Donald Hall and Four Other Poets Vie for Honor

WHEN a Monitor interviewer asked Donald Hall in 1991 how it felt to wake each morning to another day of writing, he answered, ``It's bliss. I don't apologize. It's bliss. I get frustrated at my inabilities, like anybody.... But let me not exaggerate that. That is simply part of the context. It's part of the work.''

In 1975, Donald Hall left a tenured teaching position at the University of Michigan and returned to his family homestead in New Hampshire where he has written prolifically. To date he has published 32 books, including 13 volumes of poetry.

Hall's collection ``The Museum of Clear Ideas'' was recently announced as one of five poetry finalists for the National Book Awards. The award carries a $10,000 prize, and its winners will be announced on Nov. 17. Other finalists in the poetry category are:

* ``Garbage'' by A. R. Ammons (W. W. Norton);

* `My Alexandria'' by Mark Doty (University of Illinois Press);

* ``The Vigil: A Poem in Four Voices'' by Margaret Gibson (Louisiana State University Press);

* ``What We Don't Know About Each Other'' by Lawrence Raab (Penguin).

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