Former Kentucky Poet Laureate James Baker Hall dies

Former Kentucky Poet Laureate James Baker Hall dies


Former Kentucky Poet Laureate James Baker Hall has died.

Hall’s contemporaries and friends include Wendell Berry, Ed McClanahan, current Kentucky Poet Laureate Gurney Norman and Bobbie Ann Mason.

Four of them, Hall, McClanahan, Norman, and Berry, went from UK on to Wallace Stegner fellowships at Stanford.

McClanahan described his friend as “a spokesman for Kentucky writing.”

Best known for his presence in creative writing classrooms at UK, Hall also received an NEA fellowship in poetry, and was widely published as a poet, novelist, and photographer.

His wife Mary Ann Taylor Hall is a novelist and short story writer.

Memorial details will be announced as they become available.

[image, Kentucky Arts Council]


  1. I just re-read JBH’s words in the Aperture monograph titled simply “Ralph Eugene Meatyard” from 1974 the other day. There are a handful of names that are synonymous with the Bluegrass, art, words, heart, brains…he’s a biggie in that handful. Mr. Hall, you will be missed though your letters, pictures and spirit live on in the ways you moved us to just do better work.