Literary Birthday – 2 February – James Dickey

James Dickey was born 2 February 1923 and died 19 January 1997.


  1. A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning.
  2. It takes an awful lot of time for me to write anything. I have endless drafts, one after another; and I try out 50, 75, or a hundred variations on a single line sometimes. I work on the process of refining low-grade ore. I get maybe a couple of nuggets of gold out of 50 tons of dirt. It is tough for me. No, I am not inspired.
  3. Poetry makes possible the deepest kind of personal possession of the world.
  4. There are so many selves in everybody, and just to explore and exploit one is wrong, dead wrong, for the creative person.
  5. Poetry is a hazardous occupation, very hazardous. There may be bad things in there inside you that maybe you can’t handle.

James Dickey was an American poet, critic, and novelist. His poetry combined themes of nature mysticism, religion, and history. He was appointed the eighteenth United States Poet Laureate in 1966. Dickey was best known for his novel Deliverance which was adapted into a film of the same name.

Source for image: Christopher Dickey, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons / Source for quotes

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 1st February 2020