Come all good people, far and near,
Oh, come and see what you can hear...
---Julia A. Moore, William Upson
Julia A. Moore (nee Davis) was born on December 1, 1847 in Plainfield Township, MI. In 1876, she published her first work, The Sentimental Song Book. She was known to many as the "Sweet Singer of Michigan". Many, however, characterized her poetry as overly sentimental and maudlin. Many of her poems focused on death, such as the Ashtabula Disaster.
She is considered to be one of the worst poets America has ever produced. "Shakespeare, could he read it," one critic said, "would be glad that he was dead." Said another, "We know nothing like it in ancient or modern literature and on the whole we are not sorry." Even Mark Twain found her poetry unintentionally humorous, and modeled the character Emmeline Grangerford in Huckleberry Finn after her. Undaunted by her critics, she continued to write poetry for over forty years.
Moore died on June 5, 1920. In 1997, John Engler, Governor of Michigan, declared December 1-7 as Julia A. Moore Week in her memory.