Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced today that Donald Hall will be the next U.S. poet laureate. He will succeed Ted Kooser, who has held the position since 2004.
Hall, who will be a featured speaker at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. on September 30, is the author of more than fifteen books of poetry, including Exiles and Marriages (Viking, 1955), The One Day (Ticknor and Fields, 1988), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Poems 1946-2006 (Houghton Mifflin, 2006).
In 2005, he published The Best Day the Worst Day: Life With Jane Kenyon, a memoir of his marriage to the poet, who died of leukemia in 1995. Kenyon's death is a frequent subject in his recent books of poetry. Hall has also published eleven children's books and eighteen books of prose, including Breakfast Served Any Time All Day (University of Michigan, 2003), a book of essays on poetry.
His honors include two Guggenheim Fellowships, the Poetry Society of America's Robert Frost Silver Medal, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Hampshire Writers and Publisher Project, and the Ruth Lilly Prize. Hall also served as poet laureate of New Hampshire from 1984 to 1989. He is a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters.
The position of poet laureate includes an office at the Library of Congress and a $35,000 stipend. Hall will begin his duties in the fall.