Rediscover: Donald Hall

Poet Donald Hall died on June 23 at Eagle Pond Farm in Wilmot, N.H. He was 89. Hall was appointed U.S. poet laureate in 2006 and awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 2010. He wrote almost to the end of a career that spanned more than 60 years, beginning with the publication at age 26 of Exiles and Marriages and continuing through Essays After Eighty (2014). His most recent poetry collection, The Selected Poems of Donald Hall, was released in 2015.

In 1972, Hall married Jane Kenyon, his former student at the University of Michigan. They eventually moved to the New Hampshire farm his family had owned for a century, which revolutionized his poetry, beginning with Kicking the Leaves, in 1978. Hall turned his poem "The Ox-Cart Man" into a bestselling children's book, and his book-length poem, The One Day, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. After Kenyon died of leukemia in 1995 at age 47, the rest of Hall's life was marked by grief, and he produced works like Without (1999), The Painted Bed (2003) and the memoir The Best Day the Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon (2006). Hall's final book, A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety, will be published on July 10 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9781328826343).

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