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Saturday September 24, 2016
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Poetic postage

 

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"Robert Hayden 1913-1980 / Poet," the marker read. "This man, superb in love and logic."

"I used to live on Pontiac Trail right near the cemetery thirty-five years ago, when my son was small," Wright said. What brought her back was a postage stamp: Hayden is one of ten twentieth-century poets featured in a new issue of "Forever" stamps. She noted that in the 1920s, Robert Frost lived on Pontiac Trail when he was poet-in-residence at the U-M. The house he lived in was later moved to Greenfield Village, and "the house built in its place was [art dean Jean Paul] Slusser's house, where W.H. Auden lived for a time."

Frost and Auden, Wright noted, lived in Ann Arbor only briefly. Hayden, on the other hand, won two Hopwood Awards as a student, "worked here as a grad student with W.H. Auden, lived on Gardner Ave. in Burns Park, and was the first African American chosen as Poet Laureate of the United States (although it had a different title then)," she had emailed earlier. He taught, wrote, published, died, and was buried here.

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