Winner of the 2012 Hall-Kenyon Poetry Prize
PLYMOUTH, N.H. —The 2012 Eagle Pond Authors’ Series at Plymouth State University will open with a reading and reception with poet, essayist and translator Jane Hirshfield at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 23. Senior PSU English major Leah Loraditch from Londonderry will open the program, reading several of her poems.
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. Her work, described by The New York Times as “radiant and passionate,” sets forth a hard-won affirmation of our human fate.
After publishing her first poem in 1973, Hirshfield spent eight years away from poetry. “I felt that I’d never make much of a poet if I didn’t know more than I knew at the time about what it means to be a human being,” Hirshfield told reviewer Rose Scolari. Hirshfield returned to writing and teaching in the 1980s.
She is the author of seven collections of poetry, including 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 Japan, Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems, and The Heart of Haiku, on Basho, named an Amazon Best Book of 2011. She is also included in The Best Spiritual Writing of 2012 and The Best American Poetry 2011. 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 field.
The much-celebrated Hirshfield will be awarded the 2012 Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry October 24 in Concord. The award is sponsored by the New Hampshire Writers’ Project and the Concord Monitor. Speaking of the award she told Concord Monitor reporter Sarah Earle, “… I am surprised, pleased, and tremendously honored to be given this prize, named for two poets whose work has meant so much to me over the years of my writing life.”
Hall will be on hand in Plymouth to introduce Hirshfield and both will stay after the reading for an authors’ reception and book signing.
Now in its 15th year, the Eagle Pond Authors’ Series is a tribute to Donald Hall, one of the nation’s most beloved poets and authors. Hall remains the heart and soul of this series and is instrumental in bringing nationally and internationally revered poets to the PSU campus.
Free tickets for the Eagle Pond Authors’ Series are available at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869, and are highly recommended. The series is presented with generous support from the Follett Higher Education Group (PSU Bookstore).