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Born in Atlanta, Georgia on February 2, 1923, James Lafayette Dickey would become a distinguished poet, novelist, and essayist during his life, along with an appointment as the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in the 1960s. Dickey dropped out of college during World War II to serve in the Army Air Corps, where he also became a voracious reader, and began to write. Upon his return to the United States, Dickey returned to school at Vanderbilt University, where he received both his BA and MA in English. After working for a time in advertising, Dickey received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and began a long career in writing and teaching that would last until his death in 1997. This link leads to a page provided by the Atlantic Monthly that features Dickey reading several of his own works, along with several articles from the Atlantic Monthly by Peter Davison that discuss Dickey's work.
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