Getting to know Professor Hall

  • Professor James Allen Hall
    Professor James Allen Hall
July 26, 2013
To help introduce Professor James Allen Hall, we asked him a few questions. Professor Hall will be teaching Poetry and Creative Writing.
1) When did you decide to go into your field of study? Why?
I entered college at Stetson University as an English and Political Science double-major.  I left wanting to devote my life to poetry.  I am bewitched by the spell that language can cast:  how it gives form to experience, allowing us to understand our lives.  Not just understand:  take hold.  It is an incredibly empowering tool.  I love poetry because it’s fun to say aloud, and because there’s something in lyric poetry that can’t quite be captured, that always escapes.  Poems always have an afterlife.
2) What was the first book you read and loved?
Sylvia Plath’s Collected Poems.  Then came James Baldwin’s Another Country, which changed my life.  These writers both saved me in their ways.
3) What is your favorite word?
Like most Libras:  beautiful.  It’s a word that, when I see it in a draft, I know I have not gone far enough in my description.
4) Do you have any hobbies?
I swim and I like to cook, but I wouldn’t call either of these hobbies as much as ways to ensure I don’t die too young.
5) Who is your favorite author?
This question changes throughout one’s life.  For instance, as a kid, I couldn’t get enough of Steven King.  In high school, it was Faulkner and Morrison.  In college, it was Ashbery and Baldwin.  Now, my favorite living writer is Louise Glück.  I suspect that in ten years, the answer might be Terrance Hayes.

Please join us at the Rose O’Neill Literary House on Thursday, September 19th at 4:30 p.m. to hear Professor Hall read from his work.

Last modified on Sep. 24th, 2013 at 9:53am by Owen Bailey.