Frank Stanford

Frank Stanford (1948–1978) was born August 1, 1948, in southeast Mississippi. He was adopted by Dorothy Gilbert Alter, a widow and Firestone’s first female manager. In 1952, she married Albert Franklin Stanford, a successful Memphis contractor. Frank Stanford grew up in Memphis, spending summers in the camps on the levees his father built and repaired. He gained his education at Subiaco Academy, a Benedictine school and monastery in the Ouchita Mountains. In 1967 he went to the University of Arkansas and soon became a major force in the growing Fayetteville literary community. After leaving the university in 1971, he married, divorced and traveled across the country. In 1973 he settled in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, worked as a land surveyor, married the painter Ginny Crouch, and established Lost Roads Press with the poet C. D. Wright. Between 1972, when he published his first book, The Singing Knives, and 1978, Stanford published seven volumes of poetry. Shortly before his thirtieth birthday, on June 3, 1978, Stanford died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Among his highly original and distinctly Southern collections of poetry are: Shade (1973), Ladies From Hell (1974), Constant Stranger (1976), The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You (1977), Crib Death (1978), and You (1979). The Light the Dead See: The Selected Poems of Frank Stanford was published by the The University of Arkansas Press in 1991.

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