Ernest Abner Hartsock was one of the best-known American poets of the 1920s. He published three volumes of poetry and served as a Professor of Poetics at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA. Suffering from pernicious anemia, Hartsock died on December 14, 1930, at the age of 27.
Hartsock was born on May 5, 1903, in Atlanta, GA. He was educated at Boys High School (later Grady High School) in Atlanta and earned BA and MA degrees from Emory University, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. After graduation, he became an instructor at Georgia School of Technology in 1927 before becoming Professor of Poetics at Oglethorpe in 1929, where he taught until his death.
Hartsock's volumes of poetry were: Romance and Stardust (1925); Narcissus and Iscariot (1927); and Strange Splendor (1930). In 1929 he was awarded the annual award of excellence by the Poetry Society of America for "Strange Splendor," the first Atlantan to ever be so recognized. Hartsock was also founder, owner, and editor of the Bozart Press, a press devoted to the publication of poetry. An accomplished musician, Hartsock served as organist for the Palace Theater in Atlanta for four years.
A life-size bronze bust of Hartsock by famed sculptor Fritz Zimmer currently resides in the Philip Weltner Library at Oglethorpe University. Another smaller, plaster bust of Hartsock made by Atlanta poet Blossom Tucker is held in the Oglethorpe University Archives.