A nationally acclaimed poet, Robert Francis continued to write and receive recognition for his work right up until his death in 1987 at age 85. His honours include the Prix de Rome given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Shelley Award of the Poetry Society of America, and the Brandeis Creative Arts Award. In 1984, the Academy of American Poets presented him with its $10,000 fellowship for ""distinguished poetic achievement"". The 56 poems in this collection were gathered from what Francis wrote in the last decade of his life and from earlier work not reproduced in ""Collected poems, 1936-1976"". Included are several ""lost"" poems recently discovered between the pages of Francis's letters. Although age is a recurring theme, ""Late fire, late snow"" offers an engaging mixture of subject and tone, from the pastoral to the political, the contemplative to the Chaplinesque. This edition, which contains two photographic portraits of the poet, was produced directly from the Fort Juniper limited edition.
Robert Francis was born in Pennsylvania in 1901 and then moved to Massachusetts where he graduated from Harvard University in 1923. Returning to Amherst, Massachusetts, Francis published his first volume of poetry in 1936, which received the Shelly Memorial Prize. In 1975, after his long and distinguished writing career, the University of Massachusetts Press established its annual Juniper Prize in Poetry in Francis' honor.