Frank Stanford

Poet

Frank Stanford was born on August 1st, 1948 in Richton, Mississippi, United States and is the Poet from United States. Discover Frank Stanford's biography, age, height, physical stats, dating/affair, family, hobbies, education, career updates, and networth at the age of 29 years old.

Date of Birth
August 1, 1948
Nationality
United States
Place of Birth
Richton, Mississippi, United States
Death Date
Jun 3, 1978 (age 29)
Zodiac Sign
Leo
Profession
Poet
Frank Stanford Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

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Frank Stanford Religion, Education, and Hobbies
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About Frank Stanford

Frank Stanford (August 1, 1948 – June 3, 1978) was an American poet.

He is most known for his epic, The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You—a labyrinthine poem without stanzas or punctuation.

In addition, Stanford published six shorter books of poetry throughout his 20s, and three posthumous collections of his writings (as well as a book of selected poems) have also been published.

Early life and education

Frank Stanford was born Francis Gildart Smith on August 1, 1948, to widow Dorothy Margaret Smith at the Emery Memorial Home in Richton, Mississippi. He was soon adopted by a single divorcee named Dorothy Gilbert Alter (1911–2000), who was Firestone's first female manager. In 1952, Gilbert married successful Memphis levee engineer Albert Franklin Stanford (1884–1963), who subsequently also adopted "Frankie" and his younger, adoptive sister, "Ruthie" (Bettina Ruth). Stanford attended Sherwood Elementary School and Sherwood Junior High School in Memphis until 1961 when the family moved to Mountain Home, Arkansas, following A. F. Stanford's retirement; Stanford finished junior high school in Mountain Home. The elder Stanford died after the poet's freshman year at Mountain Home High School.

In 1964, as a junior, Stanford entered Subiaco Academy near Paris, Arkansas, in the Ouachita Mountains. He entered the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where he started to write poetry, and soon became known throughout the Fayetteville literary community, and published poetry in the student literary magazine, Preview. However, he left the university, never earning a degree.

Over the next several years, Stanford kept writing and in 1971 married Linda Mencin. Stanford probably worked on The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You — which he had likely begun as a teenager.

In June 1970, he met Irving Broughton, the editor and publisher of Mill Mountain Press, at the Hollins Conference on Creative Writing and Cinema. Broughton read Stanford's work at the conference and agreed to publish the poet's first book, The Singing Knives. Five of Stanford's poems appeared in The Mill Mountain Review later that year, and in 1971, The Singing Knives was published as a limited edition chapbook. That summer, Stanford and Mencin married, but, after having lived together for two years, Mencin left the poet after only three months of marriage.

Stanford spent much of 1972 traveling through the South and New England with Broughton, a communications teacher and filmmaker, and these interviews were published in The Writer's Mind: Interviews With American Authors, a three-volume set. Stanford briefly lived in New York City, but only, he would later write, "to go to the movies." Returning to Arkansas from New York, he moved to the old spa town of Eureka Springs and took a room in the New Orleans Hotel.

For several years, beginning as early as 1970, Stanford meagerly supported himself (and his second wife) by working as an unlicensed land surveyor. The profession permeated his poetry in numerous instances, as in the poem "Lament Of The Land Surveyor". Broughton and Stanford made a 25-minute documentary about Stanford's work and life — filmed in Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri, discussing the land surveyor's experiences, and interviewing friends on whom Stanford's literary characters were sometimes based — titled, It Wasn't A Dream, It Was A Flood, which won one of the Judge's Awards at the 1974 Northwest Film & Video Festival.

Following the publication of The Singing Knives, Broughton's Mill Mountain Press published five more of Stanford's chapbook-length manuscripts between 1974 and 1976. Ladies From Hell appeared in 1974, followed by Field Talk, Shade, and Arkansas Bench Stone in 1975; all four books included drawings by Ginny Stanford. Constant Stranger, were released the following year.

Returning to Fayetteville in 1975, Stanford reestablished relationships with local area writers and met poet C. D. Wright, a graduate student in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Arkansas. The two poets began an affair which would last the rest of Stanford's life. In 1976, Stanford rented a house in Fayetteville on Jackson Drive with Wright and established the independent publishing operation Lost Roads Publishers to publish the work of talented poets without ready access to publishing; he said that his purpose with the press was to "reclaim the landscape of American poetry." That fall, the Stanfords moved from Beaver Lake to the Crouch family's farm in southwest Missouri.

In 1977, Stanford's Fayetteville, Arkansas based Lost Roads Publishing Company released its first title, Wright's Room Rented By A Single Woman, and more titles soon followed. The press would issue twelve books under Stanford's direction. Early in the year, in an article on Arkansas arts in The New York Times, Stanford's teacher, Jim Whitehead, referred to Stanford as "the most exciting young Arkansas poet he knows."

The year 1977 also saw the publication of Stanford's most substantial and influential book, The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You. A joint publication by Mill Mountain Press and Lost Roads (taking up numbers 7–12 in the Lost Roads catalogue), the published version of the epic (which had, at one point, according to Stanford, reached over 1,000 pages and 40,000 lines) settled at 542 pages (383 pages in the second, 2000, edition) In an April 1974 letter, Stanford comments that poet Alan Dugan had written to him with the response, "This is better than good, it is great ... one day it will explode."

By 1978, Stanford was heavily occupied with Lost Roads' publishing endeavors. Father Nicholas Fuhrmann, Stanford's former English teacher and longtime friend, has noted that Stanford was, during this period, visiting his mother (who lived in Subiaco) more often than had seemed usual.

On the Saturday evening of June 3, 1978, Stanford committed suicide in his home in Fayetteville. In her essay, "Death In The Cool Evening," widow Ginny Stanford notes that, having discovered her husband's infidelity, they argued about the matter; subsequently, Stanford retreated to his bedroom, and moments later, gunshots were heard: on the morning of June 5, Deputy Coroner Hugh Huppert ruled the death a suicide, declaring that Stanford had thrice shot himself in the heart with a .22-caliber target pistol. Both Ginny Stanford and C. D. Wright were in the house at the time of his death. Stanford's funeral was held on June 6. He was buried in St. Benedict's Cemetery at Subiaco beneath a stand of yellow pines, five miles (eight km) from the Arkansas River.

Father Fuhrmann, who had met with Stanford shortly before his death, feels that the poet had "a lot on his mind," and Wright and Ginny Stanford reported that he was depressed and withdrawn on the day of his suicide. Stanford had also spent time at the Arkansas State Hospital (the state psychiatric hospital) in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1972 and may have had prior suicide attempts.

Career

Over the next several years, Stanford kept writing and in 1971 married Linda Mencin. Stanford probably worked on The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You — which he had likely begun as a teenager.

In June 1970, he met Irving Broughton, the editor and publisher of Mill Mountain Press, at the Hollins Conference on Creative Writing and Cinema. Broughton read Stanford's work at the conference and agreed to publish the poet's first book, The Singing Knives. Five of Stanford's poems appeared in The Mill Mountain Review later that year, and in 1971, The Singing Knives was published as a limited edition chapbook. That summer, Stanford and Mencin married, but, after having lived together for two years, Mencin left the poet after only three months of marriage.

Stanford spent much of 1972 traveling through the South and New England with Broughton, a communications teacher and filmmaker, and these interviews were published in The Writer's Mind: Interviews With American Authors, a three-volume set. Stanford briefly lived in New York City, but only, he would later write, "to go to the movies." Returning to Arkansas from New York, he moved to the old spa town of Eureka Springs and took a room in the New Orleans Hotel.

For several years, beginning as early as 1970, Stanford meagerly supported himself (and his second wife) by working as an unlicensed land surveyor. The profession permeated his poetry in numerous instances, as in the poem "Lament Of The Land Surveyor". Broughton and Stanford made a 25-minute documentary about Stanford's work and life — filmed in Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri, discussing the land surveyor's experiences, and interviewing friends on whom Stanford's literary characters were sometimes based — titled, It Wasn't A Dream, It Was A Flood, which won one of the Judge's Awards at the 1974 Northwest Film & Video Festival.

Following the publication of The Singing Knives, Broughton's Mill Mountain Press published five more of Stanford's chapbook-length manuscripts between 1974 and 1976. Ladies From Hell appeared in 1974, followed by Field Talk, Shade, and Arkansas Bench Stone in 1975; all four books included drawings by Ginny Stanford. Constant Stranger, were released the following year.

Returning to Fayetteville in 1975, Stanford reestablished relationships with local area writers and met poet C. D. Wright, a graduate student in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Arkansas. The two poets began an affair which would last the rest of Stanford's life. In 1976, Stanford rented a house in Fayetteville on Jackson Drive with Wright and established the independent publishing operation Lost Roads Publishers to publish the work of talented poets without ready access to publishing; he said that his purpose with the press was to "reclaim the landscape of American poetry." That fall, the Stanfords moved from Beaver Lake to the Crouch family's farm in southwest Missouri.

In 1977, Stanford's Fayetteville, Arkansas based Lost Roads Publishing Company released its first title, Wright's Room Rented By A Single Woman, and more titles soon followed. The press would issue twelve books under Stanford's direction. Early in the year, in an article on Arkansas arts in The New York Times, Stanford's teacher, Jim Whitehead, referred to Stanford as "the most exciting young Arkansas poet he knows."

The year 1977 also saw the publication of Stanford's most substantial and influential book, The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You. A joint publication by Mill Mountain Press and Lost Roads (taking up numbers 7–12 in the Lost Roads catalogue), the published version of the epic (which had, at one point, according to Stanford, reached over 1,000 pages and 40,000 lines) settled at 542 pages (383 pages in the second, 2000, edition) In an April 1974 letter, Stanford comments that poet Alan Dugan had written to him with the response, "This is better than good, it is great ... one day it will explode."

By 1978, Stanford was heavily occupied with Lost Roads' publishing endeavors. Father Nicholas Fuhrmann, Stanford's former English teacher and longtime friend, has noted that Stanford was, during this period, visiting his mother (who lived in Subiaco) more often than had seemed usual.

On the Saturday evening of June 3, 1978, Stanford committed suicide in his home in Fayetteville. In her essay, "Death In The Cool Evening," widow Ginny Stanford notes that, having discovered her husband's infidelity, they argued about the matter; subsequently, Stanford retreated to his bedroom, and moments later, gunshots were heard: on the morning of June 5, Deputy Coroner Hugh Huppert ruled the death a suicide, declaring that Stanford had thrice shot himself in the heart with a .22-caliber target pistol. Both Ginny Stanford and C. D. Wright were in the house at the time of his death. Stanford's funeral was held on June 6. He was buried in St. Benedict's Cemetery at Subiaco beneath a stand of yellow pines, five miles (eight km) from the Arkansas River.

Father Fuhrmann, who had met with Stanford shortly before his death, feels that the poet had "a lot on his mind," and Wright and Ginny Stanford reported that he was depressed and withdrawn on the day of his suicide. Stanford had also spent time at the Arkansas State Hospital (the state psychiatric hospital) in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1972 and may have had prior suicide attempts.

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