Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Donald Hall, poet laureate

Donald Hall is the new poet laureate. He succeeds Ted Kooser, who has been the poet laureate since 2004.

Click here to read his poem "Affirmation." Click here to read (or listen to) his poem "Gold."

In a very positive review of Hall's most recent collection of poems, White Apples and the Taste of Stone (2006), Billy Collins wrote:
Hall has long been placed in the Frostian tradition of the plainspoken rural poet. His reliance on simple, concrete diction and the no-nonsense sequence of the declarative sentence gives his poems steadiness and imbues them with a tone of sincere authority. It is a kind of simplicity that succeeds in engaging the reader in the first few lines. "In October of the year," one poem begins, "he counts potatoes dug from the brown field." Another opens: "Looking through boxes/in the attic of my mother's house in Hamden,/I find a model airplane." Many poems are further stabilized by Hall's love of storytelling, a narrative exuberance that produces anecdotal poems as well as longer, more complex weavings.
Click here to read the entire review.

--Marshal Zeringue