Kirk Judd alerted us that West Virginia has lost another of its best poets. Paul Curry Steele, originally of Charleston, died Monday, December 22, at the Edgewood Manner in Lucasville, Ohio. Mr. Steele was 81.
From his obituary in the Logan Banner: "Paul was the son of the late George C. and Tava Curry Steele. Also preceding him in death was a sister, Sybil Washington; a brother, George C. Steele Jr., and a nephew, Robson Sage. He graduated from the University of Virginia and obtained an advanced degree from the University of Iowa. Steele taught at George Washington University, was a published poet, and later worked at a library in Charleston."
Mr. Steele was the author of Anse on Island Creek and Other Poems, published by Mountain State Press. This was a seminal work which explored through poetry the life, character and eventual death of the notorious Hatfield family patriarch William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield.
His work also appeared in Wild Sweet Notes: 50 Years of West Virginia Poetry 1950 - 1999. According to Kirk Judd, co-editor of that anthology, Steele was recognized as a great West Virginia bohemian poet.
Graveside services will be held Monday December 28, at 11 a.m. at Forest Lawn Cemetery at Pecks Mill. Condolences may be left at www.honakerfuneralhome.org.