Will Allen Dromgoole was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. A prolific author who wrote novels, plays, and more than 8,000 poems, she was the author of the best-selling novel The Island of the Beautiful (1911). For almost 30 years she wrote a column for the Nashville Banner called “Song and Story,” which recounted the life and times of Tennessee locals.

Dromgoole was educated at the New England School of Expression in Boston, Massachusetts. She studied law with her father and was elected clerk of the state Senate in 1885 and 1887. In 1894 she traveled to Texas and founded the Waco Women’s Press Club. Dromgoole started writing for the Nashville Banner in the early 1900s. A few of her unflattering articles on the Melungeons— a mixed-race population in eastern Tennessee—created controversy and brought her disfavor with some readers.

During World War I, Dromgoole was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, while she served in the U.S. Naval Reserve, one of the first women to do so. Her duties included library work and lecturing to sailors on patriotic themes. Dromgoole was appointed poet laureate of the Poetry Society of the South in 1930.
Poems by Will Allen Dromgoole
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