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“P” is for Poetry Society of South Carolina

South Carolina from A to Z logo

  “P” is for Poetry Society of South Carolina. This cultural organization helped revive the arts, not just in Charleston and South Carolina, but in the American South. During the 1920s it had a national audience and was credited with sparking the flowering of what was subsequently called the Charleston Renaissance. Among the key players in founding the society were John Bennett, DuBoseHeyward, Hervey Allen, Laura Bragg, Helen von Kolnitz, and Josephine Pinckney. The impact of the society was greater than literary, however. As an umbrella organization, it fostered the cultural rebirth of the area and stimulated the growth and development of many other agencies such as the Preservation Society of Charleston and the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals. The Poetry Society of South Carolina declined in national prominence by the end of the 1920s.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.