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My Life as a Poet

Presented by Wesley McNair at the celebration of the acquisition of his personal papers, in the Robinson Room of Colby College Special Collections, on April 12, 2006.

Well, I want to thank Pat Burdick, Head of Special Collections at Colby, for her tireless efforts in making this acquisition possible, and thank you Doug and Peter for your comments today, which have been so moving to me. And of course I want to thank you all for coming. It’s a pleasure for me to look out upon so many old friends and new faces too, so thank you for the pleasure.

You know, when Pat asked me to speak about my collection today, I was reluctant, to tell you the truth, because I thought it would be a little presumptuous of me to do that. But then I thought, what if I went through this disparate stuff – Pat calls it “rich and eclectic,” I call it disparate – what if I went through this disparate collection and tried to find the pattern of my life as a poet in it, past to present, for myself as well as for you? So that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I will now undertake to do, with slides from the collection, if Powerpoint does not fail me, showing you what’s in my archive along the way.

View the presentation (approximately one hour)

Childhood | Youth | Attempts To Be A Poet | Letters | Writing Notebooks | Follow-Up Questions