Truman Capote Award Ceremony: Robert Hass
Former U.S. Poet-Laureate and Pulitzer prize-winning author Robert Hass is this year’s winner of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in Memory of Newton Arvin. He was selected for his 2017 book, A Little Book on Form: An Exploration Into the Formal Imagination of Poetry. With a $30,000 cash prize, the Truman Capote Award is the largest annual cash prize in English-language literary criticism.
Hass is one of contemporary American poetry’s most celebrated and widely-read voices and has taught as a visiting professor at the Workshop on multiple occasions. Critics celebrate Hass’s poetry for its clarity of expression, its conciseness, and its imagery, often drawn from everyday life. In addition to his success as a poet, Hass is also recognized as a leading critic and translator, notably of the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz—Hass has translated more than seven collections of this Nobel prize-winning poet’s work—and Japanese haiku masters Bashō, Buson, and Issa.
His poetry collections include Field Guide (1973), Praise (1979), Human Wishes (1989), Sun Under Wood (1996), and Time and Materials (2007), which won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
His literary criticism includes Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (1984), and The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (1994).
Hass’s work has received the Williams Carlos Williams Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award for both poetry and criticism, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. He has also been a MacArthur Fellow.
Hass teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in California with his wife, the poet Brenda Hillman.
The ceremony is open to the public. Hass will deliver a speech, after which attendees may enjoy a reception.
Photo credit: Shoey Sindel