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The Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 2: 1920–1928

The Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 2: 1920–1928

Robert Frost

Edited by Donald Sheehy, Mark Richardson, Robert Bernard Hass, and Henry Atmore

ISBN 9780674726642

Publication date: 09/13/2016

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The Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 2: 1920–1928 is the second installment of Harvard’s five-volume edition of the poet’s correspondence. Nearly three hundred letters in the critically-acclaimed first volume had never before been collected; here, close to four hundred are gathered for the first time. Volume 2 includes letters to some 160 correspondents: family and friends; colleagues, fellow writers, visual artists, editors, and publishers; educators of all kinds; farmers, librarians, and admirers.

In the years covered here, publication of Selected Poems, New Hampshire, and West-Running Brook enhanced Frost’s stature in America and abroad, and the demands of managing his career—as public speaker, poet, and teacher—intensified. A good portion of the correspondence is devoted to Frost’s appointments at the University of Michigan and Amherst College, ​through which he played a major part in staking out the positions poets would later hold in American universities.​​ Other letters show Frost helping to shape the Bread Loaf School of English and its affiliated Writers’ Conference.​ We encounter him discussing his craft with students and fostering the careers of younger poets. His ​​observations (and reservations) about educators are illuminating and remain pertinent. And family life—with all its joys and sorrows, hardships and satisfactions—is never less than central to Frost’s concerns.

Robert Frost was a masterful prose stylist, often brilliant and always engaging.​ Thoroughly annotated and accompanied by a biographical glossary, chronology, and detailed index, these letters are both the record of a remarkable literary life and a unique contribution to American literature.


  • Praise for the previous volume:

    “In almost every way, this new edition is a triumph of scholarly care… For all his private flaws, his tragedies large and small, American literature—and the language itself—owes a profound debt to that dark, demonic, beguiling figure, Robert Frost.”
    —William Logan, New York Times Book Review

    “Long overdue, The Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 1: 1886–1920 is deservedly getting a lot of attention. Frost is not simply a lively correspondent, he is an artist of the epistolary form, defining himself and his poetic era in these pages… The truly original, splenetic, aphoristic, and revisionary mind of a major poet comes into view.”
    —Jay Parini, Chronicle of Higher Education

    “Thanks to Harvard’s undertaking, Frost’s more complete, chronological letters help correct the poet’s legacy by allowing it weight and breadth.”
    —Valerie Duff, Boston Globe

    “Not the rustic sage, but the savvy, ambitious, cosmopolitan poet emerges from this first volume of Frost’s lively, shrewd letters… [T]he collection [is] a must for scholars; but Frost’s witty, urbane style make the letters an engaging browse for ordinary readers, too.”
    Publishers Weekly

    “It must be said that these early letters carry the burden of [Frost’s] poetry so finely as to be no embarrassment to the poetry. The book has been edited…with continuous tact and sensitivity to the likely demands of a literate reader.”
    —David Bromwich, Times Literary Supplement

    “Such a joy to read… This is the first time a complete version of [Frost’s letters]—running in chronological order—has been made available… Anyone interested in the laborious process an artist must undertake to perfect his craft will read this book with awe and fascination, and as a constant source of inspiration.”
    —J. P. O’Malley, NPR online

    “[T]his volume may well inspire a Frost renaissance.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    —Reviews of The Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 1: 1886–1920


  • Donald Sheehy is Professor Emeritus of English and Philosophy at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
  • Mark Richardson is Professor of English at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan.
  • Robert Bernard Hass is Professor of English and Philosophy at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
  • Henry Atmore is Professor of Anglo-American Studies at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies.

Book Details

  • 848 pages
  • 6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Belknap Press

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