Since his arrival to the poetry scene 30 years ago, writer Edward Hirsch has risen to prominence, not only among poets and poetry lovers but also among a much wider American readership—thanks to his bestselling literary user’s manual, How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry. Booklist noted that Hirsch “brings the full heat of his literary passion to this enlightening and deeply moving journey into the heart of poetry.”
Booklist has also called Hirsch’s poems “nearly incandescent in their sensuality," and indeed they have long been admired for their tenderness, versatility, and reverence—for both the bodily and the spiritual. As Publishers Weekly has noted, Hirsch's work is characterized by "formidable intelligence, wide reading, and an ambition to connect the poet's own achievement with the great poetry of the past.” The Los Angeles Times Book Review notes "It takes a brave poet to follow Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Milton into the abyss." While an increasing number of poets seem to be dedicated to the vigorous breaking of tradition, Hirsch is respects and makes wonderful use of his lineage. He considers his work “a conversation with other poets, with the many who have come before us, the great dead who have made our work possible.”
Hirsch’s work His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, American Poetry Review, and The Paris Review. His collections of poems include: Wild Gratitude (1986), On Love (1998), Lay Back the Darkness (2003), Special Orders (2008), and, most recently, The Living Fire: New & Selected Poems, drawn from a lifetime of “wild gratitude” in poetry. He’s also published five books of nonfiction, and serves as series editor of The Writer’s Word (Trinity University Press). From 2002 to 2005 he wrote the weekly column “Poet’s Choice” for the Washington Post Book World.
A native of Chicago, Hirsch has taught at Wayne State and the University of Houston, and now resides in New York, where he serves as president of the Guggenheim Foundation. Among his many, many honors are fellowships from the Guggenheim, , and Ingram Merrill Foundations, the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, an Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. In 2008, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
|Poetry Center Reading:|