Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 17: Nos 1-2) >> Front Matter >> Introduction

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Scholarship | 2009
Transcription Introduction

Of all of the myriad literary forms that William Gilmore Simms
assayed, the poem was always his favorite. Poetry was his first love and
after his letters, his greatest output. For the first special issue of The
Simms Review, it is appropriate that the theme be Simms as poet, the
topic of the most recent Simms conference, held in Athens, Georgia, in
September, 2008. This issue gathers several of the presentations given
there, revised for publication, along with a few additional contributions.
We thank all of our contributors, particularly those who worked with us
to expand their conference papers into articles. We especially thank our
editorial board for their service as referees for this issue; their evaluations
and recommendations strengthened the articles greatly. This issue would
not have been possible without the support of Society member John G.
Simms, Jr., whose generosity made possible this new format.
This issue represents the range of scholars who have contributed
to Simms studies over the past four decades, from senior scholars such as
James E. Kibler, Jr. and James B. Meriwether, whose work did much to
establish modem Simms scholarship, to younger scholars studying Simms
as part of their graduate work, such as Corey Don Mingura and Doreen
Thierauf. Simms wrote for a popular audience as well as a learned one, so
it is fitting that the articles here address the full range of his expression,
from the theory explored by Carl Rapp to the practice analyzed by David
W. Newton. Likewise, Simms's critical writings range from brief notices
to full-length essays, so it appropriate that the contributions here span the
gamut from shorter reflections to full-fledged articles.
Simms began his career as a poet with his Monody, on the Death
of Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, which opens this issue. James
Kibler published a reproduction of his photostatic copy of the original in
The Simms Review last year, an important republication despite the leg-
ibility problems posed by the fifty-year-old early Xerographic reproduc-
tion. This issue of the Review presents Simms's original text, drawn from
the two disbound copies originally found in the Charles Carroll Simms
Collection in the South Caroliniana Library, reset in a textually accurate
format. It is the subject of James B. Meriwether's article, first given as
a paper at the Reynolds Conference, "Simms in the Revolution," held
in Charleston in 1976. Though completed as an article in 1993, it was
only read aloud at the Simms conference in September, 2008 and has not