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Jane Hirshfield: American Poet

On Monday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. Ashland Chamber of Commerce and Ashland Public Library welcome Award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield to the Mountain Street Theatre at Ashland High School. Doors open at 6:30. Tickets to the event are $10.

"Hirschfield's poems renew, reaffirm the power of language to move deeply, to articulate experience precisely. Her poems are meant to endure," says The Antioch Review.

Jane Hirshfield's poetry speaks to the central issues of human existence-desire and loss, impermanence and beauty, the many dimensions of our connection to others and to the creatures and objects with which we share our lives.

Demonstrating with quiet authority what it means to awaken into the full capacities of attention, her work sets forth a hard-won affirmation of our human fate. Described by reviewers as "radiant and passionate," "ethically aware," "insightful and eloquent," and as conveying "a succinct wisdom," her work ranges from the metaphysical and passionate to the political and scientific to the subtle unfolding of daily life. Her book of essays on the "mind of poetry" and three anthologies recording the work of women poets from the past are each considered classics in their fields.

An intimate, profound, and generous master of her art, Hirshfield has been a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and elsewhere, a member of the Bennington College MFA faculty, and has been received with wide acclaim in her many appearances at writers conferences, literary centers, and festivals both in this country and abroad.

Jane Hirshfield is the author of six collections of poetry, including After, Given Sugar, Given Salt (finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award), The Lives of the Heart, and The October Palace, as well as a book of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. She also edited and co-translated The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Komachi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan, Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, and Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems.

Hirshfield's other honors include The Poetry Center Book Award; fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets; Columbia University's Translation Center Award; and the Commonwealth Club of California's Poetry Medal.

Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, four of the past six volumes of The Best American Poetry, and many other publications, and has been featured numerous times on Garrison Keillor's Writers Almanac program, as well as in two Bill Moyers PBS television specials.

In fall 2004, Jane Hirshfield was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by The Academy of American Poets, an honor formerly held by such poets as Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Elizabeth Bishop.

Tickets are available at Bloomsbury Books, Tree House Books, The Bookwagon and A Rug For All Reasons in Medford. This event is supported by Friends of the Ashland Public Library and the Ashland Chamber of Commerce. The Mountain Avenue Theater at Ashland High School is located at 201 South Mountain Ave. Call (541) 482-8771, ext. 197.