Jane Hirshfield was born in 1953 in New York and lives in northern California. Her first book of poetry published in the UK was Each Happiness Ringed by Lions: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2005), which drew on her first five collections, Alaya (1982), Of Gravity & Angels (1988), The October Palace (1994), The Lives of the Heart (1997) and Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001). This was followed by four later collections, After (Bloodaxe Books, 2006), a Poetry Book Society Choice, which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, Come, Thief (Bloodaxe Books, 2012), The Beauty (Bloodaxe Books, 2015) and Ledger (2020). Her retrospective, The Asking: New & Selected Poems, is published by Knopf in the US in 2023 and by Bloodaxe in the UK in 2024. In 2008 Bloodaxe published Jane Hirshfield's lectures Hiddenness, Surprise, Uncertainty: Three Generative Energies of Poetry (Newcastle/ Bloodaxe Poetry Lectures). She has also published two now-classic collections of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (1997) and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (2015), and has edited and co-translated four books presenting the work of world poets from the deep past. She edited the anthology Women in Praise of the Sacred (1994), and co-translated The Ink Dark Moon: Poems by Ono No Komachi and Izumi Shikibu (1988) and, with Robert Bly, Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems (2004). Her own poetry was translated into Polish by Czeslaw Milosz, who also wrote the introduction to her Polish Selected Poems. An elected member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, she is a former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and has won numerous literary awardsis. She was the 2022 Seamus Heaney International Visiting Poetry Fellow at Queen’s University, Belfast, based at the Seamus Heaney Centre for the whole of November 2022.
Author photo: Curt Richter
Books by Jane Hirshfield