Hilda Morley, The Wild Cherry Tree, 1960
Hilda Morley (Faculty Literature and Hebrew 1952-1956) (b.1916-d.1998)
Hilda Morley came to teach at Black Mountain College with her husband, the composer Stefan Wolpe. While at the college, Hilda taught literature, offering several semesters of Hebrew in addition to metaphysical poetry, post-Shakespearian, early 17th century literature and late 19th century literature. A colleague of Charles Olson, who was the BMC rector in those years, Hilda struggled with her sense of place within the male dominated atmosphere that defined BMC in the 1950s.
Following her time at BMC, Morley developed working friendships with Wong May and Denise Levertov. May encouraged the poet to explore open construction in her writing, as demonstrated in her published works. Morley published six books of poetry. She published her first book in 1976 with the encouragement of fellow poet Denise Levertov. Her final book of poems, The Turning, was published posthumously.