Cale Young Rice

Cale Young Rice (December 7, 1872 – January 24, 1943) was an American poet and dramatist.

Life and career

He was born in Dixon, Kentucky, to Laban Marchbanks Rice, a Confederate veteran and tobacco merchant, and his wife Martha Lacy. He was a younger brother of Laban Lacy Rice, a noted educator. Cale Rice grew up in Evansville, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky. He was educated at Cumberland University where he was a member of the Theta chapter of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and at Harvard (A.B., 1895; A.M., 1896).

He was married to the popular author Alice Hegan Rice; they worked together on several books. The marriage was childless, and Cale committed suicide by gunshot during the night of January 23–24[1] at his home in Louisville a year after her death due to his sorrow at losing her.[2]

Cale Rice's poems were collected and published in a single volume by his brother, Laban Lacy Rice.

His birthplace in Dixon is designated by Kentucky State Historical Marker 1508, which reads:

"Birthplace of Rice brothers, Cale Young, 1872–1943, noted poet and author; Laban Lacy, 1870–1973, well-known educator and author. Lacy published The Best Poetic Works of Cale Young Rice after Cale's death. Included in famous collection is poem, "The Mystic." Cale married Alice Hegan, also a distinguished Kentucky writer. Home overlooks Memorial Garden." [3]

Rice adapted his play Yolanda of Cyprus into an opera libretto for Clarence Loomis; the resulting work was premiered on September 25, 1929 in London, Ontario, under the baton of Isaac Van Grove, and featured Charles Kullman. The production was directed by Vladimir Rosing.[4] The opera later received the Bispham Memorial Medal Award.[5]



  • From Dusk to Dusk (1898)
  • With Omar (1900)
  • Song Surf (1900)
  • Nirvana Days (1908)
  • Many Gods (1910)
  • At the World's Heart (1914)


  • Charles di Tocca (1903)
  • Yolanda of Cyprus (1906)
  • A Night in Avignon (1907)
  • The Immortal Lure (1911)
  • Porzia (1913)


  • Collected Plays and Poems (two volumes, 1915)

Other works

  • Youth's Way. New York, The Century Co., 1923.
  • A New Approach to Philosophy. Lebanon, Tenn: The Cumberland University Press, 1943.


  1. John E. Kleber - The Kentucky Encyclopedia
  2. Lowell Hayes Harrison, A New History of Kentucky (1997), p. 324.
  3. "Search For Markers". Archived from the original on 21 June 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  4. Margaret Ross Griffel; Adrienne Fried Block (1999). Operas in English: A Dictionary. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-25310-2.
  5. Ken Wlaschin (2006). Encyclopedia of American Opera. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-2109-1.

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