John Finlay was born in Ozark, Ala., and grew up on his family’s farm near Enterprise. As a boy, he loved to read Shakespeare, and he sometimes recited passages from the plays while caring for his family’s dairy cows. Finlay attended the University of Alabama, earning a BA in 1964 and an MA in 1966, both in English. Following graduation, he taught for four years at the University of Montevallo. In 1970, Finlay enrolled in the doctoral program at Louisiana State University. He earned his PhD in 1980, the same year he converted to Roman Catholicism. In 1981, Finlay returned to his family’s farm and remained there for the rest of his life, engaged in writing and scholarship. Three chapbooks of his poems were privately published during this period. Finlay was diagnosed with AIDS in 1982 and died in 1991. Collections of his poems and his essays were published posthumously.
Major subjects and concerns of John Finlay’s poems include Southern history and culture, religion, and ancient civilizations. His scholarly essays examine Western literature and philosophy.
Please check your local library for these materials. If items are not available locally, your librarian can help you borrow them through the InterLibrary Loan program. Your librarian can also help you find other information about this author.
There may be more information available through the databases in the Alabama Virtual Library. If you are an Alabama citizen, AVL can be used at your public library or school library media center. You can also get a username and password from your librarian to use AVL at home.
Photo courtesy of Jean S. Finlay and JoAnn Hall.
Last updated on May 30, 2008.