Appalachian poetry lost a major voice when Tennessee poet George Scarbrough passed away in 2008. Interest in Scarbrough’s work is experiencing a revival, and Reinhardt University is pleased to be at the forefront with the opening of the George Scarbrough Center for Southern and Appalachian Literature. The Scarbrough Center is an archive for the papers, books, and memorabilia from Scarbrough’s estate, and aspires to provide scholars with access to materials relating to the Tennessee-born poet, and encourage interest in his work.
Scarbrough was born in 1915 in Patty, a small community in Polk County, Tenn., the third of seven children in a family of sharecroppers. Despite the family’s poverty, Scarbrough was able to pursue a college education, first at the University of Tennessee, next at the University of the South at Sewanee, and finally at Lincoln Memorial University. He completed a Master of Arts in Literature at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
At Sewanee, he received a scholarship to help edit “The Sewanee Review” and published some of his first poems in that journal. Scarbrough went on to publish five major books of poetry: “Tellico Blue,” “The Course Is Upward,” “Invitation to Kim,” “New and Selected Poems,” and “Under the Lemon Tree.” He also published the novel “A Summer Ago,” based on his early life in Polk County. His early books were published by Dutton, while the later books were published by Iris Press. His poems appeared in over 65 journals, including over 20 poems in “Poetry,” accessible online at poetryfoundation.org.
On June 24, Reinhardt officially opens the George Scarbrough Center. Following the opening, Reinhardt faculty and special guests will present on the life and work of Scarbrough in the George Scarbrough Symposium. All events are open to the public and free to attend.
Schedule for June 24
8:30 – 9:00 a.m. – Grand Opening of the George Scarbrough Center, Lawson Academic Center, Reinhardt Campus
All seminars will be held in the Community Room of the Hill Freeman Library & Spruill Learning Center.
9:00 – 10:00 a.m. – Donna Little, Ph.D.
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Rebecca Mobbs and Judith Wylie
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Will Wright
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Mark A. Roberts, Ph.D.
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Jesse Graves, Ph.D.
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. – Beto Cumming and Randy Mackin, D.A.
For information about the event, please contact Dr. Donna Little at email@example.com.