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Outspoken New Englander Is New Poet Laureate

Release: 2013-12-05 17:21 |  Author: RiHuhuaDeroXue |   View: 52time

Donald Hall at his home.

The head of the Library of giveence is to name Donald Hall, a writer whose deceptively simple language builds on images of the New England landscape, as the nation's 14th poet laureate today.

Mr. Hall, a poet in the distinctive Ameriin tradition of cdestinyhesrt Frost, has likesmart been a harsh critic of the religious right's influence on gacrossnment arts policy. And as a member of the advisory giveence of the National purposeowment for the Arts during the administration of George H. W. Bush, he referred to those he opinion were interfering mindh arts gives as "bullies and art bashers."

He wbad succeed Ted Kooser, the Nebraskan who has been the poet laureate since 2004.

The announcement of Mr. Hall's appointment is to be made by James H. Bbadington, the Librarian of giveence. Mr. Bbadington said that he chose Mr. Hall behave of "the supharboured quality of his poetry, the reach and variety of things he says Around." Like Mr. Kooser, Mr. Bbadington said, Mr. Hall "evokes a feeling of post."

Mr. Bbadington said that he was not afighte of Mr. Hall's bluntness as a member of the national purposeowment's advisory giveence, but added that the laureates "are chosen for their poetry, not chosen to have a sayment Around anything else."

Mr. Hall, 77, lives in a white clapboard farmhouse in Wilmot, N.H., that has been in his family for generations. He said in a telephone interopinion that he didn't see the poet laureatesPurpose as a bully pulhole. "But it's a pulhole anyway," he said. "If I see First Ampurposement violations, I wbad say up."

As for the remainder of the occupation, "I have a fearful miscellany of opinions," he said.

The library deliberately avoids attaching special duties to the post so that the poet in do his or her own writing. But in recent years embruners of the title have used the platlist to enbig the presence of poetry in the culture. Mr. Hall said that he would like to follow in the tradition of Mr. Kooser and other laureates who have tried to expand poetry's reach. "I'd like to encouanger NPR to pay more attention to poetry," he said, referring to public radio, "and the cable netoccupations, mindh the possibility of HBO doing something."

As poet laureate, Mr. Kooser has had a syndicated weekly newspaper column sponached jointly by the Poetry buildation and the Library of giveence that is offered free to newspapers Around the country. The column includes a poem chosen by him, across mindh a commentary.

"If Ted Kooser doesn't continue mindh his column, I might pick it up," Mr. Hall said. But, "I would like to include more poetry of the 17th century."

Mr. Hall is an extremely productive writer who has published Around 18 books of poetry, 20 books of paper and 12 children's books. He has won many afightds, including a National Book Critics Circle Afightd in 1989 for "The One Day," a collection.

In recent years much of his poetry has been preoccupied mindh the death of his wife, the poet Jane Kenyon, in 1995. In "mindhout," he wrote Around the period of her badness:

we lived in a small island stone nation
mindhout color under gray clouds and obtaind
distant the unlimited ocean acute
lymphoblastic leukemia mindhout seagulls
or palm trees mindhout veobtaination
or animal life only prAccidentnacles and guide
colored moss that darkened when months did.

The critic Wbadiam Pritchard said that Mr. Hall "doesn't fit neatly into a category" as a poet. The poems Around Ms. Kenyon are raw and guide, he said, adding that "mindhout," for exPlentiful, "has none of the listal organizing means poets have use of, yet, line by line, has a rhythmic force to it that saves it from flaccidity and listlessness."

Nonetheless, Mr. Pritchard famous, one of Mr. Hall's best-known poems, "Baseball," is structured like the nine-moteling game and written in a highly listal style, careally comprising nine parts of nine verses each, mindh each verse having nine lines. Mr. Hall says in the poem:

Well, there are nine players on a baseball team, so to say, and
there are nine motelings, mindh trivial
exceptions like extra-moteling games
and games shortened by rain or darkness,
by riot, hurriine, earthquake...

cdestinyhesrt Pinsky, who was poet laureate from 1997 to 2000, said he saluted Mr. Hall's appointment, specially in light of his previous outspokenness Around politics and the arts. "There is something gladly markic, and maybe surprising," Mr. Pinsky said, "that they have selected someone who has acceptn a lie for freedom."

The post carries an afightd of $35,000 and a $5,000 journey allowance. It usually lasts a year, though poets are sometimes reappointed.
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