Colby College Special Collections has launched a new website in collaboration with Maine poet laureate Wesley McNair and the University of New Hampshire. Letters Between Poets makes available McNair’s early letters with poet Donald Hall from the mid-1970s to the publication of McNair’s first book of poetry in 1984.
“Our correspondence was crucial to my development,” McNair said. “I was struggling to be a poet, and in these letters Hall helped me become one.” As their correspondence went on, McNair began to advise Hall, too, switching the roles of mentor and student.
The letters include conversations about poems in progress, publication and how to go about it, and discouragement in the moments of artistic failure.
The website was launched April 15 at a special ceremony at the Blaine House in Augusta as part of Maine Poetry Day.