Robert Hass (1941
- ) is a well-known American poet
who served as Poet Laureate of the United States
. Some themes that Hass' writes about in his poetry include nature, the human process of feeling, and the connections between people. A Bay Area
native and resident, many of his poems are set there.
Robert Hass was born in San Francisco on March 1, 1941. He grew up in the Marin County suburb of San Rafael where he attended a private Catholic prep school. As a young man in the 1950s, Hass was influenced by the San Francisco beat poet scene and counts Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder as major influences.
Hass graduated from St. Mary's College in Moraga, California in 1963. He then earned his M.A. and Ph.D in English at Stanford University, where he formed relationships with fellow poets John Matthias, James McMichael, John Peck, and Robert Pinsky, and Yvor Winters. After receiving his degree from Stanford in 1971, Hass began teaching and writing at his alma mater St. Mary's College from 1971 until 1989, when he joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley.
Hass' books of poetry include Field Guide (1973), Praise (1979), Human Wishes (1989), and Sun Under Wood (1996). He has also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Czeslaw Milosz, such as Facing the River (1995), and has authored or edited of several collections of critical essays and translation, most notably The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (1994), and Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (1984).
Robert Hass currently lives in Berkeley, California with his second wife, poet Brenda Hillman, whom he married in 1995. Hass has three children from his first marriage.