Hall to McNair, July 25, 1984

Letter from Hall to McNair, July 25, 1984, Colby College Special Collections

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25 July 1984

Wes McNair
Hominy Pot Rd.
North Sutton, NH 03260

Dear Wes,

I handed Joey the cheque, and he immediately telephoned People Express…
He says he will be back in September…

And in fact, I propose saving the good new poem until Howard Moss
is back. I know it has been useless to try him so far…but he will
come around eventually! Summer is actually a very difficult time to
place things. Most every place closes down, and when you send out poems,
they come back with a slip saying that nobody is reading them until October.
Not all places but most.

“The Name” is very nice. I have mild skepticism about “searched,”
as a commonplace, mildly-speaking a dead metaphor. Then I have no others…
I like it a lot.

Here’s the Atlantic poem.

Good luck with Norton. Like all other editors in New York, she
tends to take eight or nine months to get around to replying. How can
they do this! Jane is floating around, at two publishers right now –
then we’ll clear the decks for Alice Quinn at Knopf – who averages eight
or nine months.

Love as ever,


Editorial note about this letter: For more background on the genesis of “The Name,” click here…. The Atlantic poem Hall refers to is “The Baseball Players,” which he published in the magazine.