Neal Hall, M.D. received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University. After earning an M.D. from Michigan State University, he took his surgical subspecialty training in ophthalmology at Harvard University’s Medical School. He was in private practice for over 20 years.
Dr. Hall is an award-winning author of four books of poetry: Nigger For Life, reflecting his painful discovery, that in “unspoken America,” race is the one thing by which he is first judged, first measured and metered diminished value, dignity, equality and justice. Winter’s A’ Coming Still reflecting the more things are said to change, the more things are made to stay the same. Appalling Silence represents selections of his work translated into Telugu and Urdu and published and released in India. His fourth book Where Do I Sit. displays the skill, breadth, and versatility with which he has honed his craft. It does not jettison the sharp denunciations of racial and economic injustice. His fifth book Door of No Return will be released in the fall of 2017.
His work has been translated into 5 additional languages: Bengali, Kannada, German, Japanese and Italian. The Italian translations are being used to create and publish a Critical Edition of his work in Rome, Italy. Three collaborating Italian scholars performed the translations and will do the critical analysis. In Japan, African American Studies Professor Kazuteru Omori of Hokkai Gakuen University, Sapporo has translation a collection of Hall’s work into Japanese. The collection is to be published and launched in Japan September 2017.
Dr. Hall’s poetry speaks not just to the surface pain of injustice and inhumanity but deep into that pain, we label and package into genteel socio-political-economic-religious constructs to blur the common lines of cause, that is our shared story. A shared story that should unite us in a common struggle to be free.
Professor Cornel West said of Dr. Hall: “[he] is a warrior of the spirit, a warrior of the mind, an activist, a poet. I sense Dr. Hall’s hypersensitivity to suffering – Martin, Malcolm and Jesus all had this hypersensitivity. Both sides of his soul have prophetic leanings. His poetry has the capacity to change ordinary people’s philosophy on social and racial issues.”
Vasanth Kannabiran, Chairperson of Hyderabad’s Asmita Resource Centre for Women, remarked: “This is poetry that scalds you into waking up to the possibility that you are perhaps one of those silent spectators. All in all he is a poet. And unquestionably one of the most significant voices of the century.”
Through his extensive domestic and international poetry readings, Dr. Hall has reached audiences from San Francisco to Philadelphia, from Kenya, Indonesia, and France to Jamaica, India, Japan, Ghana, Germany, Morocco, Nepal, and Italy. Italy’s University of Rome Tre in collaboration with The Italian National Commission for UNESCO invited Dr. Hall to be their featured guest speaker and poet in celebration of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 World Poetry Days.
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