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Robert Penn Warren


Robert Penn Warren
Robert Penn Warren

Robert Penn Warren was born April 24, 1905, in Guthrie, a railway junction and market town in southern Kentucky. Known locally as the Black Patch because of the dark, fired-cured tobacco grown there, the land in that section varies from gently rolling fields to scarps and rocky hillsides forested with cedar and sycamore.

In the fall of 1920 he entered the high school across the border in Clarksville, Tennessee, graduating at the age of fifteen.

A good deal of Warren's early education in literature was forwarded by desultory reading at home. The house was full of books, and his father would read aloud to the family, usually history and poetry.

1948 photo from the WKU Libraries Robert Peen Warren Photos, Bohner, Charles. (1964). Robert Penn Warren. Boston, MA Twayne Publishers.


  • Portrait of Robert Penn Warren, painted by Ernest Varner (Paid for and donated by Tomas Hudson)
  • 1920-21 Senior Class Picture including Robert Penn Warren (Restored and paid for by First Federal Savings and Loan Bank)
  • Robert Penn Warren Report Card (Restored and paid for by Patricia Winn)
  • Autographed copy of the 1920-21 Purple and Gold by Warren (restored and paid for by Patricia Winn)
  • Purple and Gold Collection

(This is a substantial collection of journals microfilmed by the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Copies are available through them.)

Members of the Robert Penn Warren Board

  • Patricia Winn, Executive Director
  • Frank Hodgson, Secretary/Treasurer

Board Members

  • Tommye Lou Frye
  • Dee Boaz
  • Dottie Mann
  • Dr. Howard Winn
  • Susan Menees

Honorary Members

  • Gina Nigro, Digital Services Librarian and Archivist

Contact Information

Patricia Winn
Phone: 931-645-2317

Gina Nigro
Phone: 931-221-7028
Email: nigrog