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Famous Like Me > Actor > H > Donald Hall

Profile of Donald Hall on Famous Like Me

Name: Donald Hall  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 14th August 1867
Place of Birth: Morree, North West Province, East India
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
For the billionaire see Donald J. Hall

Donald Hall (born September 20, 1928) is an American poet.


Hall was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1928, an only child of Donald Andrew Hall (a businessman) and his wife Lucy (née Wells). He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, then earned a B.A. from Harvard University in 1951 and a B. Litt. from Oxford University in 1953.

Hall began writing even before reaching his teens, beginning with poems and short stories, and then moving on to novels and dramatic verse. Hall continued to write throughout his prep school years at Exeter Phillips, and, while still only sixteen years old, attended the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, where he made his first acquaintance with the poet Robert Frost. That same year, he published his first work. While an undergraduate at Harvard, Hall served on the editorial board of The Harvard Advocate, and got to know a number of people who, like him, were poised for significant things in the literary world, amongst them John Ashbery, Robert Bly, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, and Adrienne Rich.

After leaving Harvard, Hall went to Oxford for two years, to study for the B.Litt. He was editor of the Oxford Poetry Society's journal, as literary editor of Isis, as editor of New Poems, and as poetry editor of The Paris Review. At the end of his first Oxford year, Hall also won the university's prestigious Newdigate Prize, awarded for his long poem, 'Exile'.

On returning to the United States, Hall went to Stanford, where he spent one year as a Creative Writing Fellow, studying under the poet-critic, Yvor Winters. Following his year at Stanford, Hall went back to Harvard, where he spent three years in the Society of Fellows. During that time, he put together his first book, Exiles and Marriages, and with Robert Pack and Louis Simpson edited an anthology which was to make a significant impression on both sides of the Atlantic, The New Poets of England and America. While teaching at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan he met poet Jane Kenyon, whom he married in 1972. Three years after they were wed, they moved to Eagle Pond Farm, his grandparents' former home in rural New Hampshire.

In 1989, when Hall was sixty-one, it was discovered that he had colon cancer. Surgery followed, but by 1992 the cancer had metastasized to his liver. After another operation, and chemotherapy, he went into remission, though he was told that he only had a one-in-three chance of surviving the next five years. Then, early in 1994, it was discovered that Kenyon had leukaemia. Her illness, her death fifteen months later, and Hall's struggle to come to terms with these things, were the subject of his most recent book, Without.


To date, Hall has published fifteen books of poetry, most recently The Painted Bed (2002) and Without: Poems (1998), which was published on the third anniversary of Jane Kenyon's death. Most of the poems in Without deal with Kenyon's illness and death, and many are epistolary poems. In addition to poetry, he has also written several collections of essays (among them Life Work and String Too Short to be Saved), a children's book (Ox-Cart Man, which won the Caldecott Medal), and a number of plays. His recurring themes include New England rural living, baseball, and how work conveys meaning to ordinary life. He is regarded as a master both of poetic forms and free verse, and a champion of the art of revision, for whom writing is first and foremost a craft, not merely a mode of self-expression. Hall has won many awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships and a Robert Frost Medal, and has served as poet laureate of his state. He continues to live and work at Eagle Pond Farm.

When not working on poems, he has turned his hand to reviews, criticism, textbooks, sports journalism, memoirs, biographies, children's stories, and plays. He has also devoted a lot of time to editing: between 1983 and 1996 he oversaw publication of more than sixty titles for the University of Michigan Press alone. He was for five years Poet Laureate of his home state, New Hampshire (1984-89), and can list among the many other honours and awards to have come his way: the Lamont Poetry Prize (1955), the Edna St Vincent Millay Award (1956), two Guggenheim Fellowships (1963-64, 1972-73), inclusion on the Horn Book Honour List (1986), the Sarah Josepha Hale Award (1983), the Lenore Marshall Award (1987), the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (1988), the NBCC Award (1989), the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in poetry (1989), and the Frost Medal (1990). He has been nominated for the National Book Award on three separate occasions (1956, 1979 and 1993).



  • A Blue Wing Tilts at the Edge of the Sea: Selected Poems, 1964-1974 (1975)
  • A Roof of Tiger Lilies (1964)
  • Exiles and Marriages (1955)
  • Here at Eagle Pond (1992)
  • Kicking the Leaves: Poems (1978)
  • Old and New Poems (1990)
  • The Alligator Bride: Poems, New and Selected (1969)
  • The Dark Houses (1958)
  • The Happy Man (1986)
  • The Museum of Clear Ideas (1996)
  • The Old Life (1996)
  • The One Day (1988)
  • The Painted Bed (2002)
  • The Town of Hill (1975)
  • The Toy Bone (1979)
  • The Yellow Room: Love Poems (1971)
  • To the Loud Wind and Other Poems (1955)
  • Without (1998)


  • As the Eye Moves: A Sculpture by Henry Moore (1970)
  • Death to the Death of Poetry: Essays, Reviews, Notes, Interviews (1994)
  • Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball (1976)
  • Goatfoot Milktongue Twinbird: Interviews, Essays, and Notes on Poetry, 1970-76 (1978)
  • Henry Moore: The Life and Work of a Great Sculptor (1966)
  • Life Work (1993)
  • Marianne Moore: The Cage and the Animal (1970)
  • Old Home Day (1994)
  • Poetry and Ambition (1988)
  • Principal Products of Portugal: Prose Pieces (1995)
  • Remembering Poets: Reminiscences and Opinions--Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound (1978)
  • Seasons at Eagle Pond (1987)
String Too Short to Be Saved: Recollections of Summers on a New England Farm (1961)
  • The Farm Summer, 1942 (1994)
  • The Pleasures of Poetry (1971)
  • The Weather for Poetry: Essays, Reviews, and Notes on Poetry, 1977-81 (1982)
  • To Read Literature (1980)
  • Writing Well (1974)


  • An Evening's Frost (1965)
  • Bread and Roses (1975)
  • Ragged Mountain Elegies (1983)


  • Fathers Playing Catch with Sons: Essays on Sport (Mostly Baseball) (1985)
  • To Keep Moving: Essays, 1959-1969 (1980)
  • Winter (1986)

For Children

  • Andrew and the Lion Farmer (1959)
  • I Am the Dog, I Am the Cat (1994)
  • Lucy's Christmas (1994)
  • Lucy's Summer (1995)
  • Old Home Day (1996)
  • Ox-Cart Man (1979)
  • Riddle Rat (1977)
  • Summer of 1944 (1994)
  • The Man Who Lived Alone (1984)
  • The Milkman's Boy (1997)
  • When Willard Met Babe Ruth (1996)


  • The Ideal Bakery (1987)

External Links

  • Donald Hall's page at
  • Judith Moore interviews Donald Hall
  • Flying Revision's Flag: Martin Lammon interviews Donald Hall
  • Review Of Hall's Career
  • Review of Hall’s The Man In The Dead Machine

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Donald Hall