Jane Hirshfield is an American poet, essayist, and translator. Hirshfield is also a Buddhist who received precepts at San Francisco Zen Center in 1979. Hirshfield’s poetry reflects immersion in a range of poetic traditions. Polish, Scandinavian, and Eastern European poets have been particularly important to her, along with the poetry of Japan and China.

Jane Hirshfield on “Asking”: The shift from fixity, assertion, and shouting into a spirit of asking and dialogue is itself the key. Asking turns the heart-gate from closed to open. What a gift, a life’s bi-directional Q&A with the immeasurable What-Is. My advice to young writers is often: “Open the window a little wider than you feel comfortable.'” My advice in practice is to ask each thing, event, person you meet, “What is your teaching?”‘

American poet Lisa Russ Spaar on Jane Hirshfield: It is arguable that the riddle, the existential joke of being, of meaning, of Dickinson’s ‘prank of the Heart at play on the Heart,’ is as powerful a source as song for the lyric poem. Central to Hirshfield’s vision is a kind of holy delight that is at the heart of riddles and koans.