The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Who is the poet Cave Outlaw?

The poet, though seeing every seam,
Loves the world as no other being —
Feeling beauty rather than seeing.


I came across an old poetry book in a secondhand shop by an author named Cave Outlaw and really liked his poems. So I bought two other of his books. When looking up information about him online, I couldn’t find even a speck of anything. I nearly gave up but after digging really deep, visiting a couple of libraries, and following dozens of little clue-trails I was finally able to find several flecks of biographical gold and piece together this fact sheet. —tg

Cave Outlaw (1900–1996)Full name:  Cave Augustus Outlaw, although all his books are published as Cave Outlaw; there are other references to him as Cave A. Outlaw

Pseudonym or real name:  real name

Grandfather:  Cave J. Outlaw (1852–1884), Tennessee

Father:  William Watford Outlaw (1872–1947), Kentucky farmer, born Tennessee

Mother:  Hattie Lee Norfleet Outlaw (1872–1948), born Tennessee, died California, buried Kentucky

Sister:  Edyth E. Outlaw Hancock (1898–1975), born Tennessee, died Kentucky

Marital status:  married in 1930s–40s to Ingrid M. Josephson, stenographer, born California, c. 1912; possibly had one wife before that and possibly another wife after Ingrid, but still researching

Children:  none that I can determine

Born:  1900 November 1st, near Dover, Tennessee

Raised:  LaFayette, Kentucky, on family farm

Education:  Southwestern University at Clarksville, Tennessee, class of 1922, and Bowling Green Business College, Kentucky

Later residences:  moved to California in mid-1920s, lived in San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Mill Valley, San Bernardino, Apple Valley, and Hemet, also Tucson, Arizona

Vocations and avocations:  corporate executive (1920s–30s) in California, budget analyst for Pacific Division of Office of War Information (WW II), accountant, poet, rancher (1940s+), real estate broker (1940s–1965), breeding and showing Arabian horses (1960s+), treasurer of Tucson branch Club Circuit Poetry Society of the Arizona State Poetry Society (1976+)

Books published:
      •  Each Day, 1942, privately printed, San Francisco
      •  Fugitive Hour, 1950, Exposition Press, New York
      •  Autumn Walk, 1974, Exposition Press, New York
      •  Light Is My Tread, 1979, Owl Press, California
      •  Wind in the Bell Tower, 1980, Under The Sun Press, Tucson

Died:  1996 November 14th, Hemet, California


“Often, it has seemed, I have lost myself in the stream of living, to find it again with glad welcome on some lonely bank near a patch of desolation.”
—Cave Outlaw (1900–1996)

And do not forget the spaces. When earth’s
Heaviness pulls hard, turn to the spaces.
Their breezes will brace us—and we shall know.
—Cave Outlaw, Fugitive Hour, 1950

Cave Outlaw (1900–1996)

Sources & resources:  Each Day, Fugitive Hour, Autumn Walk, The Kentucky New Era, HeritageQuest, Find a Grave, Phoenix Public Library, Google Books, U.S. Census 1910, U.S. Census 1940,, Southwestern Today, Tucson Daily Citizen, WorldCat, University of Southern California Libraries, U.S. Federal Trade Commission

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published 2022 Oct 12
revised 2023 Oct 27
last saved 2023 Oct 31