BEECHER, JOHN, 1904-1980


Teacher, poet, civil rights crusader.  Born– January 22, 1904, New York, N.Y. Parents– Leonard Thurlow and Isabel (Garghill) Beecher. Education– Attended Virginia Military Institute and Cornell University; University of Alabama, A.B., 1926; graduate work at Harvard University, 1926-27; ; University of Wisconsin, M.A., 1930; graduate work at the University of North Carolina, 1933-34.  Served in the U. S. Merchant Marine, WWII; stationed on the S. S. Booker T. Washington, the first racially integrated unit in the U. S. Merchant Marine. Married– Virginia St. Clair Donovan, September 20, 1946; married Barbara Marie Scholz, August 16, 1955. Children– Five. Worked for U.S. Steel in Birmingham; instructor in English at Dartmouth College and the University of Wisconsin; administrator of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration in North Carolina; manager of resettlement projects and migrant camps for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; assistant editor and editorial writer for the Birmingham News and Birmingham Age-Herald; regional director of the President’s Committee on Fair Employment; chief editor for the National Institute of Social Relations; assistant professor of sociology at San Francisco State College; rancher; lecturer in English at Arizona State University; a poet in residence at the University of Santa Clara, North Shore Community College, St. Johns University, and Assumption College. After the German surrender, director of thirty displaced persons camps around Stuttgart. Visiting professor at Miles College, 1966-1967. Contributed articles and poetry to many journals and periodicals.  Associate editior, Ramparts Magazine, 1959-67. Operated Ramparts Press with his wife.  Member American Association of University Professors.  Died May 11, 1980.


Contemporary Authors online and a brochure in the files at the Alabama Public Library Service.


All Brave Sailors; the Story of the SS Booker T. Washington. New York; L. B. Fischer, 1945.

And I Will Be Heard. New York; Twice a Year Press, 1940.

Bestride the Narrow World.  Rampart, 1963.

Collected Poems, 1924-1974. New York; Macmillan, 1974.

Conformity Means Death.  Rampart, 1963.

Hear the Wind Blow! Poems of Protest and Prophecy. New York; International Publishers, 1968.

Here I Stand. New York; Twice a Year Press, 1941.

Homage to a Subversive. Scottsdale, Ariz.; Ramparts Press, 1961.

A Humble Petition to the President of Harvard.  Rampart, 1963.

In Egypt Land. Scottsdale, Ariz.; Ramparts Press, 1960.

Inquest; a Poem. San Francisco; Morning Star Press, 1957.

John Beecher Papers; 1899-1972. (14 reels of microfilm). Glen Rock, N.J.; Microfilming Corporation of America, 1973.

Just Peanuts; a Poem. San Francisco; Morning Star Press, 1957.

Land of the Free; a Portfolio of Poems on the State of the Union. Oakland, Calif.; Morning Star Press, 1956.

Moloch.  Morning Star, 1957.

Observe the Time; an Everyday Tragedy in Verse. San Francisco; Morning Star Press, 1956.

On Acquiring a Cistercian Brewery.  Rampart, 1963.

Phantom City. Scottsdale, Ariz.; Ramparts Press, 1961.

Poems for the People; Broadsides … San Francisco; Morning Star Press, 1957.

Report to the Stockholders and Other Poems, 1932-1962. Phoenix, Ariz.; s.n., 1962.

To Live and Die in Dixie, and Other Poems. Birmingham, Ala.; Red Mountain Editions, 1966.

Tomorrow is a Day; a Story of the People in Politics. Chicago; Vanguard Books, 1980.

Undesirables; Poems. Landham, Md.; Gossetree Press, 1964.

Yours in the Bonds. Rampart, 1963.


A collection of the manuscripts of John Beecher is held by the library at Duke University.