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Poets Hass, Gander take stage in Merwin’s Green Room

Art and ecology salon event set for Dec. 13 in McCoy Studio Theater

Poets Robert Hass and Forest Gander take the stage together Dec. 13 for an evening immersed in the power of language as part of the Merwin Conservancy’s Green Room arts and ecology salon Memorial Series, in honor of the organization’s founder, the late W.S. Merwin. A previous Memorial Series event is pictured. -- The Merwin Conservancy / BRYAN BERKOTWITZ photo

The Merwin Conservancy will present renowned poets Robert Hass and Forest Gander in the Green Room at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 in McCoy Studio Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Hass and Gander take the stage together for an evening immersed in the power of language as part of the Merwin Conservancy’s Green Room arts and ecology salon Memorial Series, in honor of the organization’s founder, the late W.S. Merwin.

Hass, a poet, essayist and translator, won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 2007, and was also twice awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award, in poetry and in criticism. The recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, he served as poet laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997.

An active environmentalist, he is on the board of directors of the International River and is co-founder of the national environmental education project River of Words, in which thousands of American schoolchildren participate every year.

His books, full of the life of Northern California, include several volumes of poetry: “Field Guide,” Praise,” “Human Wishes,” “Sun Under Wood,” “Time and Materials,” “The Apple Trees at Olema” and “Summer Snow.” He is also author of several collections of essays on poetry and culture, including “Twentieth Century Pleasures; What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World,” which received a PEN award for special excellence in the art of the essay; and “Now and Then: The Poet’s Choice Columns, 1996-2000,” a collection of his weekly columns for The Washington Post.

Robert Hass

He is co-translator with Czeslaw Milosz of 10 volumes of Milosz’s poems, including “The Collected Poems,” “Unattainable Earth,” “Provinces,” “Facing the River” and “Road-side Dog.” He has edited volumes of the work of the Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, Slovenian poet, Tomaz Salmun, and American poet Robinson Jeffers. He has also published “The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson and Issa.”

Gander won the 2019 Pulitzer for poetry and has degrees in both geology and literature. He was born in the Mojave Desert, grew up in Virginia, and taught for many years at Brown University in Providence, R.I., with his wife, poet CD Wright.

Among Gander’s most recent books are “Be With,” awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize; the novel “The Trace”; and “Eiko & Koma,” a collaboration with the eponymous movement artists.

Gander is also known as a translator whose recent works include “Alice Iris Red Horse: Poems by Gozo Yoshimasu” and, with Patricio Ferra, “The Galloping Hour: French Poems of Alejandra Pizarnik.” He has a history of collaborating with artists such as Ann Hamilton, Sally Mann, Graciela Iturbide and Vic Chesnutt, and is a recipient of grants from the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim, Howard, Whiting and United States Artists Foundations.

The presentation will be followed by a book-signing at a courtyard reception with light dessert provided and beverages available for purchase.

Forest Gander

The Memorial Series of the Green Room is presented by Aqua Aston Hospitality, and is made possible with the support of the Atherton Family Foundation and Casa deFlores. All profits from the event benefit the Maui nonprofit Merwin Conservancy.

Tickets are $25, $10 for students with identification, plus applicable fees. All attendees are invited to stay for the post-event hosted reception included in the ticket price.