Those poets always companioned me, especially when I faced fierce opposition, sometimes from the people closest to me. My parents wanted their oldest son to become a doctor or a lawyer; being a poet was not on their radar. But I felt strongly that poetry was my life's purpose, and I was absolutely determined to live out that purpose. I am 60 years old now, and I have just published my new and selected poems, which brings together 35 years of work. I feel as powerfully as I ever did the true nobility of poetry, the urgency of trying to get something right in language, what it means to be a maker. I have tried to leave behind a record of my intensities, my exultations and despairs, my immersion in the living fire.
Read a poem from Edward's book The Living Fire
Edward Hirsch is a poet, teacher, literary critic and tireless advocate for poetry. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award. In 2008, he was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In March 2010, Knopf released The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems, which brings together 35 years of Hirsch's poems. He is now the president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and lives in New York City.
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