"Essays on Departure" is a gathering of 25 years' work by one of the most elegant and pertinent poets working in English, work from eight books, including a generous excerpt from the electrically erotic verse novel "Love, Death and the Changing of the Seasons", and new work written in the shadow of hegemonic empire. Often unabashedly narrative, at once witty and elegiac, this is a poetry in open dialogue with its sources, as close at hand or as surprising as Donne , Akhmatova, the American poet Muriel Rukeyser, Joseph Roth or the Algerian Kateb Yacine. In the past decade, this exchange has been informed by Hacker's widely-published translations of contemporary French poets, and for the first time a selection of this work is included with her own poems. Marilyn Hacker's poetry has been - and will be - acclaimed for its keen observations of the poet's two cities, New York and Paris, its fusion of precise form and demotic language, its music, its memory, its confrontations with mortality and its stubborn delectation of life.
Marilyn Hacker was born in New York City in 1942. She is the author of several books of poetry, including Desesperanto: Poems 1999-2002 (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2003); First Cities: Collected Early Poems 1960-1979 (2003); Squares and Courtyards (2000); Winter Numbers (1994), which won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and a Lambda Literary Award; Selected Poems, 1965-1990 (1994), which received the Poets' Prize; Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons (1986); Assumptions (1985); Taking Notice (1980); Going Back to the River (1990), for which she received a Lambda Literary Award; Separations (1976); and Presentation Piece (1974), which was the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets and a National Book Award winner. She also translated Venus Khoury-Ghata's poetry, published in She Says (2003) and Here There Was Once a Country (2001). Hacker was editor of The Kenyon Review from 1990 to 1994, and has received numerous honors, including the Bernard F. Conners Prize from the Paris Review, the John Masefield Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. She lives in New York City and Paris.