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The end of my first marriage and psychoanalysis


Writing a play based on the life of Robert Frost
Donald Hall Poet
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And on the way back in the boat that year, I did one other thing. I was working that year but it was not a good year in general for poetry. On the way back in the boat, I wrote a play which was commissioned by a professional theatre programme at the University of Michigan.  Somebody there just suggested that I try to make a play out of Robert Frost's life. Well, I had been to see Joan Littlewood's Oh! What a Lovely War, and some other cases of documentary theatre, where everything that you have a character say or do comes from some printed source, and you're... you're building a play out of published materials... so that with the... the play about Frost, I had lots and lots of table talk, lots of letters, and the poems of Frost.  And I made a little biography of Frost that played in... originally in Ann Arbor, but then went to New York where it played for four months off Broadway, and then there was a subway strike for a week and it stopped it, you know, zero attendance, and so on. Later it went on the road, with a different cast playing at colleges, but that was my nearest thing to a theatrical success.

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: University of Michigan, Oh! What a Lovely War, Ann Arbor, New York, Robert Frost, Joan Littlewood

Duration: 1 minute, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008