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A James Dickey Chronology

1923 James Lafayette Dickey born on February 2 in the Atlanta suburb of Buckhead, the son of lawyer Eugene Dickey and Maibelle Swift Dickey.
1941 Graduates from North Fulton High School in Buckhead. Wins award from Society of Colonial Daughters for his essay "Essay on Patriotism."
1942 Enrolls at Clemson A&M College, where he plays in the backfield on the frshman football team. Leaves school before the end of the first term to enlist in the Army Air Corps.
1944 Trains as night-fighter radar observer.
1945 Joins 418th Night FIghter Squadron in the Philippines. Later serves on Okinawa and in Japan; earns five bronze stars and promoted to second lieutenant.
1946 Leaves military service and enrolls at Vanderbilt University, where he majors in English and philosophy and minors in astronomy. Between 1947-1949 publishes four poems in The Gadfly, Vanderbilt's literary magazine.
1948 Marries Maxine Syerson on November 4. Poem "The Shark at the Window" is accepted by The Sewanee Review.
1949 Receives B.A. in English and graduates magna cum laude from Vanderbilt.
1950 Receives M.A. in English from Vanderbilt. Teaches at Rice Institute in Houston, Texas until he is recalled to the Air Force for service in Korea.
1951 Son, Christopher Dickey, is born on August 31.
1952 Returns to Rice where he teaches until 1954.
1954 Recieves Sewanee Review fellowship by the Rockefeller Foundation and leaves Rice to write in Europe in the summer of 1954.
1955 Joins English faculty at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
1956 Resigns from the University of Florida over a dispute concerning his reading of his poem "The Father's Body." Begins successful carrer as an advertising copywriter and executive for McCann-Erickson agency in New York, and later for different agencies in Atlanta.
1958 Second son, Kevin Dickey, is born on August 18. Receives Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Prize from Union League Club of Chicago for "Dover: Believing in Kings."
1959 Wins Longview Foundation Award and Vachel Lindsay Prize.
1960 Publication of Into the Stone and Other Poems in Poets of Today VII.
1961 Resigns from his advertising positions.
1962 Publication of Drowning With Others. Travels with his family to Europe on Guggenheim Fellowship.
1963 Becomes Poet-in-Residence at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
1964 Publication of Helmets, The Suspect in Poetry, and Two Poems of the Air. Becomes Poet-in-Residence at San Fernando Valley State College, Northbridge, California.
1965 Publication of Buckdancer's Choice. Teaches at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
1966 Receives Melville Crane Award from the Poetry Society of America for Buckdancer's Choice. Serves as Poet-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Presented the National Book Award for Buckdancer's Choice. Receives grant of $2,500 for creative work in literature by the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Becomes Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress (title later changed to Poet Laurate) until 1968.
1967 Publication of Poems 1957-1967 and Spinning the Crystal Ball.
1968 Publication of Babel to Byzantium: Poets and Poetry Now and Metaphor as Pure Adventure.
1969 Named Poet-in-Residence and First Carolina Professor of English, University of South Carolina, Columbia.
1970 Publication of Deliverance; The Eye-Beaters, Blood, Victory, Madness, Buckhead and Mercy; and Self-Interviews.
1971 Publication of Sorties and Exchanges. Named poetry editor for Esquire. Deliverance wins Prix Medicis for best foreign-language book published in France. Production begins on the movie version of Deliverance, for which Dickey writes the screenplay and plays the role of Sheriff Bullard.
1972 Inducted into the National Institute of Arts and Letters. The movie Deliverance is nominated for an Academy Award.
1974 Publication of Jericho: The South Beheld.
1976 Writes screenplay for the television production of Jack London's Call of the Wild. Publication of Zodiac. Maxine DIckey dies October 28. Marries Deborah Dodson December 30.
1977 Reads "The Strength of Fields" at President Jimmy Carter's inaugural celebration at the Kennedy Center on January 19. Publication of The Owl King and God's Images.
1978 Publication of Tucky the Hunter, Veteran Birth, The Enemy From Eden, In Pursuit of the Grey Soul, and Head-Deep in Strange Sounds.
1979 Publication of The Strength of Fields. Gives lecture on Ezra Pound, The Water-Bug's Mittens: What We Can Use, at the University of Idaho.
1980 Publication of Scion.
1981 Daughter, Bronwen Dickey, is born on May 17. Publication of The Starry Place Between the Antlers: Why I Live In South Carolina and The Early Motion. Receives the Levinson Prize for five poems from Puella published in Poetry.
1982 Publication of Deliverance screenplay, Puella, and Varmland.
1983 Publication of Night Hurdling, False Youth: Four Seasons, and The Central Motion: Poems, 1968-1979.
1985 Publication of limited edition Puella.
1986 Publication of Bronwen, the Traw, and the Shape-Shifter.
1987 Publication of Alnilam.
1988 Publication of Wayfarer: A Voice from the Southern Mountains. May 18, induction into the 50-member American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Assigned Chair #15, previously occupied by schoar Wilbur Cross, painter Raphael Soyer, and novelist John Steinbeck.
1989 Accepts appointment as judge for Yale Series of Younger Poets competition (serves until 1996).
1990 Publication of The Eagle's Mile.
1991 Publication of Southern Light.
1992 Publication of The Whole Motion: Collected Poems, 1945-1992.
1993 Publication of To The White Sea. USC celebrates James Dickey at 70.
1994 Hospitalized with jaundice.
1995 World War II Writers Synposium held at USC, featuring Dickey, William Styron, Paul Fussell, Jospeh Heller, William Manchester, and Mikey Spillane.
1996 Publication of Striking In: The Early Notebooks of James Dickey. Afflicted with fibrosis of the lungs. Receives the Harriet Monroe Prize for lifetime achievement in poetry.
1997 Teaches last class at USC January 14. Dies January 19.


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