At 8 p.m. Thursday, April 2, Robert Hass - a poet being hailed as one of our indispensable American voices - will be reading at Nunemaker Place on the Westminster College campus.
Hass took a few moments away from his busy life to talk with the Deseret News about poems, places and people. He also talked of his reputation as a "Bay Area poet.""I suppose when you write about the world you live in, you become a regionalist," he says. "It's hard to grow up in this area and not have your heart pledged to the landscape."
Hass' translations of Czeslaw Milosz - the Nobel Prize-winning Polish writer - have enhanced the world of verse. But his own work is drawing more attention now, especially when his evolution as a poet is discussed. His lines have always been straightforward and clean ("There's a great tradition of plainness in American writing"), but now they are growing longer. And his subject matter for his latest book of verse, "Human Wishes," has also changed.
"As I've grown older, the human world has come to be more important to me as a subject," he explains. "Working with a great writer like Milosz helped me see I couldn't keep writing about the things I was writing about."
And do those prose poems of "Human Wishes" foreshadow an upcoming novel?
"No," he laughs. "I just hope they foreshadow more poems."
The reading is sponsored by Westminster College, A Woman's Place Bookstore, the Utah and Salt Lake arts councils and the National Endowment for the Arts.