Robert Hass: What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World
KPFA Radio 94.1 FM with Poetry Flash presents
What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World
Hosted by Joyce Jenkins & Richard Silberg
$12 advance tickets: brownpapertickets.com : (800) 838-3006
or Pegasus Books, Mrs. Dalloway's, Moe's Books, Walden Pond, DIESEL, a Bookstore, and Modern Times ($15 door) ($8 HC members)
Information: www.kpfa.org/events KPFA benefit
Renowned for his magisterial verse, Robert Hass is also a brilliant essayist. The New York Times applauded him as a writer who "is so intelligent that to read his poetry or prose, or to hear him speak, gives one an almost visceral pleasure."
These acute and deeply engaging essays range from meditation on how we see and treat the earth to the relationship between literature and religion, from explorations of the works of writers as diverse as Korean poet Ko Un, Wallace Stevens, Cormac McCarthy, and Anton Chekhov to the ways in which photography much like an essay embodies a sustained act of attention. The essays in What Light Can Do, finely attuned to the pleasures and pains of being human, are always grounded in the beauty of the material world and its details, and in the larger political and social realities we inhabit.
"Hass brings formidable gifts and experience to the art of criticism Characteristic of all of these pieces is a surpassing generosity of spirit, a determination to understand other writers and artists rather than to judge them. Prime in its classliterate, learned and wise criticism, with scarcely a breath of cynicism or disdain." Kirkus Review
Former U.S. Poet Laureate (1995-1997) Robert Hass has received The National Book Critics Circle Award (1996), the National Book Award (2008), and the Pulitzer Prize (2007). He worked with Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz in translating a dozen volumes of Milosz's poetry. His translations of the Japanese haiku masters have been collected in The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson and Issa. His books of essays include Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism (1984), and Now and Then: The Poet's Choice Columns, 1997-2000. He lives in California with his wife, poet Brenda Hillman, and teaches at U.C. Berkeley.
Joyce Jenkins is the publisher and an editor of Poetry Flash, where Richard Silberg is also an editor. Both are poets.
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