Samuel Hazo comments:
Suffice to say that I regard poetry as the best form of conversation with largely unknown readers or hearers whose answer is hopefully their attention and assent. The rest is for critics to discover and evaluate.
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Samuel Hazo's first two collections,DiscoveryandThe Quiet Wars,introduced a meditative Christian poet concerned with the tough and enduring realities of suffering and death. He displays the technical mastery necessary to avoid portentousness and unearned statement, and his style is at once traditional and colloquial, that of a modern thinking man's believable metrical utterance.
Listen with the Eye,a small collection of poems with accompanying photographs by James Blair, involves a technical departure of some importance, for many of the poems are cast in a strongly iambic free verse. The result is not so much rhythmic freedom as it is a stronger sense of the weight of each line. This quality distinguishes the new poems ofMy Sons in God,a collection of new and selected earlier poems in which the union of style and theme marks the arrival of an important American poet. Among the new poems is a group of "transpositions" from the Arabic of Ali Ahmed Said, the contemporary Lebanese poet, and here again a fresh technical influence brings to Hazo's own poems an additional firmness of line. A larger selection of Said's poems,The Blood of Adonis,appeared in 1971.
Once for the Last Bandit: New and Previous Poemshones the selection of early poems that appeared inMy Sons in God,and it includes generous selections from that book and fromBlood Rights.Nearly half of the book is given over to the title sequence, a group of poems having some of the qualities of a journal, or as Hazo calls it, "an almanac of a penman in transit." The sinuous, heavily iambic free verse is a genuinely new direction for Hazo, and while his themes of loss, God, and persistence are still central, a larger variety of starting points and tones has become available to this very resourceful poet.
Nationality: American.Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 19 July 1928.Education: Notre Dame University, Indiana (Mitchell Award, 1948), B.A. (magna cum laude) 1948; Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, M.A. 1955; University of Pittsburgh, Ph.D. 1957.Military Service: U.S. Marine Corps, 1950-53: Captain.Family: Married Mary Anne Sarkis in 1955; one son.Career: Instructor, Shady Side Academy, 1953-55. Instructor, 1955-58, assistant professor, 1958-60, associate professor, 1960-61, associate dean, 1961-66, and since 1964 professor of English, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. Visiting professor, University of Detroit, 1968. Since 1966 director, International Poetry Forum, Pittsburgh. Contributing editor,Mundus Artiummagazine, Athens, Ohio; poetry editor,America,Washington, D.C. U.S. State Department Lecturer in the Middle East and Greece, 1965, in Jamaica, 1966. Since 1976 editor, Byblos Editions, Pittsburgh. Commentator, National Public Radio,Performance Today,1989-90.Awards: Pro Helvetia Foundation grant (Switzerland), 1971; Governor's award for excellence in the arts, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1986; Forbes medal, Fort Pitt Museum, 1987; Elizabeth Kray award, Creative Writing Program at New York University, 1993; State Poet of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1993-96; Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Cultural award, 1995. D.Litt.: Seton Hill College, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, 1965; D.Hum.: Theil College, Greenville, Pennsylvania, 1981; Wilkes College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 1987; H.D.L.: Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1989.Address: 785 Somerville Drive, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, U.S.A.
- Discovery and Other Poems. New York, Sheed and Ward, 1959 .
- The Quiet Wars. New York, Sheed and Ward, 1962 .
- Listen with the Eye, photographs by James P. Blair. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1964 .
- My Sons in God: Selected and New Poems. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1965 .
- Blood Rights. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1968 .
- The Blood of Adonis, with Adonis (Ali Ahmed Said). Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1971 .
- Twelve Poems, with George Nama. Pittsburgh, Byblos Press, 1972 .
- Seascript: A Mediterranean Logbook. Pittsburgh, Byblos Press, 1972 .
- Once for the Last Bandit: New and Previous Poems. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1972 .
- Quartered. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1974 .
- Inscripts. Athens, Ohio University Press, 1975 .
- Shuffle, Cut, and Look. Derry, Pennsylvania, Rook Press, 1977 .
- To Paris. New York, New Directions, 1981 .
- Thank a Bored Angel: Selected Poems. New York, New Directions, 1983 .
- The Color of Reluctance. Story, Wyoming, Dooryard Press, 1986 .
- Nightwords. New York, Sheep Meadow Press, 1987 .
- Silence Spoken Here. Marlboro, Vermont, Marlboro Press, 1988 .
- The Past Won't Stay behind You. Fayetteville, University of Arkansas Press, 1993 .
- The Holy Surprise of Right Now: Selected & New Poems. Fayetteville, University of Arkansas Press, 1996 .
- Latching the Fist. Pittsburgh, Byblos Press, 1996 .
- As They Sail. Fayetteville, University of Arkansas Press, 1999 .
- Until I'm Not Here Anymore (produced Pittsburgh, 1992 ).
- Solos(produced Pittsburgh, 1994 ). Pittsburgh, Byblos Press, 1994 .
- Feather, 1996 .
- The Very Fall of the Sun. New York, Popular Library, 1978 .
- The Wanton Summer Air. Berkeley, California, North Point Press, 1982 .
- Stills. New York, Atheneum, 1989 .
- Hart Crane: An Introduction and Interpretation. New York, Barnes and Noble, 1963 ; revised edition, as Smithereened Apart: A Critique of Hart Crane, Athens, Ohio University Press, 1978 .
- The Feast of Icarus: Lyrical Essays. Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Palaemon Press, 1984 .
- The Pittsburgh That Stays Within You. Pittsburgh, Byblos Press, 1986 .
- The Rest Is Prose. Pittsburgh, Duquesne University Press, 1990 .
- Editor, The Christian Intellectual: Studies in the Relation of Catholicism to the Human Sciences. Pittsburgh, Duquesne University Press, 1963 .
- Editor, A Selection of Contemporary Religious Poetry. Glen Rock, New Jersey, Paulist Press, 1963 .
- Translator, with Beth Luey, The Growl of Deep Waters: Essays, by Denis de Rougemont. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1976 .
- Translator, Transformation of the Lover, by Adonis. Athens, Swallow Press-Ohio University Press, 1983 .
- Translator, Lebanon: Twenty Poems for One Love, by Nadia Tueni. Pittsburgh, Byblos Press, 1990 .
- Translator, The Pages of Day and Night. Marlboro, Vermont, Marlboro Press, 1994 .
- "Swimming in Sharkwater: The Poetry of Samuel Hazo" by R.H.W. Dillard, inHollins Critic(Hollins College, Virginia), February, 1969
- Samuel Hazo: The Poetry of Resistance(dissertation) by David Paul Sokolowski, Marquette University, 1992 .