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Donald Hall

Editor / Poet

Born: 20 September 1928
Birthplace: Hamden, Connecticut
Best known as: The New England poet who wrote Ox-Cart Man
Donald Hall was the United States Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2007, capping five decades as one of America's most respected poets and editors. A native of Connecticut, Hall earned degrees from Harvard College (1951) and Oxford University (1953) before embarking on a career in poetry and academia. Between 1953 and 1961 he was the poetry editor for Paris Review, and his first collection of poems, 1955's Exiles and Marriages, established his position among highly praised contemporaries such as John Ashbery, Adrienne Rich and Robert Bly. Between 1957 and 1975 Hall taught at the University of Michigan, where he met his wife, poet Jane Kenyon (1947-1995). One of poetry's more famous couples, they moved in 1975 to Eagle Pond Farm in rural New Hampshire, the homestead of Hall's grandparents. Hall is known for poems of plain language, informed by rural themes of New England, and he won a Caldecott Medal for writing the children's book Ox-Cart Man (1979, illustrated by Barbara Cooney). His other books include the collections The One Day (1988), Without (1998) and White Apples and the Taste of Stone (2006), and the memoir Unpacking the Boxes: A Memoir of a Life in Poetry (2008).

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