Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
September 20, 1995
Poet Laureate Robert Hass Opens Fall 1995 Literary Season
Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Robert Hass will open the 1995-96 literary season at the Library of Congress with a reading from his work on Thursday, October 12. The program, which begins at 6:45 p.m., will be in the Montpelier Room on the 6th floor of the James Madison Memorial Building. Tickets are not required.
Robert Hass, who succeeds Rita Dove as Poet Laureate, was born in San Francisco in 1941. He received his B.A. degree from St. Mary's College, Moraga, California, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. His first collection of poetry, ...Field Guide... (1973), won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. His second collection, ...Praise... (1979), took the William Carlos Williams Award. His other works include ...Twentieth Century Pleasures... (1984), a collection of essays that won the National Book Critics Award for criticism in 1985; ...Human Wishes,... a book of poetry and short prose pieces (1989); and ...The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa... (1994). He has worked with poet Czeslaw Milosz as a translator of Mr. Milosz's ...Collected Poems... and his books ...Provinces... (1993) and ...Facing the River... (1995).
Among Mr. Hass's other awards and honors are a Danforth Fellowship (1963-67) and a MacArthur Fellowship (1984-89). He is on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, where he is teaching two courses this fall.
Upon his appointment, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington described Robert Hass as "a first-rate poet and a gifted poetic translator [who] looks both to Central Europe in his close collaboration with Czeslaw Milosz and to Japan in his translations of classic haiku.... His wide-ranging interests will enable him to design many interesting programs."
Mr. Hass will also bring the work of poets from the Western states to local audiences during his tenure. The fall 1995 reading series will feature Karen Alkalay-Gut and Jorie Graham (October 19), Lyn Hejinian and Michael Palmer (Nov. 2), Gary Snyder (Nov. 16), David Mura and Claudia Rankine (Nov. 30), and Frank Bidart and Robert Pinsky (Dec. 7). The spring 1996 schedule will bring to Washington writers such as Ishmael Reed, Maxine Hong Kingston, Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, and objectivist poet Carl Rakosi.
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