Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Edward Hirsch  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: January 20, 1950 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Hirsch was born in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Edward Hirsch received the National Book Critics award, Prix de Rome. In 2008, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He taught for six years in the English Department at Wayne State University and seventeen years in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston. He is now president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor, Embassy of Chile, Office of the Ambassador, 2004;

The Sleepwalkers

Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award, New York University

Lavan Younger Poets Award, Academy of American Poets

Wild Gratitude

National Book Critics Award

Strangers by the Night

Starred Review, Booklist

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Gabriel: A Poem

Longlisted, National Book Award, 2014

A Poet's Glossary

Starred Review, Booklist

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

100 poems to break your heart /
ISBN: 0544931882. OCLC Number: 1159043021

. .

"100 of the most moving and inspiring poems of the last 200 years from around the world, a collection that will comfort and enthrall anyone trapped by grief or loneliness, selected by the award-winning, best-selling, and beloved author of How to Read a Poem"--

A poet's glossary /
ISBN: 0151011958. OCLC Number: 318415613

. .

A joyful, elegant glossary of poetic terms spanning centuries and continents, from the famed poet and author of the best-selling How to Read a Poem (and Fall in Love with Poetry).

Earthly measures :
ISBN: 0679765662. OCLC Number: 28376862

Alfred Knopf :. .

Edward Hirsch's strong, arresting poems have been praised from the start of his career. Of his second book, Wild Gratitude, Robert Penn Warren said, "I am convinced that the best poems here are unsurpassed in our time." This, his fourth collection, contains his finest work. From gritty, apocalyptic views of the urban Midwest to brilliantly empathetic portrayals of Simone Weil and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, the range of poems is at once wide and subtle. "In the Midwest."

For the sleepwalkers :
ISBN: 0887482511. OCLC Number: 39087635

Carnegie Mellon University Press,. .

Gabriel :
ISBN: 038535357X. OCLC Number: 867283774

. .

A poignant volume of works inspired by the author's son's tragic early death reflects on the young man's boisterous youth, his rebellious early adulthood, and the author's experiences of grief.

How to read a poem :
ISBN: 0151004196. OCLC Number: 40347405

. .

This volume presents an exploration of poetry and feeling, introducing poems selected by the author as emblematic because they suggest something crucial about the nature of poetry itself, and offering his insights on how the poems should be read. In this guide, the author reaches out to all those who may be disaffected by the mere mention of poetry and instructs the reader to focus on a personal, emotional response.

Lay back the darkness :
ISBN: 0375415211. OCLC Number: 52166179

Knopf :. .

"Edward Hirsch's sixth collection is a descent into the darkness of middle age, narrated with exacting tenderness. He explores the boundaries of human fallibility both in candid personal poems ... and in his passionate encounters with classic poetic texts."--Dustjacket.

On love :
ISBN: 0375702601. OCLC Number: 44113308

A.A. Knopf,. .

Poet's choice /
ISBN: 015101356X. OCLC Number: 61684155

Harcourt,. .

A collection of revised and expanded writings culled from the author's popular Washington Post Book World "Poet's Choice" column demonstrates how poetry responds to world challenges and introduces the work of more than 130 writers.

Responsive reading
ISBN: 0472096923. OCLC Number: 40901182

University of Michigan Press,. .

Special orders :
ISBN: 0307266818. OCLC Number: 166358515

. .

"In 'Special Orders', the renowned poet Edward Hirsch brings us a new series of tightly crafted poems, work that demonstrates a thrilling expansion of his tone and subject matter. It is with a mixture of grief and joy that Hirsch examines what he calls 'the minor triumphs, the major failures' of his life so far, in lines that reveal a startling frankness in the man composing them, a fearlessness in confronting his own internal divisions: 'I lived between my heart and my head, / like a married couple who can't get along, ' he writes in 'Self-portrait.' These poems constitute a profound, sometimes painful self-examination, by the end of which the poet marvels at the sense of expectancy and transformation he feels. His fifteen-year-old son walking on Broadway is a fledgling about to sail out over the treetops; he has a new love, passionately described in 'I Wish I Could Paint You'; he is ready to live, he tells us, 'solitary, bittersweet, and utterly free.'"--Jacket.

Stranger by night :
ISBN: 0525657789. OCLC Number: 1101574711

. .

"In his 70th birthday year, the award-winning poet looks back on what was and accepts what is, in a beautiful sequence about what sustains him. Beginning with "My Friends Don't Get Buried," the lament of a delinquent mourner as his friends have begun to die, and ending with the plaintive note to self "don't write elegies/anymore," Hirsch takes us backward through the decades in these memory poems of startling immediacy. He recalls the black dress a lover wore when he couldn't yet know the tragedy of her burning spirit; the radiance of an autumn day in Detroit when his students smoked outside, passionately discussing Shelley; the day he got off late from a railyard shift and missed an anti-war demonstration. There are direct and indirect elegies to lost contemporaries like Mark Strand, William Meredith, and, most especially, his longtime compatriot Philip Levine, whom he honors in several poems about daily work in the late midcentury Midwest. As the poet ages and begins to lose his peripheral vision, the world is "stranger by night," but these elegant, heart-stirring poems shed light on a lifetime that inevitably contains both sorrow and its opposite"--

The demon and the angel :
ISBN: 0151005389. OCLC Number: 49280027

. .

In an exploration of the sources and mysteries of artistic creativity, the author examines the concept of "duende," the power of creativity that results in a work of art, as he looks at how different artists respond to the creative impulse.

The essential poet's glossary /
ISBN: 0544931238. OCLC Number: 953710120

. .

"A Poet's Glossary was an extraordinary achievement, a definitive source for poets and poetry lovers alike. Now, The Essential Poet's Glossary gleans the fundamentals from that extraordinary volume. Edward Hirsch's sparkling new work compiles poetic terms spanning centuries and continents, including forms, devices, movements, aesthetics, rhetorical terms, and folklore. Knowing how a poem works is crucial to unlocking its meaning--entries will deepen readers' relationships with their favorite poems and open greater levels of understanding in each new poem they encounter. Shot through with the enthusiasm, authority, and sheer delight that made A Poet's Glossary and How to Read a Poem so beloved, this essential edition is the book that all readers, writers, teachers, and students of poetry will return to again and again."--Page 4 of cover.

The living fire :
ISBN: 037541522X. OCLC Number: 401715639

Alfred A. Knopf,. .

A volume of more than one hundred definitive and original pieces by the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning writer includes poems that critically assess his own works and explore such topics as insomnia, culture and the arts.

The night parade /
ISBN: 0679722998. OCLC Number: 18907304

. .

To a nightingale :
ISBN: 9780807615874. OCLC Number: 87743615

George Braziller Publishers :. .

Wild gratitude /
ISBN: 0375710124. OCLC Number: 12262695

. .