2016 National Book Award Longlist, Poetry
The Selected Poems of Donald Hall
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
National Book Foundation: Who did you write this book for?
Donald Hall: As I head toward the age of 90, I wanted to make a selected poems brief enough so that it included my best poems and was not too heavy to carry. (Most late-life selections or collections are too heavy to lift!) Looking through my old books I tried to winnow my choices to the very best, only in my own opinion but remembering the opinions of others. I thought it might be sensible to leave such a collection behind me.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The ability to write poems has “abandoned” Donald Hall, now in his eighties, one of the most significant — and beloved — poets of his generation. Instead of creating new poems, he has looked back over his astonishingly rich body of work and hand-picked poems for this final, concise volume that will delight, and endure.
The Selected Poems of Donald Hall is the definitive collection, showcasing poems rich with humor and eros and “a kind of simplicity that succeeds in engaging the reader in the first few lines” (Billy Collins).
“However wrenching [Hall’s poems] may be from line to line, they tell a story that is essentially reassuring: art and love are compatible, genius is companionable, and people stand by one another in the end” (New York Times Book Review).
About the Author
Donald Hall was twice a National Book Award Finalist in Poetry: in 1956 for Exiles and Marriages and in 1993 for The Museum of Clear Ideas. He was also a National Book Award Finalist in Nonfiction in 1979 for Remembering Poets. Hall served as poet laureate of the United States from 2006 to 2007, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and recipient of the National Medal of Arts, awarded by President Obama.