Powers, J. F. (James Farl), (1917-) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
James Farl Powers was a writer and novelist. One of his earliest stories, The Valiant Woman, received the O. Henry Award in 1947 while his first novel won 1963's National Book Award. Wheat that Springeth Green, Powers' fifth and final published work, was nominated for the National Book Award as well.
Powers' religious upbringing and education provided him with subject matter that was the basis for several of his works: the interaction of clergy and the secular world. Born in central Illinois to Roman Catholic parents, Powers' early instruction came from Franciscan friars. Powers had no ambitions to serve in the church, similarly he opted not to serve in the military during World War II. As a conscientious objector, Powers spent more than a year in prison, but the experience served as the inspiration for Prince of Darkness and Other Stories (Contemporary Authors).