carnival of losses

Notes from Ann: Don Hall

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In today’s post, Ann Patchett remembers Donald Hall, the memoirist, essayist, and former US Poet Laureate. His work was honored more times and in more ways than we have room to list here, including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement, the Robert Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, the LL WInship/PEN New England Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the Caldecott Medal, and the National Medal of Arts — plus several nominations for the National Book Award. Hall passed away at home in New Hampshire on June 23, 2018.

In 1985, when I was a graduate student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, my best friend Lucy and I would become obsessed by what we read. We belted out Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” for a full semester. We tried to memorize the first chapter of García Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. We fell in love with many short stories. I was there to learn how to write short stories so there was a whole raft of them I obsessed over, but none were as close to me as “The Ideal Bakery” by Donald Hall. Read the rest of this entry »