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 Robert 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.