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2017 Poetry Prize Recognizes Frank Bidart


Listening to him, or reading him, you come to expect the unexpected - and you are rewarded.


New Hampshire Public Radio is proud to announce Frank Bidart as the 2017 Winner of the Hall-Kenyon Prize in American Poetry. 

The Hall-Kenyon Prize honors Donald Hall, former Poet Laureate of the United States, and Jane Kenyon, former Poet Laureate of New Hampshire and Donald Hall's late wife. The married poets lived and wrote together for nearly 20 years at Eagle Pond Farm - Hall’s ancestral home in Wilmot, New Hampshire.

Bidart will receive the award from NHPR on Tuesday, November 28, in Concord, New Hampshire. Donald Hall is expected to attend the ceremony in Concord. In 2010, President Obama honored Donald Hall with the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the U.S. Government. 

"Listening to him, or reading him, you come to expect the unexpected - and you are rewarded," said Donald Hall, in selecting Frank Bidart. 

The awards presentation will include a reading from Frank Bidart and a conversation with Virginia Prescott, host of Word of Mouth and the 10-Minute Writer’s Workshop podcast from NHPR.

Bidart is the author of numerous books of poetry, and the winner of some of the most notable awards in American letters, including the 2017 National Book Award for Poetry. 

Wesley McNair, Maine’s former poet laureate and a co-founder of the award:

"Frank Bidart's poetry is the work of a deep and original thinker. What excites me about it is how he draws us into the drama of his thought. He is a truth-teller for our time, who combines the difficult truths he finds with beauty in surprising and moving ways.”

Bidart’s 1997 book Desire was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, published in August 2017, reflects the wide and dazzling body of work of this groundbreaking poet. The book comprises all of Bidart’s previous books, while also introducing a new collection of poems called Thirst.

Event Details:

Date: Tuesday, November 28

Time: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location: The Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main Street, Concord, NH  03301

Books: available on-site for purchase and signing by the poet.

Cost: $10 general admission, $5 students

To purchase tickets:

·         Visit

·         Purchase the night of the event from NHPR at the Capital Center.



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