A lifelong resident of Denver, poet Thomas Hornsby Ferril was born in 1896 and educated at Colorado College. With his wife, Helen Ferril, he published the Rocky Mountain Herald from 1939 to 1972. Ferril also served as publicity director for Great Western Sugar for more than 40 years and was appointed Colorado poet laureate in 1979.
Ferril’s poetry engages the American West through science and mythology. He is the author of the poetry collections Anvil of Roses (1983), New and Selected Poems (1952), Words for Denver and Other Poems (1966), Trial by Time (1944), Westering (1934), and High Passage (1926), which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize. Ferril’s essays are collected in The Rocky Mountain Herald Reader (1966) and I Hate Thursday (1946). Ahsahta Press has brought Westering and Anvil of Roses back into print. The collection Thomas Hornsby Ferril and the American West (1996) offers a selection of his poetry and prose.
Ferril’s honors include the Oscar Blumenthal Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Award, the Robert Frost Poetry Award, first place in the Denver Post National Drama Competition, and the Ridgely Torrence Memorial Award.
The Denver Public Library holds a selection of his papers, and his Denver home on Downing Street is a historic landmark that has been occupied by several literary organizations.