Side A: “The Poet’s Shack” was built as a writing studio for the prolific poet Percy MacKaye, who held the position of writer-in-residence at Miami University from 1920-1924. MacKaye requested a writing studio in the woods, a simple shack with a fire where faculty and students could gather to talk with the poet or hear his newest works. MacKaye’s studio was built on Miami’s lower campus — now known as Bishop Woods after first president Robert Hamilton Bishop — where Upham Hall stands today. Students called the structure “The Poet’s Shack.”
Side B: Percy MacKaye (1875-1956) was a poet and dramatist elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1914. From 1920-1924, MacKaye held the position of writer-in-residence at Miami University, the first position of its kind at any American university. Robert Frost praised MacKaye for advocating “to get his fellow poets all fellowships at the universities.” During his time in “The Poet’s Shack”, MacKaye produced the well-known poems “The Trees of Miami” and “An Ode to the Universities” as well as This Fine Pretty World: A Comedy of the Kentucky Mountains (1924), a play performed on New York’s Broadway throughout the 1920s.