Poets

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Harry Hibbard Kemp was an American poet and prose writer of the twentieth century. He was known as (and promoted himself as) "the "Vagabond Poet, the Villon of America, the Hobo Poet, or the Tramp Poet," and was a well-known popular literary figure of his era, the "hero of adolescent Americans." Life and Work Kemp was born in Youngstown, Ohio, the only son of a candymaker. He was raised by his grandmother, in a house by the local train yards. At the age of seventeen he left home to become a common seaman; after returning to the United States he traveled across the country by riding the rails as a hobo. He later attended the University of Kansas, and while a student he began publishing verse in newspapers and magazines. He spent much of his maturity traveling; he stayed in a number of planned communities for varying lengths of time, then wrote autobiographical novels about his experiences. Kemps Tramping on Life: An Autobiographical Narrative (1922) was one of the best selling "tramp autobiographies" of the 1900-1939 period. When not traveling he was a regular denizen of Greenwich Village in New York City and Provincetown on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, where he was associated with the Provincetown Players. There is a street named for him, Harry Kemp Way, in Provincetown, MA. Harry Kemp was also known as the "poet of the dunes." Kemp lived on and off in a shack in the dunes of Provincetwon, Cape Cod for a period of about 40 years, and he died there in 1960. A 1934 ..
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