Burns, Vincent Godfrey, 1893-

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Vincent Godfrey Burns, born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1893, was Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1962 until his death in 1979. He was ordained as a minister and later published poems, television scripts, plays, and a novel, often expressing his conservative political and religious convictions. He and his brother Robert collaborated on I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang, which was made into a movie in 1932. Burns's papers include correspondence, poems, manuscripts, galleys, newspaper clippings, and essays documenting his literary production and political concerns.

From the description of Papers. 1935-1970. (University of Maryland Libraries). WorldCat record id: 23727707

Vincent Godfrey Burns (1893- ), poet laureate of Maryland, author, editor, and lecturer.

From the description of Vincent Godfrey Burns papers, 1937-1969. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38478300

Vincent Godfrey Burns (1893-1979) was a Congregationalist minister and Poet Laureate of Maryland.

From the guide to the Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers, before 1969, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Poet, playwright, author and lecturer.

From the description of Papers, 1939-1969. (Ohio State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 24587027

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Poet, author, lecturer. Vincent Godfrey Burns (1893-1979) served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1962 until his death in 1979.

From the guide to the Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers, 1937-1969., (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, )

Poet laureate of Maryland.

From the description of Papers, 1936-1969. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122699725

Vincent Godfrey Burns (1893-1979) was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was educated at Pennsylvania State College, Harvard University, Union Theological Seminary, and Columbia University. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, 1918, and served on the staff of General Foote, 163rd F.A. Brigade, First Army Corps A.E.F. in France. He was a poet, Congregationalist minister, journalist, literary editor, public speaker, and screenwriter. In 1962 he was appointed Poet Laureate of Maryland.

From the description of The Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers, [ca. 193-? - 1969]. (University of California, Santa Barbara). WorldCat record id: 48584691

Minister and author; d. 1979.

From the description of Papers, 1918-1979. (Maryland Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 28410038

Poet, author, lecturer.

Vincent Godfrey Burns has served as Poet Laureate of Maryland since 1962.

From the description of Vincent Godfrey Burns papers, 1937-1969. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 472459359

Vincent Godfrey Burns (1893-1979) was born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at Pennsylvania State College (B.S., 1916), Harvard University (A.M., 1917), Union Theological Seminary (B.D., 1922), and Columbia University (post-graduate study, 1922-1925). He enlisted in the U.S. Army, 1918, and served on the staff of General Foote, 163rd F.A. Brigade, First Army Corps A.E.F. in France. He was a poet, Congregationalist minister, journalist, literary editor, public speaker, and screenwriter. In 1962 he was appointed Poet Laureate of Maryland.

Further biographical information may be found in the guides to the Burns collections at the Maryland Historical Society and the University of Maryland Libraries.

From the guide to the Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers, ca. 1930s-1969, (University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Department of Special Collections)

Vincent Godfrey Burns was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1893. He served in the Field Artillery in World War I. Ordained as a Congregational minister, he worked at churches in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., and gained brief fame in 1935 during the Lindbergh kidnapping trial when he shouted, "If it please your honor, I have a confession that was made to me by the man who committed this crime" in the courtroom (and not the popular misconception: "This man is innocent!"). He published his account of the Lindbergh case, New Light on the Lindbergh Kidnapping (New World Books), in 1973.

In collaboration with his older brother, Robert Burns, he wrote I Am a Fugitive From a Georgia Chain Gang (Vanguard, 1932) detailing his brother's experiences as a convict in the Georgia penal system and his subsequent escape. It was made into a movie by Warner Brothers later that year. The film was nominated for several Academy Awards and was credited with helping to abolish chain gangs in Georgia. Vincent Burns wrote a sequel, Out of These Chains (New World Books, 1942), and continued the story of his brother's prison-reform legacy in The Man Who Broke a Thousand Chains (Acropolis Books, 1963).

Burns's writing often expressed his conservative political and religious convictions. He published collections of his poetry, as well as essays, plays, anthologies, and novels, including The Master's Message for the New Day (Association Press, 1926), The Red Harvest, a Cry for Peace (Macmillan, 1930), I'm in Love with Life (Dutton, 1932), America I Love You (New World Books, 1957), Flame Against the Night (New World Books, 1959), An American Poet Speaks (New World Books, 1960), Memories and Melodies of Maryland (New World Books, 1964), Maryland's Revolutionary Hero (New World Books, 1965), The Four Tests of a Loyal American (Patriotic Women's Clubs of America, 1966), Ballads of the Free State Bard (New World Books, 1967), Heart on Fire (New World Books, 1969), World on Fire (New World Books, 1969), Red Fuse on a World Bomb (New World Books, 1969), The Sunny Side of Life (New World Books, 1970), Poetry is Fun (New World Books, 1971), and The Story of Old Glory (New World Books, 1972). His bestselling work, Female Convict (Macauley, 1932; Pyramid, 1959), sold more than a million copies in paperback. He was designated Poet Laureate of Maryland in 1962 by Governor J. Millard Tawes. Despite a controversial tenure and attempts to unseat him, he remained Poet Laureate until his death in 1979.

From the guide to the Vincent Godfrey Burns papers, 1939-1970, 1964-1970, (Literature and Rare Books)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Burns, Vincent Godfrey, 1893-. Vincent Godfrey Burns papers. [manuscript]. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Burns, Vincent Godfrey. The Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers, [ca. 193-? - 1969]. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
creatorOf Burns, Vincent Godfrey, 1893-. Vincent Godfrey Burns papers, 1937-1969. Georgia Newspaper Project
creatorOf Burns, Vincent Godfrey, 1893-. Papers of Vincent Godfrey Burns [manuscript] 1956-69. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers, before 1969 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
creatorOf Burns, Vincent Godfrey, 1893-. Papers, 1936-1969. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf Vincent Godfrey Burns papers, 1939-1970, 1964-1970 University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962. Papers, 1878-1962. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Burns, Vincent Godfrey, 1893-. Vincent Godfrey Burns papers, 1937-1969. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Burns, Vincent Godfrey, 1893-. Papers, 1918-1979. Maryland Historical Society
creatorOf Burns, Vincent Godfrey, 1893-. Papers, 1939-1969. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Spivak, John Louis, 1897- . Papers, 1929-1948 (bulk 1929-1933). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Vincent Godfrey Burns papers, 1939-1970, 1964-1970 University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers, 1937-1969. Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Welles mss., 1930-1950, (Bulk 1936-1947) Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers, ca. 1930s-1969 University of California, Santa Barbara. Davidson Library. Department of Special Collections.
referencedIn John L. Spivak Papers TXRC93-A6., 1929-1948 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962. person
associatedWith Pennsylvania State University corporateBody
associatedWith Spivak, John L., 1897-1981 person
associatedWith Spivak, John Louis, 1897- . person
associatedWith Welles, Orson, 1915-1985 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Maryland
Maryland
Maryland
United States
New England
Maryland
Santa Barbara (Calif.)
Maryland
Subject
Poets laureate--Maryland
American drama
Literature--American Poetry
Santa Barbara(Calif.)
Authors, American
American poetry--20th century
Maryland--Poet Laureates
Burns, Vincent Godfrey,--Archives
Poets--Maryland
American literature--20th century
Congregational churches in New England
Congregational churches--Clergy
Poets, American--History--Sources
Poets laureate
American fiction--20th century
Clergy as authors
Authors, American--History--Sources
Poets, American
Occupation
Authors, American
Poets, American
Authors, American--Maryland
Poets
Clergy--New England
Poets, American--Maryland
Activity

Person

Birth 1893

Death 1979

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