"R" is for Ravenel, Beatrice [1870-1956]

Mar 12, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

"R" is for Ravenel, Beatrice [1870-1956]. Poet. Journalist. Born in Charleston, she entered Harvard Annex [later Radcliffe College] as a special student in 1889. Twice left a widow, Ravenel turned to poetry (some of it splendid) and short stories (mostly derivative and plot-heavy) to support her family. She is probably one of the best examples of the influence of the Poetry Society of South Carolina on local writers. Through the Society she met Amy Lowell who championed her work. Ravenel's poetry in the 1920s championed the outsiders and the dispossessed. She also wrote reviews and foreign affairs op-ed pieces for The State newspaper. When she died in 1956, she was a forgotten figure. However, Beatrice Ravenel's poetry was resurrected in 1969 and many critics have acclaimed her the best poet of the Charleston Literary Renaissance.