Frank Marshall Davis

1905–1987
Frank Marshall Davis

Poet and journalist Frank Marshall Davis was born in Arkansas City, Kansas, in 1905. He studied journalism at Kansas State Agricultural College and then worked for newspapers in Chicago before moving to Atlanta, Georgia, to edit the Atlanta Daily World. Influenced by jazz, his first book of poetry, Black Man’s Verse (1935), presented realistic portraits of African American figures. In 1948, Davis moved to Hawaii, where he raised a family, wrote, worked as an editor, and owned a newspaper business. His work regained attention during the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, as an inspiration for younger writers. 

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"I have always loved poetry, but through Poetry Out Loud I have learned a greater respect for all different types of poetry. This competition is so much more than memorizing and reciting a poem; I became very invested in each one of my poems."
Janessa Gould
2017 WI POL Champion