January 27, 1982
Lecturer in English, poet and children’s author Nancy Willard spoke on “The Rutubaga Lamp: The Reading and Writing of Fairy Tales.” Willard quoted the claim of Hans Christian Andersen that fairy tales were "as necessary as dictionaries for both children and adults." "Lindbloom," wrote Peggy Hayes '83 in The Miscellany News, "compared fairy tales, then, to parables, and called them one of the 'highest forms of truth.' Fairy tales are written to amuse both children and adults. But Lindbloom assured the audience that fairy tales will only be successful if they are 'moral, but not moralistic, and instructive, but not didactic.'"
Just before the evening’s lecture, it was announced that Willard’s children’s book A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers (1981) had won the 1981 Newbery Award, the first award in the honor's 60-year history that the prestigious medal was awarded to a book of poetry. The book was also cited as a Caldecott honors recipient for its illustrations by Alice and Martin Provensen.
Willard signed her book at an autograph party at the Alumane House on March 4th.