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One More River to Cross

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One More River to Cross: The Selected Poetry of John Beecher

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Category: Poetry
Format: Trade Paper, 254 pages
Pub Date: 2002 Fall
Price: $20.00
ISBN: 978-1-58838-103-3
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The late John Beecher, though descended from the abolitionist Beechers, grew up in Birmingham, where his father was a steel industry executive. Beecher himself was groomed for a similar role, but when he went into the mills as a young man during the Great Depression, he rebelled and began to write powerful, radical, activist poetry. A contemporary of Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck, he became a similar chronicler of the massive human displacement of the economic upheaval of the 1930s. During World War II, he served as an officer of the interracial crew of the troop transport Booker T. Washington, and wrote a book about those experiences. In the McCarthy era, he was blacklisted. And in the civil rights era, he turned his attention to the evils of segregation and the Ku Klux Klan. Always, he wrote powerful, spare verse which in lesser hands might have been ruined by its outrage. With his artist wife, Barbara, he published several elegant collections of his poetry on his own hand-set letterpress. His books included Report to the Stockholders, To Live and Die in Dixie, In Egypt Land, and a 1974 Macmillan edition of collected poems. All are out of print.

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