August 1, 1948
Frank Stanford, who became one of the most recognized and prolific poets of his generation until his suicide at the age of twenty-nine, was born on the Mississippi side of the Delta. After becoming an orphan, he was adopted in 1949 by Dorothy Gildart. She was single at that time but later married and moved to Memphis, Tennessee. After his adoptive father’s death in 1963, Stanford entered Subiaco Academy near Paris (Logan County) and later attended the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). His poetry was published widely in journals and magazines and, in 1977, he published a 15,283-line poem that was highly praised and compared with the novels Moby-Dick and Huckleberry Finn.