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Stark Young

Stark Young (1881-1963) was an American teacher, playwright, novelist, painter, literary critic, and essayist.

Stark Young was born in Como, Mississippi on 11 October 1881 the son of the local doctor.

He entered the University of Mississippi at the age of 15 and graduated from that institution in 1901. He completed his Master's Degree at Columbia University in 1902.

Young taught at the University of Mississippi in 1905-1907 and then moved to the University of Texas where he established the Texas Review and became involved with theater.

In 1915 he moved to Amherst College where he taught English until he resigned to pursue other interests in 1921 and moved to New York City, New York.

In New York he was appointed as an editor at Theater Arts Magazine and as drama critic for the New Republic. Young remained at New Republic until his retirement in 1947. During this period he was involved with the theater in New York and wrote several plays.

In 1930 Young contributed to the Agrarian manifesto I'll Take My Stand and was one of 12 known as the Southern Agrarians.

Young drew on the traditions of his Southern upbringing for inspiration and generated essays, journalistic articles, and collections of stories, drawing on these sources. He also published four novels dealing with Southern themes.

In the 1940s Young, a self-taught artist, began painting and was the subject of two one-man exhibitions in New York. His paintings were shown in four important galleries including the Chicago Institute of Art which purchased one of his paintings for the permanent collection.

In 1951 he published his reminiscences in The Pavilion which was dedicated to his friend Allen Tate.

Young received the Order of the Crown of Italy for a series of lectures on American theater given in Italian as a Westinghouse Lecturer in Italy.

He served on the board of New York University and is a member of that institution's Hall of Fame. He was a recipient of Brandeis University's Creative Arts Medallion and the South Eastern Theatre Conference's Distinguished Career Award.

Stark Young suffered a stroke in May 1959. He died on 6 January 1963. He is buried in Friendship Cemetery in Como, Mississippi.