The Academy of American Poets has awarded Saint Mary’s alumnus Robert Hass '63 the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement. The 73-year-old Hass is a former U.S. poet laureate, Pulitzer Prize and National Book award winner and author of numerous collections of poetry. His most recent book was the 2012 work “What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination.”
The Wallace Stevens Award lifetime achievement prize annually recognizes a writer exemplifying outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry. The award was established 20 years ago by Academy of American Poets and carries a stipend of $100,000.
Although a Distinguished Professor in Poetry and Poetics at UC Berkeley, Hass’ ties to the College are deep. He frequently lectures at Saint Mary’s, is an ardent supporter of the College’s MFA in Creative Writing Program, which is directed by his gifted wife, poet and English Professor Brenda Hillman, and last October he delivered a special poetry reading during the inauguration of Saint Mary’s President James Donahue.
An activist and environmentalist, Hass also co-founded Saint Mary’s River of Words International Youth Creativity Awards contest, the largest environmental youth poetry and art competition in the world, with writer Pamela Michael, who directs the contest through the College’s Center for Environmental Literacy in the Kalmanovitz School of Education.
Media outlets across the nation, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Publishers Weekly, New York Times and the Associated Press reported on Hass’ selection for the prestigious honor. Read more about Robert Hass winning the Wallace Stevens Award.