a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Going to England for a year


Changes in style, new collections and poetry readings
Donald Hall Poet
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

The poems changed. I also had taken a lot of the criticism of Exiles and Marriages to heart and was writing some poems which were sort of the antitheses of them. I wrote a second book rather quickly... it came out three years after the first. My first book came out in 1955, my second in 1958. It was called The Dark Houses. It was a book of my father's death in considerable part, and it was also a book that began to reach toward the... the irrational, the almost surreal, the fantastic, but much more of that came in my third book which I believe was 1963, A Roof of Tiger Lilies.  Again there was some mixture there. But all the time I was working on the poems, everything was concentrated on the writing. When I was in the classroom, I was totally there - I made my office hours  - and I corrected it, but there was no question but that I was living to write. After the first two years of teaching, I thought, oh wow, two years of work in a row! I gotta get some time off. You know, I knew I was a little spoilt, but maybe somebody would keep on spoiling me. I applied for Guggenheim, and I didn't get it.  And oh, later the guy who ran the Guggenheim told me, 'Well we thought you'd been doing rather well'.  And I had made a little money writing, and one or two poetry readings - poetry readings were just beginning - and it was amazing when the phone rang one day, and somebody said he was an agent, and he wanted to recommend me for... represent me for poetry readings.  I didn't believe it.  And I thought it was a fad - it'll be gone in a year or two.  But there are more poetry readings every year, you know.  And so I would fly out of Detroit, and do a reading and come home, not missing classes, and get $500, so I'd saved up something like $2000, $2500, and I decided to take leave without pay from the university.  That's another attraction to the possible situation at a university - if you want to take time off, you are very replacable - you are a replacable unit.

The 14th US Poet Laureate Donald Hall (1928-2018) was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, then earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1951 and a BLitt, from Oxford in 1953. He published many essays and anthologies of both poetry and prose including String too Short to be Saved: Recollections of Summers on a New England Farm, White Apples and the Taste of Stone, Without: Poems, and Ox-Cart Man, a children's book which won the Caldecott Medal. Hall was editor of the magazine Oxford Poetry, literary editor of Isis, editor of New Poems, and poetry editor of The Paris Review. He won many awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships and a Robert Frost Medal. At the end of his first Oxford year, he also won the university's Newdigate Prize, awarded for his poem Exile.

Listeners: Kendel Currier

Kendel Currier started working for Donald Hall in August of 1994 as his correspondence typist. Later she took on his manuscript typing as well, and in October of 1998 moved 100 meters down the road from Donald and became his personal assistant, adding many various new tasks to her work. As well as working for Donald for the last 10 and-a-half years, Donald Hall and Kendel Currier share a set of great (or for Kendel great-great) grandparents, making them distant cousins and part of a similar New Hampshire heritage.

Tags: Exiles and Marriages, The Dark Houses, A Roof of Tiger Lilies, Guggenheim Fellowship, Detroit

Duration: 2 minutes, 49 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008