Poet Robert Hass attended last Friday's Academy of American Poets awards ceremonies at the New School in New York, where a $25,000 Academy Fellowship to a midcareer poet was given, as well as a Wallace Stevens Award of S100,000 for lifetime achievement. With its "leaves starting to turn and litter the sidewalks in front of the brownstones," Manhattan "looked like a New Yorker drawing of autumn in New York," e-mailed Hass. "Inside, the auditorium was jammed with the poets of the city and it was Northern California night.
"The fellowship went to Brenda Hillman of Kensington and Inverness and it was presented by Sharon Olds (living in New York, born in Children's Hospital in S.F., grown up in Berkeley) and the W.S. Prize went to our heroic Gary Snyder of Nevada City, the award presented by Jane Hirshfield of Mill Valley. So the audience listened to these brilliant poems of the Sierra foothills and the Point Reyes coast and then went out into the cool Manhattan night."