Friday, January 6, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: January 6, 1879 – Effie Waller Smith

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Effie (Waller) Smith, poet, was born in Pike County , Kentucky, on January 6, 1879, the daughter of former slaves. Her father, Frank Waller, was from near Fredericksburg in eastern Virginia and her mother, Sibbie (Ratliff) Waller, was a native of eastern Kentucky. She took up writing at age sixteen, preferring traditional poetry in the manner of Tennyson and Longfellow. Effie Waller's older brother and sister, Alfred and Rosa, had attended Kentucky Normal School for Colored Persons in Frankfort (now Kentucky State University) and almost certainly were her initial mentors. She also attended Kentucky Normal in 1900-1901.

She wrote three books of poetry: Songs of the Months (1904), Rhymes From the Cumberland (1909), and Rosemary and Pansies (1909). Seven of her works were published in major American literary magazines between 1908 and 1917. She stopped writing after " Autumn Winds" was published in Harper's Monthly in September 1917.

Effie Waller married Charles Smith in February 1909; they had one child, who died shortly after birth. Her husband died in 1911 from a gunshot wound received in the line of duty as a deputy sheriff attempting to arrest a moonshiner. She moved to Wisconsin in April 1918 and died there on January 2, 1960. She was buried in Neenah, Wisconsin.

DAVID DESKINS,  Entry Author

Selected Works from UK Libraries:

Smith, Effie Waller. The Collected Works of Effie Waller Smith. New York: Oxford UP, 1991. Print. Schomburg Library of Nineteenth-century Black Women Writers.
PS3537 .M36 1991, Young Library - 5th Floor

Smith, Effie Waller. Rhymes from the Cumberland. Pikeville, Ky.: Intrinsic Pub., 1987. Print.
PS3545.A56 R4 1987, Special Collections Research Center

Smith, Effie Waller. Songs of the Months. Pikeville, Ky.: Intrinsic Pub., 1988. Print.
PS3545.A56 S640 1988, Young Library - 5th Floor

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