|Poet Laureate Robert Hass to read works at Centre
RELEASED: April 19, 2001
DANVILLE, KY-Robert Hass, poet laureate of the United States from 1995 through 1997, will give a poetry reading on April 23 at 8 p.m. in Weisiger Theatre on the Centre College Campus. The free public reading will be followed by a book signing.
The only duty required of the nation's poet laureate is to present one reading and one lecture per year at the Library of Congress. As poet laureate, Hass broadened that role and became a champion for literacy and environmental issues. He crisscrossed the United States speaking at Rotary Club meetings and other organizations to raise money to hold conferences such as Watershed, a gathering of writers and environmentalists who teach inner-city kids about the nation's long tradition of nature writing. As a result of Hass's commitment to such ideals, he was selected as "Educator of the Year" by the North American Association on Environmental Education in 1997.
"No practicing poet has more talent than Robert Hass," proclaims The Atlantic Monthly. Hass explores nature, solitude and the bonds of children, parents and lovers in his poetry. Believing that natural beauty must be tended to and that caring for a place means knowing it intimately, Hass feels that poets especially need to pay constant attention to the interaction of mind and environment.
A professor of English at the University of California-Berkeley, Hass has won numerous awards including a "genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation in 1984. His first collection of poems, Field Guide, brought him a 1973 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. His second volume of poems, Praise, was awarded the William Carlos Williams Award in 1979, and Sun Under Wood, described by the Los Angeles Times as "Hass at his best," received the 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry.
Hass has also received critical acclaim for his translations of both the works of Czeslaw Milosz and the haiku of his non-Western mentors Basho, Buson and Issa as well as for Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry, a collection of his essays and reviews, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 1984. Robert Hass is editing the 2001 edition of Best American Poetry -- due out in late 2001.
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