The beginning of April marks the start of National Poetry Month. Digital and Special Collections is proud to spotlight Wesley McNair, Poet Laureate of Maine, for his work. Colby College’s Digital and Special Collections features a collection of McNair’s personal writings and works. This collection was received in 2006 and contains materials dated from 1941 to the present. It is a collection of scrapbooks, letters, early writings, teaching notes, manuscript and poem drafts, and correspondences with colleagues and peers, including Donald Hall. The letters between McNair and Hall are a prominent feature for this collection because of Hall’s mentorship of McNair. The Letters Between Poets collaborative project contains letters starting in the mid-1970s and continues onto the publication of McNair’s first book of poems and its critical reception in 1984.
Wesley McNair was born June 19, 1941, in Newport, New Hampshire. McNair is the author of nine volumes of poems and twenty books. Throughout his poetry career, McNair has been a teacher and professor at several high schools and universities. He retired from being a teaching professor in 2004, but is currently Professor Emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine: Farmington.