HUGH OGDEN (1937 - 2006)
Hugh Ogden, an award-winning and well-loved poet and
Professor at Trinity, drowned Sunday, December 31, in
Rangeley Lake, Maine, near where he owned a cottage.
Mr. Ogden taught at Trinity for 38 years where he co-founded
the Creative Writing Program. He also founded the Creative
Writing Program at the Academy for the Arts magnet school
in Hartford where he taught poetry workshops. Ogden was
very active in the arts, having acted on the stage, run a read-
aloud program on CT Public Radio, been poet-in-the-school
in over 30 Connecticut and Massachusetts grade and high
schools, worked with kindergarten children, the elderly, prison
inmates, taught courses in Adult Education, and given work-
shops and lectures for teachers throughout CT and the U.S.
Mr. Ogden published seven books, including Turtle Island
Tree Psalms (2006), over 500 poems, a CD, and a tape.
He was a fellow at The MacDowell Colony twice and won
residencies at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland, Le Chateau
de Lavigny in Switzerland, the Albee Foundation, U-cross,
Djerassi, and The Frank Waters Foundation. He received an
NEA and three Connecticut Commission on the Arts Grants,
and his book Bringing A Fir Straight Down (2005) was
nominated for the Kingsley Tuffs Prize.
Mr. Ogden loved nature and spent most of his free time
traveling to remote areas. Recently, he wrote "my poems
are focused on the mountains and lakes of northern Maine.
But, as I also spend time in Alaska, New Mexico, Wyoming,
and California (on or near Pueblos and Native American res-
ervations), my recent poems reflect the land contours, rivers,
and life in those states (and especially spirit animals) and the
richness and variety of the weather of the natural world"
Of Rangeley Lake, Maine, Mr. Ogden wrote: "I've built
three cabins on an island in Rangeley Lake in Maine where
I often live in winter as well as summer when I'm not teaching.
That island provides the solitude I require for my writing, a
liquid place of mountains and fierce shifts of weather and
temperature, an isolation in which I ear the voices that call
me to poems.... Music and the wind first led me to words
There will be a memorial reading for Hugh Ogden at
The Spoken Word Series at the Wood Memorial Library
and Museum in Sounth Windsor on Thursday, Jan 25.