Tribute to James Baker Hall (#432)
This program pays tribute to former Kentucky poet laureate James Baker Hall, who died June 25, 2009, at the age of 74. Appearing on the program are his widow, Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, who is also a writer, and his friend Gurney Norman, a novelist and the current Kentucky poet laureate.
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James Baker Hall served as director of the University of Kentucky’s Creative Writing Program. He published poetry, novels, and collections of photography, including the novel Yates Paul, His Grand Flights, His Tootings (featured on bookclub@ket), Praeder’s Letters: A Novel in Verse, and The Mother on the Other Side of the World: Poems.
UK professor Gurney Norman discusses meeting Hall for the first time and tells stories about their decades-long friendship. Mary Ann Taylor-Hall reveals some of her husband’s passions beyond writing, including the TV show Dancing with the Stars and UK basketball. The guests also share several of Hall’s photographs of his tight-knit circle of friends, including Kentucky writers Wendell Berry, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Ed McClanahan.
The program includes a segment of the 2002 KET production Living by Words, in which Hall reads a poem titled The First Winter Light.