Donald Hall, 11th Annual ODU Literary Festival


Donald Hall

Document Type

Featured Participant

Festival Date



University Theatre

Author/Artist Bio

Donald Hall is not only one of our most prolific writers (six new books in 1987 alone, two more so far in 1988), but is perhaps the leading American "person of letters." He is the author of ten books of poetry, beginning with Exiles and Marriages (winner of the Lamont Prize in 1955) and including Kicking the Leaves (1978) and most recently The Happy Man, which won the Lenore Marshall/The Nation Award as best book of poems for 1986; The Bone Ring, a play in verse (1987); and The One Day, a poem in three parts (1988). His sixteen books of prose cover a wide range of subjects: String Too Short To Be Saved is about growing up on—and saying what he thought then was a final farewell to—his grandparents' subsistence farm in New Hampshire (1961); Seasons at Eagle Pond is about living now on that same farm (1987); Remembering Poets contains his reminiscences about T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Dylan Thomas and Robert Frost (1978); Goatfoot Milktongue Twinbird (1978), The Weather for Poetry (1982) and Poetry and Ambition (1988) are about poetry and poetics; two other books are about sports: Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball (1976) and Fathers Playing Catch With Sons (1985). At least three of his plays have been produced. Hall is also a busy editor, with seventeen additional titles to his credit. And finally, he is the author of four children's books, including The Ox Cart Man, which won the Caldecott Award in 1980. In 1975, at the age of forty-seven, he resigned his Professorship of English at the University of Michigan and returned to Eagle Pond Farm to write full time; since then he has published sixteen books and edited six others (not counting new editions of older books). He seems able to grow with each new book.


Donald Hall read with W. D. Snodgrass in the Festival Kickoff/Fund Raiser at 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 22, in the University Theatre.


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