Anthony Hecht and William L. MacDonald met for the first time in the fall of 1954, shortly after each had arrived in Rome, Hecht on a Guggenheim Fellowship, MacDonald on a Rome Fellowship at the American Academy. Hecht was 31 years old, and MacDonald 33; both were recently married, and both were on their way to making names for themselves. Hecht would become one of his era’s most accomplished poets, and MacDonald one its most accomplished architectural historians.
Though neither man could have realized it at the time, this was to be the start of a friendship that would endure for the best part of four decades, a friendship which would generate a large body of correspondence – a total of more than 450 letters, postcards and notes – and one the character of which is likely to come as a surprise to anyone who only knew the men by their works or by their public faces. This volume makes a sparkling pendant to Jonathan Post's acclaimed Selected Letters of Anthony Hecht, published in 2014.