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“B” is for Bennett, John (1865-1956)

“B” is for Bennett, John (1865-1956). Author, artist. A native of Ohio, Bennett published his first and most famous work Master Skylark in 1897. Because of ill-health he moved to Charleston and published several more novels. He tried to interest publishers in African American spirituals, and he made a close study of Gullah. He also studied Black folklore, but the local press castigated him for using Blacks as a subject. In 1921 he joined with a group of fledgling poets and together they launched the Poetry Society of South Carolina. Originally, Bennett was to be the figurehead, but eventually he was left to run the organization. As founder and sustainer of the South Carolina Poetry Society, John Bennett was a key player in the revival of literary and cultural life in Charleston and South Carolina.

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