In the activist verse of this poetic warrior, always committed, the actual world is never out of mind, even in his most intimate poems. Kabbalist, populist, and communist, Hirschman has published over sixty books of his own poetry, and this representative selection is a cross-section of his poetic output, spanning many years and mutations. When he reads aloud, the words take fire, and on the page they crackle and spark.
Hirschman is tender but tough, with a steel fist in his velvet glove.–San Francisco Chronicle
What this poet brings to us, beyond ideology, is the simple truth that we already know and so immediately recognize: we have to stop hating each other, killing each other, raping each other, and start loving each other.–Poet News
. . . one of the left’s most prolific and consistent poetic voices.–Contemporary Poets
For a poet as prolific as Jack Hirschman, the 224 pages of his new City Lights book Front Lines–a selected poems covering a half-century of work from 1952 to 2001–gives us only a fraction of his gargantuan output over that long, productive arc. (With over one hundred books of original work and translations at last count.) With a deft touch, he has lifted many of the best poems from these years, giving us a consolidated, if not a “best of” Hirschman reader, in which the turning of each page causes something of a small epiphany, if not outright cause for celebration.–Asheville Poetry Review
The publication of Front Lines . . . serves as an appropriate celebration of Jack Hirschman’s 70th birthday and his staying power as a poet of conscience.–Bloomsbury Review
Jack Hirschman is a San Francisco poet, translator and editor. His powerfully eloquent voice set the tone for political poetry in this country many years ago. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, plus some forty-five translations from a half a dozen languages, as well the editor of anthologies and journals.