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JAMES DICKEY, born in Atlanta in 1923, is most widely known as the author of the novel and screenplay Deliverance. He is also the author of several other novels and fifteen books of poetry. His many honors include the National Book Award and a Melville Cane Award for Buckdancer's Choice (1965). He was invited to read at President Carter's inauguration in 1977, and most recently served as Judge of the prestigious Yale Younger Poets series. He died in 1997 in South Carolina. ROBERT KIRSCHTEN is the author of James Dickey and the Gentle Ecstasy of the Earth: A Reading of the Poems (1988) and Approaching Prayer: Ritual and the Shape of Myth in A.R. Ammons and James Dickey (1998) and the editor of Struggling for Wings: The Art of James Dickey (1997) and Critical Essays on James Dickey (1994). He teaches English at Ohio State University.