Robert Hass was born in San Francisco on March 1, 1941. He attended St. Mary's College in Moraga, California and received both an MA and Ph.D. in English from Stanford University.
His books of poetry include The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems (Ecco Press, 2010); Time and Materials (2007), which won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; Sun Under Wood: New Poems (1996), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; Human Wishes (1989); Praise (1979), which won the William Carlos Williams Award; and Field Guide (1973), which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series.
About Hass's work, 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."
Hass has also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Czeslaw Milosz, most recently Facing the River (1995), and is author or editor of several other collections of essays and translation, including What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World (2012); The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (1994); and Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry (1984).
Hass served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and as a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2007. He lives in California with his wife, poet Brenda Hillman, and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.