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Ennis Samuel Rees, Jr. (March 17, 1925 – March 24, 2009) was an American poet and professor. He was named by Governor Richard Wilson Riley as the third South Carolina Poet Laureate from 1984 to 1985.

Ennis Rees
Ennis Rees.jpg
BornEnnis Samuel Rees, Jr.
(1925-03-17)March 17, 1925
Newport News, Virginia
DiedMarch 24, 2009(2009-03-24) (aged 84)
Columbia, South Carolina
OccupationPoet, professor
Alma materA.B., College of William & Mary,
M.A., Ph.D. Harvard University
Notable awardsSouth Carolina Poet Laureate
SpouseMarion (Lott) Rees



Early life and educationEdit

Rees was born in Newport News, Virginia, on March 17, 1925.[1] His parents were Ennis Samuel, Sr., and Dorothy Drumwright Rees.[2] In high school, he participated in track and lettered in football, focusing more on athletics than academics. He was also student body vice president and his senior class vice president as well.[3]

He graduated from the College of William & Mary with an A.B. degree in 1946[1] where he was Phi Beta Kappa.[3] He then went on to obtain both his M.A., in 1948, and Ph.D., in 1951, from Harvard University.[1]


After graduating from Harvard with his M.A. degree, Rees became an English instructor at Duke University in 1949 while still pursuing his Ph.D. from Harvard. He remained at Duke until 1952 when he became an instructor at Princeton University from 1952 to 1954. He then began a long career at the University of South Carolina in 1954, eventually becoming a full professor in 1963. He remained a professor at the university until his retirement in 1988.[1]

Poet laureateshipEdit

Rees was named to be South Carolina's third poet laureate by Governor Dick Riley in 1984. Originally a life-time appointment, Riley changed the position some during his governorship and appointed Freeman to only a one-year term of office.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Rees was married to the former Marion Lott. They had three children.[5]

Awards and honorsEdit


In addition to his published books, some of Ennis' work has appeared in Journal of English, The Southern Review, The New Republic, and Germanic Philology.[1]


  • The Tragedies of George Chapman: Renaissance Ethics in Action, Harvard University Press, 1954; Octagon Books, 1979, ISBN 9780374967673


Children's verseEdit

  • The Song of Paul Bunyan and Tony Beaver (1964)
  • Riddles, Riddles Everywhere (Abelard-Schuman, 1964)
  • Pun Fun (Abelard-Schuman, 1965)
  • Fables from Aesop (Oxford University Press, 1966)
  • Windwagon Smith (1966)
  • Tiny Tall Tales (1967)
  • Teeny Tiny Duck and the Pretty Money (Prentice-Hall, 1967)
  • Brer Rabbit and His Tricks (Young Scott Books, 1967)
  • The Little Greek Alphabet Book (Prentice-Hall, 1968)
  • More of Brer Rabbit's Tricks (1968)
  • Gillygaloos and Gollywhoppers (1969)
  • Potato Talk (1969)
  • Fast Freddie Frog and other tongue-twister rhymes (Caroline House distributed by St. Martin's Press, 1993)



  1. ^ a b c d e "Ennis Rees". University of South Carolina. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  2. ^ 1940 U. S. Census; Census Place: Newport News, Newport News City, Virginia; Roll: T627_4310; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 113-6
  3. ^ a b "Ennis Rees About Faces From Football To "PBK"" (PDF). The Flat Hat. March 6, 1946. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
  4. ^ "South Carolina's New Poet Laureate is Ennis Rees". The Spartanburg Herald-Journal. AP. July 26, 1984. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Holleman, Joey. "Ennis Rees: USC professor, state poet dies". The State. Archived from the original on May 31, 2009. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  6. ^ Johnson, Tom (March 3, 1999). "Academy of Authors honoree has Sumter ties". The Item. Retrieved December 27, 2012.