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The Asking


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About the Author

Jane Hirshfield Her honours include fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations and from the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Center Book Award and the California Book Award. In the UK, her collection After, a Poetry Book Society Choice, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2016. A former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2019. She lives in northern California.


Jane Hirshfield’s poems often feel like whole landscapes, graciously embracing the widest view and the tiniest sequins at once . . . Her longtime practice of Soto Zen Buddhism and her commitments to scientific knowledge and respect blend to create some of the most important poetry in the world today
*New York Times Magazine*

Hirshfield’s writing is always sensuous and focused: at the same time, her Zen-influenced deep absorption in things seen and sensed is often unsettled by a further, philosophical line of inquiry. This leads to new insights, but not necessarily an easy resolution.
*Poem of the Week, The Guardian*

The most important measure of anything is its meaning... Hirshfield perfectly captures our individual sense of lostness, faced with undeniable catastrophe, while invoking our collective responsibility.
*The Guardian*

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