"B" is for Bennett, John [1865-1956]

Nov 14, 2017

Credit SC Public Radio

"B" is for Bennett, John [1865-1956]. Author. Artist. An Ohio native, Bennett achieved national acclaim for Master Skylark, considered one of the best American historical novels for children. Ill health led to his moving to Charleston. For years he tried unsuccessfully to get publishers interested in African American folklore and folk life. When he gave a lecture in Charleston on Gullah, he was condemned in the local press. His friendship with DuBose Heyward and Hervey Allen led to weekly discussions of modern poetry and eventually—with Laura Bragg, Elizabeth von Kolnitz and Josephine Pinckney—to the formation in 1921 of the Poetry Society of South Carolina. As the Society's founder and mainstay, John Bennett was a key player in the revival of literary life and culture in the city known as the Charleston Renaissance.