William Hughes Mearns (1875–1965), better known as Hughes Mearns, was an American educator and poet. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, Mearns was a Professor at the Philadelphia School of Pedagogy from 1905 to 1920. Mearns is remembered now as the author of the poem "Antigonish" (or "The Little Man Who Wasn't There"), but his ideas, about encouraging the natural creativity of children, particularly those age 3 through 8, were novel at the time. It has been written about him that, "He typed notes of their conversations; he learned how to make them forget there was an adult around; never asked them questions and never showed surprise no matter what they did or said." 
Mearns wrote two influential books: Creative Youth 1925, and Creative Power 1929. Essayist Gabriel Gudding credits those books with "[lighting] a fuse" under the teaching of creative writing, influencing a generation of scholars.
Mearns is credited with the well-known rhyme, composed in 1899 as a song for a play he had written, called The Psyco-ed The play was performed in 1910 and the poem was first published as "Antigonish" in 1922.