James Dickey

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James DickeyJames Dickey was one of the premier writers in the latter half of the twentieth century. Dickey had a varied and brilliant career in poetry and experienced much success with his novels, along with many other careers. Although Dickey was at times criticized for his work, he still remains one of the great American writers.

James Dickey was born on February 2 1923 in Atlanta, Georgia to his father Eugene Dickey, and mother Maibelle Swift Dickey. James had an older brother named Eugene that died four years before he was born. On November 4 1948, Dickey married Maxine Syerson, and moved to Houston, Texas in 1950. One year after the move to Houston, Maxine gave birth to their first child on August 31 1951; his name was Christopher Swift. Their second child, Kevin Webster was born on August eighteenth, 1958. Then tragically on October twenty-eighth 1976, his wife Maxine died.

Although Dickey was devastated, it didn't take him long to find someone else; he married Deborah Dodson on December 13 of that same year. Together they gave birth to Bronwen on May 16 1981. Finally, James Dickey died on January 19, 1997. He is survived by his second wife Deborah, their daughter Bronwen and his two sons Christopher and Kevin from his first marriage.

James Dickey attended Atlanta's North Fulton High School where he played football. In 1942 he entered Clemson University, where he played football for one season, after which he was called for service in the Army. After World War II was over, Dickey entered Vanderbilt University, where he hoped to become "a book reviewer for some small town newspaper" (Suarez 41). While attending Vanderbilt, teachers encouraged Dickey to write, including Monroe Spears, who became Dickey's lifelong friend. Spears, who was Dickey's greatest influence, along with...