Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Edd Winfield Parks (1906-1968)

Edd Winfield Parks was a native Tennessean who spent many years as a literary scholar and a professor at the University of Georgia. He was born in Newbern, Tennessee in February 1906. He earned his Associates degree (1927) from Harvard and received his M.A. (1929) and Ph.D. (1933) at Vanderbilt University. He taught briefly at Vanderbilt and later Cumberland University before taking a permanent position at the University of Georgia. He began teaching English in 1935. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Parks focused on Southern society, literature, and poetry. In 1933, he married Alice Aileen Wells, who worked at the Ward-Belmont School for Young Women and later wrote children’s books.

In 1942, he volunteered for the Armed Services and served a Captain of Army Intelligence. When the war concluded, Parks rejoined the University of Georgia in the late 1940s. Much of his work emerged in the 1950s and 1960s: two fiction books, Backwater (1957) and Nashoba (1963); several non-fiction works, which included William Gilmore Sims as Literary Critic (1961), Edgar Allen Poe as Literary Critic (1964), Henry Timrod (1964), Thomas MacDonagh: The Man, the Patriot, the Writer (with Aileen Wells Parks, 1967), and Sidney Lanier: The Man, the Poet, the Critic (1968); a number of young adult and children’s books, such as Safe on Second: The Story of a Little Leaguer (1953), Teddy Roosevelt, All-Round Boy (1953), and Teddy Roosevelt, Young Rough Rider (1953).

Parks was a visiting professor for several institutions outside of the United States. He spent a considerable time on a Fullbright Fellowship at the University of Brazil, and he lectured at numerous other colleges in Venezuela, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. During his career he served as a Carnegie fellow, a Fulbright lecturer, Alumni Foundation Distinguished Professor of English at UGa and president of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association. Parks died in 1968, and his wife died in 1986.

Selected Bibliography

Teddy Roosevelt, All-Round Boy (young adult/nonfiction), 1953
Teddy Roosevelt, Young Rough Rider (young adult/nonfiction), 1953
Backwater (fiction), 1957
Nashoba (fiction), 1963

Selected Links

Edd Winfield Parks’s page at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Tennessee Writers site: