John Brown's Body (poem)
John Brown's Body (1928) is an epic American poem written by Stephen Vincent Benét. Its title references the radical abolitionist John Brown, who raided Harpers Ferry in Virginia in the fall of 1859. He was captured and hanged later that year. Benét's poem covers the history of the American Civil War. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1929.
The poem was performed on Broadway in 1953 in a staged dramatic reading starring Tyrone Power, Judith Anderson, and Raymond Massey, and directed by Charles Laughton. In 2015 it was announced that the recording of the performance will be inducted into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry for the recording's "cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation’s audio legacy".
In 2002, the poem, transformed into a play, was performed in San Quentin State Prison by prisoners. The 2013 documentary film John Brown's Body at San Quentin Prison recounts the story of the production of the play.
- Peterson, Merrill D. (2002). John Brown: The Legend Revisited. University of Virginia Press. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-8139-2132-7.
- Blight, David W. "John Brown: Triumphant Failure". The American Prospect. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "National Recording Registry To "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive"". the Library of Congress. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
- Steven Winn (November 19, 2002). "Drama behind bars / San Quentin inmates taste freedom performing a play about slavery and liberation". San Francisco Chronicle.
- "The John Brown's Body Project".
- "John Brown's Body at San Quentin Prison". Kanopy.
- Benét, Stephen Vincent. 1928. John Brown's Body. Chicago: Elephant Paperback.
- Oates, Stephen B. 1984. To Purge This Land With Blood: A Biography of John Brown. Boston: University of Massachusetts Press. Google Reader 
- West Virginia Archives and History 
- John J. Miller, "'John Brown's Body' Exhumed," Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2009
- Project Gutenberg: John Brown's Body (1928) (full text)
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