The celebrated poet Edward Hirsch talks to us about the connective power of language and poetry. “Poetry is the social act of a solitary person,” he says. The act of writing and reading poetry, he suggests, helps alleviate loneliness, even when we are physically isolated. “When you’re reading a poem you’re not alone with your own feelings,” he explains, “I have always found that comforting.”
Edward Hirsch was born in Chicago in 1950, and has had a lifelong devotion to poetry. Hirsch has published eight collections of poems since 1981, as well as five books of prose. He has also edited numerous poetry anthologies. For his work, Hirsch has received such distinguished awards as a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, a Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor, the Prix de Rome, and an Academy of Arts and Letters Award.
Hirsch is the President of the Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches in the English Department at Wayne State University, and Creative Writing at the University of Houston.