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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: April 22, 2019

Former Maine poet laureate pays tribute to his friends and colleagues

Written by: Bob Keyes

Former Maine poet laureate Wesley McNair.Photo by Doug Bruns

Former Maine poet laureate Wesley McNair will talk about his friendship with poets Donald Hall and Jane Kenyon at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Portland Public Library. His talk is free.

McNair lived within 10 miles of Hall and Kenyon, who were married, in New Hampshire. McNair has cited Hall as a mentor and has said his friendship with Hall propelled him in his career as a young poet. The two traded letters over many years. An interactive archive of their personal correspondance, “Letters Between Poets,” is part of McNair’s broader archive housed at Colby College Special Collections.

Donald Hall and Jane Kenyan. Photo courtesy of Wesley McNair

In his talk on Saturday, McNair will supplement his reflections with poems and anecdotes. Hall, a former U.S. poet laureate, died last year. Kenyan, a New Hampshire poet laureate, died in 1995.

McNair lives in Mercer.


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