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Three Poets of Place: Wesley McNair Remembers Donald Hall and Jane Kenyon

Wes McNair in front of our Hall-Kenyon exhibit in the Robinson Room, in May 2018.

On April 4, 2019, in a scholarly talk given in the Robinson Room of Colby’s Special Collections & Archives, Wes McNair offered a recollection of his literary friendship with poets Donald Hall and Jane Kenyon, which began in the middle 1970’s, when he lived ten miles away from their home at Eagle Pond Farm in New Hampshire.

Interspersing his account with poems and personal anecdotes, McNair showed how he and his NH neighbors developed as poets of place, all drawing on details from the same patch of ground to create New England visions that were both different and distinctive. 

The talk was audio recorded the next month for use on this site, with the content divided into three sequential sections.  A full transcript is available here. We hope you will enjoy this online reprise of a wonderful presentation!

A – Alternative Beginnings: Early years of friendship and the sharing of poetry

B – Three New England Voices: Increasing complexity and courage in the poets’ work

C – From Darkness into Art: Celebration, grief and concluding reflections