is a treasured note from Virginia Adair, July 1997. She sent me her
little poem about Chaucer, a poem that is still unpublished, to the
best of my knowledge. On the same sheet she inscribed her good wishes
for the success of Chaucer’s Host.
was the instructor of the required bibliography course I took. When I
told her of my interests, she said “Fascinating!”
Upon completion, she asked to read my Senior Project. She was taken
with its originality.
I entered a Master’s Program, answered a call for papers, and was
accepted. She invited a small group to her home to give me practice
reading my ideas to an audience. When I finished, I was able to answer
their spontaneous questions. I hadn’t expected questions!
Virginia was pleased to hear that my talk and responses went well. She
advised me to incorporate material from the questions at the conference
and send the paper off immediately to the journal of the sponsoring
society. I did just that, but it wasn’t accepted.
Through the years, she has been (and is) an inspiration. I once told
her that if someone would just prove to me that I was wrong, it would
save me a lot of work. She found the statement foolish—she was right.
find a nicely done biographical sketch in The New Yorker,
Dec. 25, 1995. It’s called “Dancing in the Dark,” a gentle reference to
If you’re searching for
more information, try:
PBS + Virginia Hamilton Adair for a number of
websites involving conversations, etc.
Gwyneth Walker music + Virginia Hamilton Adair will tell you
about Virginia’s poems set to music.
A segment of the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour, on
September 4, 1996 featured her.
Her books, all published by Random House, are:
Ants on the Melon, 1996
Beliefs and Blasphemies, 1998
Living on Fire, 2000
has helped Virginia put together, from her numerous unpublished poems,
a collection of story-poems to be offered for publication.
My Chaucer’s Host is, understandably, dedicated to
Here is one of
Virginia’s last poems:
I stand at evening at the open door,
And see the wind I never saw before.
Freed from the restless eyes I’ve left behind,
I move through endless galleries of the mind.
Lord, as I cross the threshold into light,
keep my soul and give me back my sight.
Virginia Hamilton Adair passed away on September 16, 2004. She was 91.