Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Robert Cumming

Earth, Seedtime, Growth, and Harvest

Iris Press issues two new posthumous books from poet and novelist George Scarbrough

September 8, 2011 Near the end of his writing life George Scarbrough (1915-2008) used an alter ego, writing in the voice of the legendary eighth-century Chinese poet Han-shan, whose poems were simple, direct, and frank, never failing to call attention to the flaws in society as he saw them. Writing in the voice of Han-shan gave Scarbrough the means to speak directly about the social abuses he saw around him but could not address so clearly in his own first-person voice. “At the Last Festival” appears in Under the Lemon Tree, a new, posthumously published collection of Scarbrough’s Han-shan poems. In this essay Robert Cumming, the book’s editor, explains the significance of Han-shan to Scarbrough. He will also discuss George Scarbrough and his work at the 2011 Southern Festival of Books, held October 14-16 in Nashville.

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