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Donald Hall is Wallace Stevens poet April 8 and 9 (Released: 3/19/98)

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications.

Storrs, Conn. -- Award-winning poet Donald Hall will read from his work and present awards to student poets at the University of Connecticut’s 35th annual Wallace Stevens Program April 8 and 9.

Sponsored by the UConn Department of English with support from The Hartford and assistance from The Hartford Friends of Wallace Stevens, the April 8 program will be held at 8 p.m. in the Doris and Simon Konover Auditorium of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at UConn in Storrs. The program on April 9 will take place at 1 p.m., in The Tower Suite, The Hartford, Hartford Plaza, Hartford. The public is invited to attend the free events. A special group of high school students from Hartford will attend the event at The Hartford as guests of the Wallace Stevens Program.

Born in Connecticut in 1928, Hall was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1956, 1979 and 1993. He has written 15 books of poems, among them The Alligator Bride, Kicking the Leaves, The Happy Man, The One Day, The Museum of Clear Ideas, The Old Life, and most recently Without. He has written 22 works of prose, edited texts of poetry and prose, and written books for

young readers. Hall earned a B. A. from Harvard in 1951 and a B.Litt. from Oxford in 1953.

Hall’s awards for poetry include The Lenore Marshall Award, The National Book Critics Circle Award and The Los Angeles Times Book Award. In recognition of his contributions to American letters, he has received The Robert Frost Silver Medal from The Poetry Society of America and The Lily Prize for Poetry. He is a fellow of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Hall and his late wife Jane Kenyon were featured on Bill Moyers’Journal, first shown nationally in 1993. The hour-long television program called "A Life Together" won an Emmy Award in 1994.

The poetry program began at UConn in 1964 with a gift from the Hartford Insurance Group, now The Hartford, to support cash awards and books of poetry as prizes to young poets and to bring a distinguished poet to the University of Connecticut. Over the years, the program has brought to Storrs and Hartford, poets including Robert Lowell, W.S. Merwin, June Jordan, Anne Sexton, Marianne Moore, James Merrill, Robert Bly, Allen Ginsberg, Carolyn Forche and Louise Gluck.

The program honors the memory of Wallace Stevens, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who was an insurance executive at The Hartford for 38 years. Stevens died in 1955, three months after receiving the Pulitzer. In 1949, he won the Bollingen Prize. He received two National Book Awards for volumes of poetry published in 1951 and 1955.