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Friday, April 10, 2015

Early Mississippi Poets

National Poetry Month provides a great opportunity to learn more about poets!  This blog post features several Mississippi poets from the late 1800s and the early 1900s.  We encourage you to visit MLC or your local library to learn about many more Mississippi poets. 
Eudora Welty (left) with Mrs. Bellamann 
(Photo by Dr. Harry Bayne)

Katherine Jones Bellamann was born on October 7, 1877, in Carthage, Mississippi.  Mrs. Bellamann and her husband, Henry Bellamann, were very close and worked on much of their writing together until his death in 1944.  Her poems can be classified as romantic Southern nature verse inspired by her Southern upbringing.  In 1955 she became the president of the Mississippi Poetry Society.    


Maxwell Bodenheim, originally Maxwell Bodenheimer, was born May 26, 1892, in Hermanville, Mississippi.  His poetry books include Minna and Myself (1918), Advice (1920), Against this Age (1923), The King of Spain (1928), Bringing Jazz! (1930), and Selected Poems 1914-1944 (1946).  

 Hubert Creekmore, Eudora Welty, and Eileen McGarath in 1954 

Hubert Creekmore was born January 16, 1907, in Water Valley, Mississippi. He studied at the University of Mississippi and graduated in 1927.  His well known works include Personal Sun, The Early Poems of Hubert Creekmore (1940), The Long Reprieve and Other Poems of new Caledonia (1946), The Welcome (1948), and Daffodils Are Dangerous (1966).   

William Alexander Percy was born May 14, 1885, and grew up in Greenville, Mississippi.  Percy, along with being an author and poet, was also very active in politics and graduated from Harvard with his degree in law. His works of poetry includes Sappho in Levas, and other Poems (1915), In April Once, and Other Poems (1920), Enzio's Kingdom, and Other Poems (1924), Selected Poems (1930), The Collected Poems of William Alexander Percy (1943), and Of Silence and Start (1953). 

Maude Leet Prenshaw was born August, 2, 1889, in Greenville, Mississippi.  She was the first Mississippi Poet Laureate, from 1963-1971.  She was also editor of The Mississippi Poetry Journal, president of the Mississippi Poetry Society, and founder of the Mississippi Poetry Festival.  

Irwin Russel was born on June 3, 1853, in Port Gibson, Mississippi.  He began publishing poems in Scribner's Monthly Magazine and became know as an important figure to post-Reconstruction Southern writing. His books of poems are Poems (1888) and Christmas-Night in the Quarters, and Other Poems (1917), 

Visit to learn more about National Poetry Month. 

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