Donald Hall (b. 1928) was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He began writing poetry and fiction at age 12 and published his first poem at age 16. He received his B.A. from Harvard University, where he met Robert Bly, Adrienne Rich, Kenneth Koch, John Ashbery, and Frank O'Hara. After Harvard, Hall studied at Oxford for two years and became the first American to win the Newdigate Award. When he returned to the United States, Hall published his first collection of poetry, Exile (1952).
His 1955 collection, Exiles and Marriages, won the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets. He has published 14 volumes of poetry, including The Happy Man, (1986), winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and The One Day (1988), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Pulitzer prize nomination.
In addition to poetry, he has also written several collections of essays (among them Life Work and String Too Short to be Saved), a children's book (Ox-Cart Man, which won the Caldecott Medal), and a number of plays. His recurring themes include New England rural living, baseball, and how work conveys meaning to ordinary life.
He is regarded as a master both of poetic forms and free verse, and a champion of the art of revision, for whom writing is first and foremost a craft, not merely a mode of self-expression. His honors include two Guggenheim fellowships, the Poetry Society of America's Robert Frost Silver medal, a Lifetime Achievement award from the New Hampshire Writers and Publishers Project, and the Ruth Lilly Prize for Poetry.
Hall has won many awards, and has served as poet laureate of his state. Hall continued to live and work on his New Hampshire farm, a site that serves as both his home and an inspiration for much of his work, until his death in June 2018.
Poems - 10 in all
An old life
Ox Cart Man
The Painted Bed
The Man In The Dead Machine
Christmas party at the South Danbury Church