George Scarbrough

George Scarbrough was born in a clapboard cabin in Patty, Tennessee in 1915. He was the third of seven children in a family of sharecroppers that moved frequently during his early years. Strongly influenced by his literate mother, he became an avid reader from a young age and attended The University of Tennessee in 1935–36, the University of the South in Sewanee during WWII, and received his masters degree from UT in 1954. In 1968, he returned to Oak Ridge, TN to be with his ailing mother until her death in 1983. He has remained in Oak Ridge, teaching and writing his unique and lyrical brand of Southern verse. His poetry has appeared in scores of literary journals, and his papers are being collected in the George Scarbrough archive at the University of the South. He has published one novel and five major books of his poetry, including Tellico Blue, The Course is Upward, Summer So-Called, New and Selected Poems and Invitation to Kim, all now available from Iris Press, Oak Ridge, TN. (

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