"Hirsch's contribution [to the study of poetry] is significant. Who could resist the wiles of this poetry-broker, a writer rapidly becoming the baby boomers' preeminent man of letters?" - Detroit Free Press
"reading Hirsch's How to Read a Poem is like a very long evening with a learned and perceptive friend who keeps leaping up to his bookshelf for more and better illustrations, and find ever more connections and revelations." - Boston Book Review
Another recent work of poetry is On Love (Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), a collection of meditations on passion, sex and intimate friendship. As in much of Hirsch's previous work, the poet impersonates the points-of-view of numerous writers and thinkers from the past. The characters who speak in On Love include Gertrude Stein, Colette, Emily Dickinson, Bertolt Brecht, Charles Baudelaire, Henrich Heine, Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Fuller, Frederico Garcia Lorca and Jimi Hendrix.
Hirsch is without question heir to all the great poets of the past, and when he considers his won life, he writes lyric poems nearly incandescent in their sensuality."
His other poetry collections include Earthly Measures (1994), an exploration of human cravings for an absent God; The Night Parade (1989), a poetic history of Chicago told in many voices (the previous two listed as notable books of the year by the New York Times Book Review); Wild Gratitude (1986), which received the National Book Critics Circle Award; and For the Sleepwalkers (1981), which received the Lavan Younger Poets Award for the Academy of American Poets, and Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award of New York University.
He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. Hirsch has taught English at the University of Houston, Texas since 1985. His articles and poetry appear often in The New Yorker, Poetry and American Poetry Review. A collection of essays and reviews, Responsive Reading, was published as part of the Poets on Poetry series at the University of Michigan Press in 1999.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.