Hazel Hall

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Hazel Hall
Born(1886-02-07)February 7, 1886
DiedMay 11, 1924(1924-05-11) (aged 38)
Portland, Oregon
EducationPublic school through fifth grade; home study thereafter
OccupationPoet, seamstress
Known forPoetry
Parent(s)Montgomery and Mary Garland Hall
RelativesRuth and Lulie (sisters)

Hazel Hall (February 7, 1886 – May 11, 1924) was an American poet based in Portland, Oregon.


Hall was born on February 7, 1886, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Montgomery and Mary Hall. As a young girl, she moved with her family, including sisters Ruth and Lulie, to Portland, where her father managed the express division of the Northern Pacific Railway. After surviving scarlet fever at the age of 12, or by some accounts after being injured in a fall, she used a wheelchair for the rest of her life.[1]

Leaving public school in fifth grade because of her paralysis, Hall continued her education by reading widely at home. Favorite authors included Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. She began writing at about age 9, and continued writing as a hobby through her teen years. Seeking paid work that could be done at home, she turned to professional sewing, expanding on another of her childhood interests. Stitching bridal robes, baby dresses, and gowns for wealthy families, she worked near a window from which she could watch passers-by on the street. Her writing themes often involved sewing and what she saw from her window.[1]

In her 20s, she began writing poetry.[2] In 1916, when she was 30, her first published poem appeared in the Boston Evening Transcript, and in 1917 her poetry appeared in The Masses, a New York publication with a national circulation.[3] Eventually she had poems accepted by The Century Magazine, Harper's Magazine, The New Republic,[4] The Nation, Sunset, and many others.[5]

Reviewer Pearl Andelson of Poetry said this of Hall's first collection, Curtains, in 1922, "Comes Hazel Hall with her little book, every word and emotion of which is poignantly authentic."[6]

She died on May 11, 1924, at home in Portland, "after an illness of some weeks".[7]


Hazel Hall House in Portland

Hall's home, located at 106 Northwest 22nd Place in Portland, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Hazel Hall House.[8] In 1995, the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission erected a small park next to the house.[9]

The Oregon Book Award for poetry is jointly named for Hall and fellow Oregon poet William Stafford.[10] The organization that sponsors the awards, Literary Arts, refers to Hall as the "Emily Dickinson of Oregon".[10]




  • Hall, Hazel (1921). Curtains. John Lane company.
  • Hall, Hazel. Curtains. BiblioBazaar, LLC. ISBN 978-1-113-67504-0.
  • Walkers. Dodd, Mead and company. 1923.
  • Cry of Time. E.P. Dutton & Co. 1928.
  • The Selected Poems of Hazel Hall. Ahsahta. 1980. ISBN 978-0-916272-14-2.
  • John Witte, ed. (2000). The Collected Poems of Hazel Hall. Oregon State University Press. ISBN 978-0-87071-478-8.



  1. ^ a b Shirley 1998, p. 104.
  2. ^ Witte, John. "Hazel Hall (1886–1924)". The Oregon Encyclopedia. Portland State University. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  3. ^ Shirley 1998, p. 105.
  4. ^ "Song to be Said While Walking". The New Republic. The Republic Pub. Co.: 150 October 4, 1922. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Shirley 1998, p. 103.
  6. ^ Andelson, Pearl (1922). "Of Dreams and Stitches". Poetry. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  7. ^ Lampman, Ben Hur (May 12, 1924). "Hazel Hall Dies at Family Home". The Morning Oregonian (obituary). p. 1.
  8. ^ Curtis, Walt (1995). "Hazel Hall (1886–1924)". Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  9. ^ "Hazel Hall". City of Portland. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  10. ^ a b "Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry". Literary Arts. Retrieved March 19, 2014.

Works cited[edit]

  • Shirley, Gayle C. (1998). More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Oregon Women. Helena, Montana: Falcon Publishing. ISBN 1-56044-668-4.

External links[edit]