Photo credit: Shoey Sindel
Photo credit: Shoey Sindel

Robert Hass, a distinguished Professor in Poetry and Poetics at UC Berkeley, is a recipient of the prestigious Wallace Stevens Award for his demonstrated mastery of poetry. The $100,000 award from The Academy of American Poets is part of the American Poets Prizes, which has been awarded to poets including Yusef Komunyakaa and Adrienne Rich in the past.

“Very happy, very unexpected news,” Robert Hass said about receiving the award. “The prize is awarded by a panel of a dozen or so contemporary poets, so the sweetness of receiving it is that it comes from one’s peers.”

Hass is a San Francisco native who served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2007. His book of poetry Time and Materials (2010) won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and Sun Under Wood: New Poems (1996) won theNational Book Critics Circle Award.  Hass’ recent books of poetry include What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World (2012) and The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems (2010).

“From his first book to his most recent collection of essays, Robert Hass’s poems and life work have enlarged the map of American poetry in original and immeasurable ways,” Academy of American Poets Chancellor, Jane Hirshfield, said about Hass.  “As a writer, translator, educator, activist, and model of where clear-seeing honesty, passionate curiosity, and the love of language can take you, Hass stands as one of the lighthouse poets of our time. He is the epitome poet the Wallace Stevens Award was created to honor,” Hirshfield adds.

Hass will be honored along with poets Tracy K. Smith, Brian Blanchfield and Rigoberto González at the American Poets Prizes ceremony on October 17, 2014 at The New School in New York.

For more information about the event and Robert Hass’ work, visit The Academy of American Poets website.


Categories: Honors and Awards, September 2014
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About Melissa Hellmann

Melissa Hellmann is a second-year student at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism where she's focusing on long-form writing. When she's not writing for GradNews, she enjoys reporting on Asia and human rights issues.