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Edward Hirsch (born January 20, 1950) an American poet and academic who wrote a best seller about reading poetry. He is the president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York City (not to be mistaken with E.D. Hirsch, Jr.)



Hirsch was born in Chicago in 1950. He had a childhood involvement with poetry, which he later explored at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph.D. in folklore.


Hirsch was a professor of English at Wayne State University and in 1985 he joined the faculty of the University of Houston where he spent 17 years 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 been published in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, American Poetry Review, and The Paris Review. He wrote a weekly column on poetry for the Washington Post Book World from 2002-2005.

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.

Hirsch's 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.




  • For the Sleepwalkers, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981)
  • Wild Gratitude, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986)
  • The Night Parade, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989)
  • Earthly Measures, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994) ISBN 0-679-76566-2
  • On Love, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998)
  • Lay Back the Darkness (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003) ISBN 0-375-41521-1
  • Special Orders (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008) ISBN 0-307-26681-8


  • How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry, (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1999) ISBN 0-15-100419-6
  • Responsive Reading, (1999)
  • 'Introduction' in John Keats, Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats, (New York: Modern Library, 2001) ISBN 0-375-75669-8
  • The Demon and the Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Expression, (New York: Harcourt Brace, 2002)
  • Poet's Choice, (New York: Harcourt, 2006) ISBN 0-15-101356-X

External links


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