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Poetry, Attentiveness, and Imagination: In Service of Our Shared World

December 6, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Join the Natural History Institute for a virtual conversation with poet and Zen Buddhist practitioner Jane Hirshfield, ‘one of American poetry’s central spokespersons for the biosphere’. This webinar moderated by Dr. Tom Fleischner will explore the role of natural history in navigating the compounding environmental crises we face today.

Jane Hirshfield is a poet, essayist, and translator, known as ‘one of American poetry’s central spokespersons for the biosphere’ and recognized as ‘among the modern masters,’ ‘writing some of the most important poetry in the world today.’ She received her bachelor’s degree in 1973 from Princeton University, in the school’s first graduating class to include women as freshmen, and received lay ordination in Soto Zen at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1979. A 2019 elected member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, her books include numerous award-winning collections of her own poems, collections of essays, and edited and co-translated volumes of world writers from the deep past. Widely published in global newspapers and literary journals, her work has been translated into over fifteen languages.

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E.B. White famously said, “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” In our current time of devastating climate change and social and ecological upheavals, finding the balance between savoring and saving the world becomes more challenging, and more essential. We’ll explore the role of attentive natural history—the direct practice of savoring the world—in addressing the seeming unraveling of the world, with Jane Hirshfield, one of the most celebrated poets in the world.

“Poetry, Attentiveness, and Imagination: In Service of Our Shared World” is a part of NHI’s webinar series, “Savoring and Saving the World: Facing the Future in This Present Moment,” hosted by Dr. Tom Fleischner.

This event series is sponsored by Slater & Rutherford.


December 6, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Natural History Institute