Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

Karle Wilson Baker 
Doctor of Letters  1924
Status: conferred

One of the first Texas writers to receive national acclaim, Karle Baker Wilson was a prolific poet. Her three volumes of poems, Blue Smoke, Burning Bush and Dreamers on Horseback, demonstrate her mastery of lyrical verse in the tradition of English and American nature poets. Using delicate phrasing, regular meters and rhyming verses, she incorporated themes of birds, trees, stars, peace, war and motherhood into her work. Her poems appeared in national magazines such as the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's and the Yale Review. She was not limited to the poetry genre alone. Baker published three novels chronicling the history and life of Texas, Family Style, Star of the Wilderness and It Blows from the Spanish Country, as well as a children's book, The Garden of the Plynck. She served on the English faculty of Stephen F. Austin Teacher's College and was a charter member and president of the Texas Institute of Letters. Her three decades of writings earned her the highest honor bestowed by the organization, Fellow of the Institute. In recognition of her well-crafted poetry, her dedication to preserving Texas history and her efforts to call national attention to Texas writers, SMU was honored to confer upon Karle Wilson Baker the degree of Doctor of Literature, honoris causa.

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