Thomas McGrath (poet)

Thomas McGrath (poet)

Thomas McGrath (Sheldon, North Dakota, 1916 – Minneapolis, September 1990) was an American poet. McGrath grew up on a farm in Ransom County, North Dakota. He earned a B.A. from the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, but had to defer his study abroad at Oxford until after World War II. McGrath also pursued postgraduate studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He taught at Colby College in Maine and at Los Angeles State College, from which he was dismissed in connection with his appearance, as an unfriendly witness, before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1953. Later he taught at North Dakota State University in Fargo and Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota. In 1975, he shot and killed an American Indian man at his ex-wife's home in Minnesota. He was found to have acted in self-defense and was not charged, upsetting the American Indian community, some of whom felt McGrath had received preferential treatment. He was married three times and had one son.

McGrath wrote mainly about his own life and social concerns. His best-known work is probably "Letter to an Imaginary Friend" published in sections between 1957 and 1985. Other works include "The Movie at the End of the World" (1973) and "Passages Toward the Dark" (1982).


*"The Revolutionary Poet in the United States: the Poetry of Thomas McGrath", Stern, Frederick C. (Editor), U of Missouri, Columbia, 1988 ISBN 0-8262-0682-4

External links

* [ McGrath pages at University of Illinois]
* [ Selected Bibliography]
* [ Documentary film of the poet, called The Movie at the End of the World]

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