New and selected poems from the 1995-97 US Poet Laureate.
Robert Hass is a major American poet of world stature, a poet of great eloquence, clarity and force whose work is rooted in the landscapes of his native northern California. The Apple Trees at Olema includes work from five books – Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, Sun Under Wood and Time and Materials – plus a substantial gathering of new poems.
Hass’s work is grounded in the beauty of the physical world. His familiar landscapes – San Francisco, the northern California coast, the Sierra high country – are vividly alive in his work. His themes include art, desire, family life, the life between lovers, the violence of history, and the power and inherent limitations of language. His style – formed in part by American modernism, in part by his work as a translator of the Japanese haiku masters and Czeslaw Milosz – combines intimacy of address, quick intelligence, virtuosic skill, intense sensual vividness, and lightness of touch.
Robert Hass was born in 1941 in San Francisco. He served as US Poet Laureate in 1995-97. His many awards include a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for Time and Materials (Ecco, 2007), and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Sun Under Wood (W.W. Norton, 1996). His first collection, Field Guide, was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series in 1973, and his poems have appeared in the Bloodaxe anthologies Staying Alive (2002), Being Alive (2004), Earth Shattering (2007) and Being Human (2011), as well as Michael Schmidt’s two Five American Poets anthologies from Carcanet (2010). He lives in California with his wife, the poet Brenda Hillman, and teaches at the University of California at Berkeley.