poet, Guggenheim fellow
Jane Hirshfield was born in New York City in 1953. Describing her decision to leave the poetry world shortly after publishing her first poem in 1973, she told reviewer Rose Scolari, "I felt that I'd never make much of a poet if I didn't know more than I knew at that time about what it means to be a human being." Hirshfield spent the next eight years studying Zen Buddhism at the San Francisco Zen Center. She returned to writing and teaching in the early 1980s and has since published several collections of poetry, including *Of Gravity & Angels, After,* and *Given Sugar, Given Salt*, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hirshfield's many honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations. She is currently on the faculty of the Bennington MFA writing seminars.