Hall to McNair: September 6, 1983

Letter from Hall to McNair, September 6, 1983, Colby College Special Collections

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6 September 1983

Wes McNair
Box 43
North Sutton, NH 03260

Dear Wes,

That is an extraordinarily helpful letter about the play…
Later this week, I am going to dictate a whole bunch of notes –
partly based on your letter, partly based on things I have
been thinking about for the last twelve months… I won’t
foreshadow what I say… I will be looking for more help on
the play! But really, this was very very useful.

It is totally unbelievable that the book will be ready
in December! I cannot believe that…

I have one thing to tell you that you will not [want to] hear:
try terribly hard not to rush the second book! Absolutely
everybody, and not only Wes McNair who has had to wait so damned
long, tends to rush the second book. I did. Name me one poet
who didn’t? Well, old Jane Kenyon is making it at least five
years, probably six.. I don’t mean that you have to wait five years
or possibly six… I do mean that you should not, please, shoot
for April!

I should say that I had the manuscript of a second book
at Viking within twelve months of the time they published Exiles
and Marriages… Then they persuaded me to wait – but I came
out with The Dark Houses three years after Exiles…and it was
too soon.

We must fear depression; we must fear elation… My play
was a tremendous high; my play was a tremendous low… There is
no avoiding this, unless we stop being poets and writers…

Thank you as ever for your good help.

Love to you all,