed in 1915, and nearly dies from influenza, contracted during the 1918 pandemic.
KAP is living in Denver, CO, and working as a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News when the 1918 influenza outbreak and WWI armistice occur.
Porter spends most of the decade living in various places around Texas but lives briefly in Chicago and Louisiana in 1914, before moving to Colorado in 1918. She moves to New York City in October 1919.