A spirited defense of the vitality of contemporary poetry.

Look Inside


Note - 1
Initial Education - 2
Working Journal - 10
Death to the Death of Poetry - 18
Thom Gunn Resisting - 27
Back to Berryman - 32
Interview with Liam Rector - 39
Eliot at One Hundred - 62
In Roethke's House - 68
Snodgrass's Seasoned Wood - 75
Flying Revision's Flag - 82
Yes, Virginia - 93
Notes and Notices - 97
Young Bly - 122
Interview with Peter Stitt - 126


Donald Hall believes that American poetry, at the present moment, thrives both in quality and in leadership. In his latest collection of essays, reviews, and interviews, Hall counters the increasingly publicized view that poetry has an ever-diminishing importance in contemporary American culture. He resents the endlessly repeated cliché that finds poetry unpopular and losing popularity. Thus: Death to the Death of Poetry.

Throughout the pages of this latest offering in the Poets on Poetry series, Hall returns again and again to the theme of poetry's health, and offers essays praising contemporary poets, who serve as examples of poetry's thriving condition. In addition, Death to the Death of Poetry collects interviews in which Hall discusses the work of poetry—revisions, standards, the psychology and sociology of the poet's life.

The collection will be warmly received by Donald Hall's large readership, enhanced in 1993 by publication of two exemplary volumes: The Museum of Clear Ideas, his eleventh book of poetry; and his essay Life Work, which brought him both new and returning readers.

Donald Hall holds degrees from Harvard and Oxford and was recipient of the Lamont Poetry Selection Award, poetry editor for the Paris Review, and Professor of English, University of Michigan, before returning to his ancestral home in New Hampshire.

"This is a book that whets your appetite for poetry, and not just (if not least) for Hall's own."

- Boston Phoenix Literary Section