Edward Hirsch (born 1950) is an American poet and academic who wrote a best seller about reading poety.
Edward Hirsch was born in Chicago in 1950. In October 1958 he "wandered down to the basement of our house to pick through some of my grandfather's forgotten books" and read a verse (Emily Brontë's Spellbound) that entranced him. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with poetry, which he explored at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph.D. in folklore.
He was a professor of English at Wayne State University and in 1985 he joined the faculty of the University of Houston where he still holds tenure as professor of English. He was appointed the fourth president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation on September 3, 2002. He holds honorary degrees from several institutions.
He is the poetry editor of DoubleTake magazine. His essays have also been published in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, American Poetry Review, and The Paris Review. He writes a weekly column on poetry for the Washington Post Book World.
His first collection of verse For the Sleepwalkers (1981) received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University. His second collection Wild Gratitude received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1986. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985, a five-year MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1987 and the William Riley Parker Prize from the Modern Language Association for the best scholarly essay in Proceedings of the Modern Language Association for the year 1991.
His self-explanatory book How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry was a surprise bestseller in 1999 and remains in print through multiple printings.
Biography by: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Edward Hirsch.