Palm Beach Poetry Fesitival names former US Poet Laureate/Pulitzer Prize Winner Robert Hass as Special Guest Poet in 2016

Susan Williamson, Director of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival recently announced that Robert Hass, former United States Poet Laureate (1995-1997) and 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner, will serve as Special Guest Poet at the 12th annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival, which will be held next January 18-23 at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts. 0image0

“Robert Hass is, first of all, a poet of great eloquence, clarity, and force, whose work is rooted in the landscapes of his native Northern California,” says Williamson. “He brings the kind of energy in his poetry to his work as an essayist, translator, and activist on behalf of poetry, literacy, and the environment. In his tenure as United States Poet Laureate, Robert Hass spent two years battling American illiteracy, armed with the mantra, ‘imagination makes communities’.”


“Having Robert Hass with us in January 2016 is like having a Master Chef cater an intimate dinner for two,” agrees Miles Coon, Founder of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. “His poems are delectable and delicious. And when he serves his poetry, it is as if he were talking only to you. Hearing a Hass poem is to experience language at its most tender and most powerful means of human expression. He is truly one of America’s greatest living poets, devoted to his art, his teaching and to improving and preserving the environment.”
“Hass has significantly broadened the role of poet laureate to include not only his love for poetry but also his concern for literacy and his passion for environmentalism,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The many books of poetry by Robert Hass include Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, and Sun Under Wood, a book of essays on poetry, Twentieth Century Pleasures. Haas translated Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet, Czeslaw Milosz, and edited Selected Poems: 1954-1986 by Tomas Transtromer, The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and IssaPoet’s Choice: Poems for Everyday Life; and Modernist Women Poets: An Anthology (with Paul Ebenkamp). His collection of poems Time and Materials won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.


As US Poet Laureate (1995-1997), his deep commitment to environmental issues led him to found River of Words (ROW), an organization that promotes environmental and arts education in affiliation with the Library of Congress Center for the Book.


Robert Hass was chosen as Educator of the Year by the North American Association on Environmental Education and, in 2005, elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.


Awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, twice the National Book Critics’ Circle Award (in 1984 and 1997), and the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1973, Robert Hass is a professor of English at UC Berkeley.
The 12th Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival will be held next January at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts. The Festival will feature top poets at numerous ticketed public events, including readings, talks, interviews, panel discussions and more. The Palm Beach Poetry Festival is generously sponsored by The National Endowment for the ArtsMorgan Stanleythe Windler Group of Morgan Stanley’s Atlanta Office; the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach County Tourism Development Council and the Board of Commissioners of Palm Beach CountyThe Palm Beach PostVisit FloridaWLRN; and Murder on the Beach, Delray Beach’s independent bookseller.
For more information about the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, please visit