Frank Stanford

1948–1978

Born in 1948, Stanford was a prolific poet known for his originality and ingenuity. He has been dubbed “a swamprat Rimbaud” by Lorenzo Thomas and “one of the great voices of death” by Franz Wright. He grew up in Mississippi, Tennessee, and then Arkansas, where he lived for most of his life and wrote many of his most powerful poems. He attended the University of Arkansas from 1967-9 and studied engineering while continuing to write poetry. Stanford died in 1978. He authored over ten books of poetry, including eight volumes in the last seven years of his life: The Singing Knives (1972), Ladies from Hell (1974), Field Talk (1974), Shade (1975), Arkansas Bench Stone (1975), Constant Stranger (1976), The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You (1977), and Crib Death (1978). His posthumous collection, What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford (2015), was a finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Award.

What People are Saying

"POL has opened my mind to many kinds of poetry. Before competing, my experience with poetry was limited to Dr. Seuss. I now find myself making literary references, having analytical conversations with my peers and mentors about poetry, and recalling poems throughout my day."
Mikayla Bates
2016 UT POL Champion