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Edward Hirsch Biography

(1950– ), For the Sleepwalkers, Wild Gratitude, The Night Parade, Earthly Measures

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: John Hersey Biography to Honest Man's Revenge

American poet, born in Chicago, educated at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania. He taught at Wayne State University from 1979 to 1982, when he became an associate professor at the University of Houston, then Professor of English there in 1988. For the Sleepwalkers (1981), his first collection of poetry, received considerable acclaim for the combination of emotional power and formal accomplishment which have remained characteristic of his verse. The collection's compassionate focus on aspects of human suffering in urban situations is sustained in Wild Gratitude (1986) and The Night Parade (1989); the latter volume makes use of more flexible verse forms for its narrative treatments of Hirsch's personal and familial background in its retrospective evocations of Chicago. Earthly Measures (1994) displays an elegiac concern with the moral and spiritual impoverishment of contemporary society's materialistic and secular culture.

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