Donald Hall Reads from His Celebrated New Poetry Collection

April 27th, 2006 by Adam

Donald HallThe reviews are in and, no surprise to New Englanders, Donald Hall’s newest poetry collection, released April 3, is a hit. Fans of Hall’s work are invited to a reading from his new collection, White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems 1946 – 2006 at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 7 at Plymouth State University, under the auspices of the Eagle Pond Authors Series. The Eagle Pond Authors’ Series is named in honor of Donald Hall, who lives at Eagle Pond Farm in Wilmot, a family homestead which has inspired much of his writing.

The book’s publisher, Houghton Mifflin, describes White Apples and the Taste of Stone as “the definitive lifetime work of an American master.” The volume contains a bound-in audio CD of selections read by the author. White Apples and the Taste of Stone collects more than 200 poems from across 60 years of Hall’s celebrated career. Greatly anticipated, this is Hall’s first volume of selected works in 15 years, and also the first to include poems from his bestseller, Without.

One of the most significant poets of his generation, Hall is the author of 16 poetry collections, numerous books of essays, children’s books, short stories and a memoir. He has received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry, the Lenore Marshall Award, the 1990 Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

Publishers Weekly says, “Hall’s 60 years of much-honored work have made him an elder statesman among American poets and a much-honored exponent of the clear, plain style: this career retrospective finds room for all his strengths. … Hall shows consistent topics and moods: adult life among New Hampshire’s farms and mountains, childhood in the Connecticut suburbs, equanimity and nostalgia, satire and self-satire, middle age and old age, regret and reserve.”

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins wrote in the Washington Post, “The publication of 226 selected poems in White Apples and the Taste of Stone comes … as a welcome and needed reminder of the expansiveness and weight of this poet’s output. It is also an opportunity to enjoy the delightful variety of his work and the sheer charm of his voice. This hefty book … is a physical and literary manifestation of his importance … as a major figure in the canon of contemporary American poetry. … this collection also demonstrates Hall’s versatility in form and subject and his ability to advance happily in a number of poetic and tonal gears.”

Hall is a founding reader in the Eagle Pond Authors Series, and has had a long relationship with Plymouth State University, from which he received an honorary degree in 1980. The PSU Alumni Association honored him with their Robert Frost Contemporary American Award in 1997.

2005-2006 is the eighth season for the Eagle Pond Authors Series, which is supported by a generous grant from Barnes & Noble PSU Bookstore.

There is no charge for admission, but free tickets are required. Contact the Silver Center box office at 535-ARTS. Box office hours are noon – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and one hour before performances.