Jane Hirshfield


Jane Hirshfield is the author of eight collections of poems, including Come, Thief; After, which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize; Given Salt, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and, most recently, The Beauty, a finalist for the National Book Award. She is also the author of Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World and Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts, Hirshfield is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. While never a full-time academic, she has taught at UC Berkeley, Bennington, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Stanford University. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

A person walking inside a burning-down campfire of unimaginable scale finds herself speaking in the whisper of library or church. It is not a landscape living eyes were meant to see or can quite take in as actual and not dream. There was no sense of hell-like inferno in this realm of after, only exhausted awe at something so beautiful, so much larger than any experience I had yet known. A Grand Canyon of fire traveled all the way into, then lived inside of. A world whose long-familiar darkness had been turned into glimmer and glow.


Some of my favorite people on earth are in this book,
Dear writers and grand spirits.

Annie Dillard