James L. Dickey

1923–1997
James L. Dickey

Although he considered himself first and foremost a poet, James Dickey is best known for his nightmarish 1970 novel Deliverance, made into a popular film. Born in Georgia, he spent most of his life in the South, working first in advertising and then, following the success of his first books of poetry, as a creative writing professor. His book Buckdancer’s Choice, which featured harrowing poems about his experience as a bomber pilot in WWII and the Korean War, won the 1965 National Book Award. In 1977 Dickey delivered a poem at Jimmy Carter’s inauguration gala.

What People are Saying

"I learned just how much deeper your understanding of a poem is when you memorize it than when you just read it a couple of times, and how you understand it a little better every single time you recite it."
Alex Hanesworth
2015 WA POL Champion