The William B. Hart Poet in Residence this season is Edward Hirsch, a celebrated poet and the president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Hirsch was born in Chicago in 1950—his accent makes it impossible for him to hide his origins—and educated at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a PhD in folklore. He taught for six years in the English Department at Wayne State University and for seventeen years in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston.
Hirsch’s collection of poems, For the Sleepwalkers (1981), received the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University, as well as the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. His second collection, Wild Gratitude (1986), won the National Book Critics Award. Since then, Hirsch has published six more poetry books, including The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (2010), which collected thirty-five years of work. He has also authored five books of prose.