Allen Tate

Allen Tate (John Orley Allen Tate), 1899–1979, American poet and critic, b. Winchester, Ky., grad. Vanderbilt Univ., 1922. He was one of the founders and editors of the Fugitive (1922–25), a magazine that represented the Southern agrarian literary group of social and political conservatives. Among his early publications were interpretive biographies of Stonewall Jackson (1928) and Jefferson Davis (1929), and a novel, The Fathers (1938). He was the resident fellow of poetry at Princeton (1939–42), held the chair of poetry at the Library of Congress (1934–44), and edited the Sewanee Review (1944–46). From 1951 to 1968 he taught English literature at the Univ. of Minnesota. His critical writings, direct and perceptive, include Reactionary Essays on Poetry and Ideas (1936), On the Limits of Poetry (1948), and The Man of Letters in the Modern World (1955). His poems, filled with bitter and original imagery, exhibit unusual skill; they show Tate's intense feeling for history and for human estrangement in the world. Among his most famous poems are "Ode to the Confederate Dead," "The Mediterranean," and "The Buried Lake."

See his Collected Poems, 1919–1976 (1977) and Essays of Four Decades (1969); his collected letters (1981, 1987); biography by T. A. Underwood (2000); studies by R. K. Meiners (1963) and R. S. Dupree (1983).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Allen Tate: Selected full-text books and articles

The Fugitives: A Critical Account By John M. Bradbury University of North Carolina Press, 1958
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "Apprentice Tate," Chap. VIII "Tate as Critic," Chap. X "Tate's Fiction," and Chap. XI "Tate as Poet"
Aspects of American Poetry: Essays Presented to Howard Mumfrod Jones By Richard M. Ludwig Ohio State University Press, 1963
Librarian’s tip: "Mr. Tate: Whose Wreath Should Be a Moral" begins on p. 257
The War Within: From Victorian to Modernist Thought in the South, 1919-1945 By Daniel Joseph Singal University of North Carolina Press, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "The Divided Mind of Allen Tate"
Southern Renascence the Literature of the Modern South By Louis D. Rubin Jr.; Robert D. Jacobs Johns Hopkins Press, 1966
Librarian’s tip: "Allen Tate and the Idea of Culture" begins on p. 47
Aesthetic Frontiers: The Machiavellian Tradition and the Southern Imagination By Richard Nelson University Press of Mississippi, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Six "A Romatic Elegy for Republican Virtue: Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, and the Machiavellian Cycle"
A Southern Vanguard By Allen Tate Prentice-Hall, 1947
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Allen Tate begins on p. 28
Modern Verse in English, 1900-1950 By David Cecil; Allen Tate Macmillan, 1958
Librarian’s tip: "Allen Tate (Am. B. 1899)" begins on p. 438
Fifty Southern Writers after 1900: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook By Joseph M. Flora; Robert Bain Greenwood Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: "Allen Tate (1899-1979)" begins on p. 457
A Library of Literary Criticism: Modern American Literature By Dorothy Nyren; Dorothy Nyren Frederick Ungar, 1960 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Tate, Allen (1899- )" begins p. 476
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