Story Preservation Initiative®

Preserving the Stories of Our Lives by capturing the voices, words, and meanderings of artists, scientists, writers, poets, musicians, and eyewitnesses to history. Listen, learn, and be amazed! WEB: www.storypreservation.org

Jane Hirshfield

Click on links below to hear Jane’s recording. 

From the Writer’s Almanac, Octoer 2015:  Writer’s Almanac / Jane Hirshfield

For the first time – and likely not the last –  Story Preservation Initiative arranged for a guest interviewer – this time to meet with and record 2012 Hall-Kenyon Prize in Poetry winner, Jane Hirshfield.

On Wednesday, October 24, 2012 Chard DeNiord conducted an SPI recording, talking to Jane about poems, prizes, and life as a poet.  Poet, educator, and writer, Chard earned a BA in religious studies from Lynchburg College, a Masters of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. A cofounder of the New England College MFA program in poetry, he is the author of four poetry collections. His book Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs, released in 2011, is a collection of interviews with prominent American poets.

Jane Hirshfield’s poetry speaks to the central issues of human existence—desire and loss, impermanence and beauty, the many dimensions of our connection with others and the wider community of creatures and objects with which we share our lives. Demonstrating with quiet authority what it means to awaken into the full capacities of attention, her work sets forth a hard-won affirmation of our human fate. Described by The New York Times as “radiant and passionate” and by other reviewers as “ethically aware,” “insightful and eloquent,” and as conveying “succinct wisdom,” her subjects range from the metaphysical and passionate to the political, ecological, and scientific to subtle unfoldings of daily life and experience. Her book of essays on the “mind of poetry” and three anthologies recording the work of women poets from the past have become classics in their fields. An intimate, profound, and generous master of her art, Hirshfield has taught at UC Berkeley, Duke University, Bennington College and elsewhere, and her many appearances at writers conferences and literary festivals in this country and abroad have been highly acclaimed.

Jane Hirshfield is the author of seven collections of poetry, including the new Come, Thief, published in August 2011, After (shortlisted for England’s T.S. Eliot Prize and named a “best book of 2006” by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the London Financial Times), Given Sugar, Given Salt (finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award), The Lives of the Heart, and The October Palace, as well as a book of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. She also edited and co-translated four books containing the work of poets from the past: The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Komachi & Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of JapanWomen in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by WomenMirabai: Ecstatic Poems, and The Heart of Haiku, on Basho, named an Amazon Best Book of 2011. She is also included in the 2012 editions of The Best Spiritual Writing, The Best American Poetry, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology.

Hirshfield’s other honors include The Poetry Center Book Award; fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets; Columbia University’s Translation Center Award; three Pushcart Prizes; and (both twice) the Commonwealth Club’s California Book Award and the Northern California Book Reviewers Award. Her work has appeared in The New YorkerThe AtlanticThe Times Literary SupplementThe Nation,OrionThe American Poetry ReviewPoetry, six editions of The Best American Poetry, and many other publications. Her work frequently appears on Garrison Keillor’s public radio Writer’s Almanac program and has also been featured in two Bill Moyers PBS programs. In fall 2004, Jane Hirshfield was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by The Academy of American Poets, an honor formerly held by such poets as Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Elizabeth Bishop. In 2012, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy.

More information on Chard DeNiord can be found on his website at: http://www.charddeniord.com/

And at the Poetry Foundation website: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/chard-deniord

To listen to Jane’s recording, click on the links below.  

Copyright Story Preservation Initiative.  All rights reserved.

01 Jane Hirshfield_Intro to Recording

02 Jane Hirshfield Early Years_Intro to Buddhism

03 Jane Hirshfield_Early Foreshadowing

04 Jane Hirshfield_The Process of Creating New Poems

05 Jane Hirshfield_The Envoy

06 Jane Hirshfield_Sheep

07 Jane Hirshfield_Exploring the Negative and the Positive

To inquire about Story Preservation Initiative Oral Histories in the Classroom, email us at: edu@storypreservation.net

On the Trail with the Poem “Optimism.”

October 2012, Hall-Kenyon Award Ceremony, Concord, NH

One Response to “Jane Hirshfield”

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