Anne Halley was born Ute Marianne Elisabeth Halle in Bremerhaven, Germany on November 9, 1928 to Dr. Maxwell Halle and Dr. Margarethe Kohlhepp Halle. Growing up during the Holocaust, Anne’s family was briefly divided after her father, who was Jewish and forbidden to practice medicine, relocated to the U.S. with her older brother in 1936. Her mother followed a year later leaving Anne and her twin sister, Renate, under the protection of a Lutheran aunt who enrolled them in the school where she taught. In 1938, after her parents achieved certification to practice medicine in America, Anne and Renate joined the family and together they settled in Orlean, New York.
Halley graduated from Wellesley in 1949 and went on to attend the University of Minnesota Minneapolis where she earned her Masters in English in 1951 and where she also met her future husband, Jules Chametzky. The two married in 1953 and moved to Amherst, Massachusetts in 1958 after Chametzky was offered a position at the University of Massachusetts. Over the next five decades the couple traveled extensivley and returned to Germany on teaching stints, but their permanent residence remained in Amherst and it is there they raised their three sons: Matthew, Robert, and Peter.
Halley’s career as a teacher and writer began at the University of Minnesota where she worked as a teaching assistant. In Massachusetts, she taught at both UMass and Smith College as a part-time instructor and visiting lecturer, as well as at Holyoke Community College as an Assistant Professor. She was first formally recognized for her writing when she received the Wing Poetry Prize at Wellesley College in 1948. Halley went on to receive various awards for both poetry and short stories, garnering the Longview Foundation Award for Distinguished Writing in 1961, the O. Henry Prize in 1976, the Massachusetts Artist Foundation Fellowship for poetry in 1980, and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship for her Story “Kaiser’s Horses” in 1982.
Anne Halley published three collections of poetry: Between Wars & Other Poems (1965), The Bearded Mother (1979) and Rumors of the Turning Wheel(2003). Her first work, Between Wars, was originally published by the Gehenna Press of Northampton and went through three editions. Halley also translated Deutschland üeber Alles by German satirist Kurt Tucholsky. From 1977 to 2002, she served as the poetry editor of The Massachusetts Review. Anne Halley died from complications of multiple myeloma in 2004 at the age of 75.
Poetry reading by Halley shortly after publication of her book, Between Wars and Other Poems.
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