Peeling Poems with Hall, Simic and Huntington at Plymouth State College

September 28th, 2000 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — Donald Hall, Charles Simic and Cynthia Huntington will open the third
annual Eagle Pond Authors’ Series at Plymouth State College at 4 p.m. Sunday, October 15.
The program will be held in the Silver Cultural Arts Center on Main Street.

The three will reprise How to Peel a Poem, an event that was hosted by Harpers Magazine
last year. Inspired by a Chinese proverb, Recite poetry only with a poet, Harpers invited five
poets for dinner and discussion of their favorite poems by any author (see Harpers, Sept.
1999). Hall, Simic and Huntington participated in that reading and discussion, and plan a similar
format for this year’s Eagle Pond opening event.

Poems they will read and discuss are The Language by Robert Creeley, One Art by
Elizabeth Bishop and February Evening in New York by Denise Levertov. Copies of each will
be available at the reading, and the audience will also be invited to ask questions and

Donald Hall is the author of fifteen books of poetry, the latest of which, Without, received the
1999 PEN-Winship Award for the best book of 1998 by a New England writer. He resides at
Eagle Pond Farm in Wilmot, a family homestead which has inspired much of his writing. Each
year Hall has opened the Eagle Pond Series, which was named in his honor. In the past 40
years, Hall has read from his poems more than 4,000 times, in a variety of venues.

Hall has a long relationship with Plymouth State College, which awarded him an honorary
degree in 1980. The PSC Alumni Association honored him with their Robert Frost Contemporary
American Award in 1997.

Cynthia Huntington is professor of English and director of creative writing at Dartmouth. Hall
describes her work as a poetry of wit, surprise, observation and exemplary intelligence.

Her first book of poems, The Fish-Wife, won the Pacific Poetry Series Award. Her second
collection, We Have Gone to the Beach, was awarded the 1996 Beatrice Hawley Award. Last
year, the N.H. Writers’ Project presented her the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of
Poetry. Her poems appear in such journals as Triquarterly, Harvard Review, The Kenyon
Review, and Ploughshares.

Charles Simic is the author of 25 books, including his most recent collection of poetry,
Jackstraws. Simic’s many honors include the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for The World
Doesn’t End, two International PEN Awards for translation, and the Jane Kenyon Award for
Outstanding Book of Poetry for A Wedding in Hell.

Simic was born in 1938 in Yugoslavia and emigrated to the U.S. in 1954. He says, My travel
agents were Hitler and Stalin. Being one of the millions of displaced persons made an
impression on me. In addition to my own little story of bad luck, I heard plenty of others. I am
still amazed by all the vileness and stupidity I witnessed in my life.

Other authors and dates in the 2000-2001 season of the Eagle Pond Authors’ series are:
Cleopatra Mathis, Sunday, Nov. 5 , Wesley McNair, Sunday, Feb. 11, and Alice Mattison,
Sunday, March 11, all at 4 p.m.
The October 15 reading is sponsored by the Plymouth State College Bookstore (Barnes and
Noble) and funded in part by a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council. There is no
charge for admission but seating is limited. Call the Silver Cultural Arts Center box office at
(603) 535-ARTS for free tickets. Box office hours are Monday through Wednesday and Friday,
10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. If special accommodations are needed for persons
with disabilities, please call in advance.

NOTE: Works by members of the N.H. Women’s Art Caucus, inspired by the late Jane Kenyon’s
poem Finding a Long Gray Hair, will be on display in the Silver Cultural Arts Center Lobby from
October 11-21. Although Kenyon’s work has a national and international reputation, its local
focus and content served as the catalyst for members of the regional art coalition. Kenyon
was Donald Hall’s wife.