Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jane Mayhall Dead at 90

The wonderful American poet Jane Mayhall passed away yesterday.

Mayhall was born on May 10, 1918, in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the years, her work had appeared in The Yale Review, The New Yorker, The Paris Review and other publications. Her most recent collection, Sleeping Late on Judgement Day, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2004.

Knopf’s Nicholas Latimer sent along the news of Mayhill’s passing as well as the poem “Never Apologize, Never Explain,” which appears in her last collection. Here’s a stanza from that poem:
On the contrary, always apologize and explain,
in the terror-white veracity, down to the essence bone,
tenaciously follow the long road. Be
capable and Voltairean, discreet of form and substance, tell it
like it is, don't gloss over
in silent splendor.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Mayhall also wrote a very good novel, "Cousin To Human," published around 1960 and set in her hometown of Louisville.

Now that she is gone, it can also be said that she was the woman given the name "Alice" who figures so prominently in Martin Duberman's book about Black Mountain College. See

Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 9:22:00 PM PDT  

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