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James Whitcomb Riley (18491916)

Roald Amundsen

American poet, born in Greenfield, Indiana, known as the Hoosier poet. He was at various times a traveling actor, a sign painter, and a newspaperman. Under the name "Benj. F. Johnson of Boone" he began to write verse in the Hoosier dialect for the Indianapolis Journal in 1875, selections first collected in "The Old Swimmin'-Hole" and 'Leven More Poems (1883). Riley's verse was popular because of its humor, pathos, simplicity, and sentimentality.

Especially well-known are his children's poems such as "Little Orphant Annie" and "The Runaway Boy." Among the collections of his verse are Rhymes of Childhood (1890) and Knee Deep in June (1912).

Riley's homes in Greenfield, Indiana and in Indianapolis, Indiana are now museums that draw many visitors every year. Mr. Robert Tinsley collected both Riley books and non-book items for many years. Mr. Tinsley's admiration for Riley started when he was a student of Riley Elementary School in Indianapolis, Indiana. His collection is now on display at the Greenfield museum.

Greenfield celebrates Riley's birthday with a week-end long James Whitcomb Riley Festival in October of each year.
Find all available listings by: James Whitcomb Riley
The following list is some of Riley's poems:
  • The Old Swimmin-Hole and 'Levin More Poems (1883)
  • The Bossgirl, A Christmas Story , and Other Sketches (1886
  • Afterwhiles (1888)
  • Old-Fashioned Rose (1888)
  • Nye and Riley's Railway Guide (1888) By Edgar W. Nye and James Whitcomb Riley
  • Pipes O'Pan at Zekesbury (1889)
  • Rhymes of Childhood (1891
  • Neighborly Poems (1891)
  • The Flying Islands of Night (1892)
  • Green Fields and Running Brooks (1893)
  • Poems Here At Home (1893)
  • Armazindy (1894)
  • The Days Gone By (1895)
  • A Tinkle of Bells (1895)
  • A Child-World (1897)
  • Rubaiyatt of Doc Sifers (1897)
  • The Golden Year (1898)
  • Riley Love-Lyrics (1899)
  • Home-Folks (1900)
  • The Book of Joyous Children (1902)
  • An Old Sweeheart of Mine (1902)
  • His Pa's Romance (1903)
  • Out To Old Aunt Mary's (1904)
  • While The Heart Beats Young (1906)
  • Morning (1907)
  • The Raggedy Man (1907)
  • The Boys of the Old Glee Club (1907)
  • The Orphant Annie Book (1908)
  • The Riley Songs of Summer (1908)
  • The Lockerbie Book (1911)
  • The Riley Baby Book (1913)
  • Riley Songs of Friendship (1915)
  • The Old Soldier's Story (1915)
  • The Hoosier Book (1916)
  • Love Letters of a Bachelor Poet (1922)

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