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Monday, March 16, 2015


JOSEPH SEAMON COTTER, SR, was a poet and writer who was one of the first Black playwrights to be published in this country.

Born in Bardstown, Kentucky, on February 2, 1861, at the start of the American civil war, Cotter Sr. was also an educator and community leader, who was a worker for racial progress.

Cotter Sr. began his teaching career in 1889, and went on to become a teacher and an administrator with the Louisville, Kentucky public school system for more than fifty years.

In 1891 Cotter married his fellow educator Maria F. Cox, with whom he had three children, including the important poet, and playwright in his own right, JOSEPH SEAMON COTTER,
JR, who was born on September 2, 1895 in Louisville. Cotter Jr. died of tuberculosis in 1919. Cotter Sr. went on  to promote Cotter Jr's writings many years after this untimely death.

Although Cotter Sr.  was a prominent educator and Black civic leader, he is remembered primarily for his poetry. Cotter  Sr. published his first volume of poetry in 1895 and went on to publish nine books of poetry, plays and fiction on wide-ranging historical, philosophical and social themes. 

During his lifetime Cotter Sr. became known as "Kentucky's first Black poet with real creative ability."

He died in 1949.

To read the bios and sample the poetry and other writings of this father-son duo Google-search their names.

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