Known also as an essayist, translator, and activist on behalf of poetry, literacy, and the environment, the former United States Poet Laureate (1995-1997) is a poet of great eloquence, clarity, and force. About Hass's work, poet Stanley Kunitz wrote, \"Reading a poem by Robert Hass is like stepping into the ocean when the temperature of the water is not much different from that of the air. You scarcely know, until you feel the undertow tug at you, that you have entered into another element.\"
In his tenure as United States Poet Laureate, Robert Hass organized conferences such as "Watershed," which brought together noted novelists, poets, and storytellers to talk about writing, nature, and community. He has published many books of poetry including Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, and Sun Under Wood, and a book of essays on poetry, Twentieth Century Pleasures. His most recent books are Now & Then, a collection of his Washington Post articles and a collection of poems entitled Time and Materials. Haas has translated many of the works of Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet, Czeslaw Milosz. Hass was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship and twice the National Book Critics' Circle Award. He is a professor of English at UC Berkeley.