In 1959 Richard Wilbur paid a visit to the campus of Randolph–Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, while I was a senior undergraduate at the time. Before his reading, he kindly agreed to sit with me for an interview. It was taped on April 13 and has not been published before now. The interview captures Wilbur when he was at a midpoint in his career and was beginning to receive the recognition that his poetry richly deserved. Just a few years earlier he had won both the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the National Book Award for his volume Things of This World (1956). He had also contributed lyrics to the Leonard Bernstein stage musical Candide, although it had not succeeded on its first time out in 1956. Later revivals would ultimately earn two major drama critics' awards as best musical of 1973–74. It was also in 1959 that the...

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