A Reading in conjunction with the Around Zukofsky Conference
Born in 1941, Robert Hass is a native Californian whose poetry is well known for its West Coast subjects and attitude. Hass received his M.A. (1965) and Ph.D. (1971) in English at Stanford University and began teaching literature and writing at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1967. He went on to teach at his alma mater St. Mary's College of California from 1971 until 1989, when he joined the faculty at the University of California-Berkeley. Hass's many honors include: the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award for his first book Field Guide in 1973, the William Carlos Williams Award for his second book Praise in 1979, the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism for Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry , and the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry for Sun Under Wood in 1996. Other books include Human Wishes and Praise ; Hass has also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet, Czeslaw Milosz, most recently Facing the River (1995); he is author or editor of several other collections of essays and translations, including The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (1994), and Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (1984). In addition, Hass is chairman of the board of directors of River of Words's, an organization that promotes environmental and arts education in affiliation with the Library of Congress Center for the Book, and judges their annual international environmental poetry and art contest for youth. He is also a board member of International Rivers Network and was chosen as Educator of the Year by the North American Association on Environmental Education. Hass served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and is currently a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.