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Jane Hirshfield

(New York / United States)

Biography of Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield poet

Jane Hirshfield (born 24 February 1953)[1] is an American poet, essayist, and translator. She was born in February 24, 1953. She was born on East 20th Street, New York City. She received her bachelor's degree from Princeton University in the school's first graduating class to include women.

Hirshfield's seven books of poetry have each received numerous awards. Her fifth book, Given Sugar, Given Salt, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and her sixth collection, After, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize (UK) and named a 'best book of 2006' by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Financial Times. She has written a book of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. The Ink Dark Moon, her co-translation of the work of the two foremost women poets of classical-era Japan, was instrumental in bringing tanka (a 31-syllable Japanese poetic form) to the attention of American poets. She has edited four books collecting the work of poets from the past and is noted as being "part of a wave of important scholarship then seeking to recover the forgotten history of women writers." She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985, the Academy of American Poets’ 2004 Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 2005, and the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Award in American Poetry in 2012.

Hirshfield has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, The Bennington Writing Seminars, and as the Elliston Visiting Poet at the University of Cincinnati. She has also taught at many writers conferences, including Bread Loaf and The Napa Valley Writers Conference and has served as both core and associate faculty in the Bennington Master of Fine Arts Writing Seminars. Hirshfield appears frequently in literary festivals both in America and abroad, including the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, the National Book Festival, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Poetry International (London, UK), the China Poetry Festival (Xi'an, China), and the Second International Gathering of the Poets [Kraków, Poland]. She is also a contributing editor at The Alaska Quarterly Review and Ploughshares, a former guest editor of The Pushcart Prize Anthology and an advisory editor at Orion and Tricycle.

Honors and awards

The Poetry Center Book Award
The California Book Award
Fellowship, Guggenheim Foundation
Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation,
Fellowship, Academy of American Poets
Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts
Columbia University's Translation Center Award
Commonwealth Club of California Poetry Medal
Bay Area Book Reviewers Award
Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement from The Academy of American Poets (2004)
Finalist, T. S. Eliot Prize
Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award
Elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, 2012

PoemHunter.com Updates

The Envoy

One day in that room, a small rat.
Two days later, a snake.

Who, seeing me enter,
whipped the long stripe of his
body under the bed,
then curled like a docile house-pet.

I don't know how either came or left.

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