These poems reflect an astute awareness of associations across time. A beetle crossing a tennis court brings to mind an infant crawling across the floor-one who's now asking for the keys to the family car. A jar of golden honey draws readers into the murmur of bees and the scent of basswood flowers. In Earth's Appetite Hasse offers a lyrical paean to re-roofing a house and a humorous description of how a dog and its unemployed owner spend a day. Her extended ode to feet "twin girls dressed alike " possesses a Neruda-like simplicity and charm. The book shows Hasse's longstanding mastery of striking imagery. "Rung by rung down the ladder of my backbone " she writes and "earth like a love tilts toward and away." The book as a whole reminds us of the quirky ways that lives unfold strengthening or breaking connections offering unexpected turns and recurrent familiar themes.
Margaret Hasse grew up in Vermillion South Dakota. After graduating from Stanford University with a B.A. in English she moved back to the Midwest in 1973 and has made her home in the Twin Cities since then. She has been an inspiring teacher in numerous poetry writing classes residencies and workshops ranging from introductory experiences for new writers to advanced classes. Hasse has worked in school classrooms colleges and universities The Loft Literary Center correctional facilities community organizations mental health facilities and senior centers. Her M.A. in English is from the University of Minnesota.
Hasse is the author of five collections of poetry: Stars Above Stars Below (1984 reissued 2018) In a Sheep's Eye Darling (1988) Milk and Tides (2008) Earth's Appetite (2013) and Between Us (2016). Stars Above Stars Below won the Minnesota Voices Project competition of New Rivers Press. In a Sheep's Eye Darling won Milkweed Editions' Lakes and Prairies contest. Three of her books were finalists for a Minnesota Book Award and twice her books have been awarded the Midwest Independent Publishing Association's annual prize for a book of poems. She received McKnight Foundation Fellowships in 1985 and 2006 a Jerome travel grant in 1993 a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 1993 a Loft Literary Center Career Initiative Grant in 2009 and the Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships in 1983 2010 and 2016.