Frank Marshall Davis

(1165 words)
  • John Edgar Tidwell (University of Kansas)

Frank Marshall Davis rose to prominence as a poet and journalist during the Depression and the Second World War. Prior to his departure for the Territory of Hawaii in 1948, he found himself the subject of adulation by many readers but also the target of careful scrutiny by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the House Un-American Activities Committee. Part of the reason for these diverging, oppositional interests was his social realist poetry. Poetry for him became an alternative mode of expression, one that provided release from the “objectivity” demanded by the medium of journalism. It enabled him to respond “subjectively” to a world of racial discrimination, labour inequity, differential politics, and so much more that …

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Tidwell, John Edgar. "Frank Marshall Davis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 July 2002
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]