Vanderbilt University in Nashville was the home of the “Vanderbilt Fugitives,” a group of people who liked to write, discuss, and publish poetry around the 1920s. They shared the belief that the South had a wealth of unrecognized intellectual talent. They wanted to respond to people outside of the South who were disrespectful to the writers of the region. Nashville currently has a population of approximately 692,000 residents.
Even today, in movies and books and elsewhere, some people think Southerners aren’t as smart as people from other places. The reality is that smart people are everywhere and not-so-smart people are everywhere. What’s distinct about the Fugitives is the way they connected the art of poetry with their beliefs about the world around them, and then published a collection of essays called “I’ll Take My Stand,” which is still in print.
You can walk around Vanderbilt to get a feeling of what it was like, maybe go inside the Vanderbilt Library, but the best means for school-age students to visit the Fugitives might be virtually through Nashville Public Television’s website at http://www.nptinternal.org/productions/fugitives/.
This is the first stop on our Tennessee Author Adventures Trail!