Jane Hirshfield is the author of seven books of poetry, including the recently published Come, Thief (Knopf, 2011, Bloodaxe, 2012) and a now-classic collection of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (HarperCollins, 1997). Bloodaxe has also brought out in their Blookdaxe Newcastle Lecture Series Hiddenness, Uncertainty, Suprise: Three Generative Energies in Poems. Hirshfield has also edited and co-translated four books collecting the work of world poets of the past. Her sixth poetry collection, After (HarperCollins), was named a best book of 2006 by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Financial Times, and was a finalist for England’s T. S. Eliot Award; her fifth, Given Sugar, Given Salt (HarperCollins, 2001), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
An introduction to Basho and haiku, The Heart of Haiku, was named an Amazon Best Book of 2011, and her co-translation of the poems of the two foremost classical-era Japanese women poets, The Ink Dark Moon, received Columbia University’s Translation Center Award.
Hirshfield’s other honors include The California Book Award, The Poetry Center Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Academy of American Poets. In 2012, Hirshfield was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, McSweeneys, Poetry London, The Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland, and seven editions of The Best American Poetry. While never a full time academic, she has been a visiting poet at the University of California, Berkeley, Duke University, the University of Virginia, and elsewhere, has served on the faculty of Bennington College’s MFA Writing Seminars.
She presents her poems widely in universities, literary centers, conferences, and festivals throughout the United States and abroad, including China, Poland, Syria, Japan, England, Ireland, Lithuania, and Greece. Hirshfield has been featured in two Bill Moyers public television documentaries and her work appears frequently on national public radio.
Born in New York City in 1953, she has been a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area since 1974, where she lives in a small white cottage on the flank of Mount Tamalpais with molecular biologist Carl Pabo.