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Image 9 of Kentucky Alumnus, 1986, no. 1

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`i hey have been weaving a Hollis when he went on leave, who "Going to ‘Higl·i on Rose’ is gi web of friendship and influenced my life in even a more wonderful little ad hoe inStitution_ lt’s l_ experience, shared and consequential way . . . he put a model where it’s possible to do for them what . separate, stretching from before us of taking oneself serious as an Bob Hazel did for me," he s3y5_ { coast to coast, lasting for nearly 30 artist that was invaluable and life After leaving the university in the years. Each of them left Kentucky for changing." early ’60s, the three writers gravitated ' many years, but they are back now. McClanahan says "They were real toward California, separately, and james Baker Hall ’57, Ed writers . . . they treated us as though within four years they had each been McClanahan ’58 and Gurney Norman we were rzal writers. They invited us to awarded a Wallace Stegner Creative ’59 met each other and became friends their houses. Getting invited to Bob Writing Fellowship to Stanford while they were students at the Hazel’s house to have a steak dinner University. Author Wendell Berry, a l University of Kentucky. They have and drink beer was a wonderful UK graduate and close friend of all returned to serve their university as occasion. No teacher had ever done three men since their university days, faculty members in the English that for us." had received a Stegner Fellowship and department . . . very distinguished Norman recalls that Professor encouraged the others to submit their faculty members, at that. Summer grew up in a small farming work with an application. Hall and _ Returning to campus as successful, community, Eminence, Ky. "So he Norman followed Berry, and then published authors, each is teaching knew what it was to be a kid coming to McClanahan applied and received his creative writing. Hall and Norman are a university from the farm or the coal fellowship in 1962. full—time faculty members and camp or the small town. He knew how When his year on the fellowship was McClanahan is what he calls, to talk to us, to give us the vision of over, McClanahan stayed on at " . . . the utility in—f1elder in the possibility. Never did he discourage us, Stanford for nine years—as a visiting writing department here." This is the humiliate us, intimidate us or act professor. He says, "_]im went away to second time he has taught here forjust superior to us as some professors tend Connecticut, Gurney was in California a semester. to do. He could be critical, but his tone for many years, and Wendell was in As students at UK, each was of voice was always supportive and he New York City as director of freshman influenced dramatically by two of their made you want to be like him." English at NYU." During that time English professors, Robert Hazel and According to Hall, "Hazel was a Hall was in Massachusetts and Hollis Summer. Today they are trying writer whose work was closer to what I Connecticut where he taught writing at to give the same good feelings of could aspire to. We needed to see MIT and photography at the encouragement to their own students. working writers in front of us. That’s University of Connecticut. Another Hall says that the direction of his life why I think the way writing is being Kentucky author, UK alumnus Bobbie changed in Hollis Summer’s taught here, now, is the way it should Ann Mason ’62, was also at UCONN "Introduction to Literature" class. "It be. We’re working writers and we teach when Hall was. Mason now has a best was almost as simple as the direct the writing student from that point of selling novel, In County:. consequence of reading one poem, The view." Hall’s iirst novel, Yates Paul, Hiy Love Song of_]. Alfred Prufrock by To try to give his students some of Grand Flzlg/zls, His Toatingr, was T. S. Eliot. The impact of that class the same experiences that he enjoyed as published in 1963. During the late ’60s, · was enormous. He was a teacher I a student, Hall meets with them Hall devoted summers to a community, admired and learned from, but it was regularly on Wednesday evenings at a actually a commune, in western Robert Hazel, who came in to replace tavern in the UK neighborhood. Massachusetts "that brought artists of to COTIIE home. . . ~ By Kay]0/wsvn UK 7