Allen Tate

Allen Tate served as Poet Laureate from 1943 to 1944. He is known for his poem "Ode to the Confederate Dead." His poetry has been set to music by Elliott Carter in Emblems, a work for piano and men's choir.

Photo: Allen Tate, 1979, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

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Born in Kentucky, Allen Tate grew up with a deep love of the American South. He studied Vanderbilt University and, during his studies, he became part of the Fugitives, an informal group of Southern intellectuals.

Even when he was living abroad in Paris, Tate wrote almost exclusively about Southern topics. He wrote two biographies of Confederate leaders, one about Stonewall Jackson and the other about Jefferson Davis. He won the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1956.

His only novel is The Fathers, which takes place before and during the Civil War in Georgetown in the District of Columbia. Through his essays, Tate also became classified as a member of the “New Critics.”

–Christie Finn

Source: The Poetry Foundation website

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