This book includes work from the author's first five books, Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, Sun Under Wood, and Time and Materials, as well as new poems, including a suite of elegies, a series of poems in the form of notebook musings on the nature of storytelling, a suite of summer lyrics, and two experiments in pure narrative that meditate on personal relations in a violent world. His poems are a complex hybrid of the lyric line, with an unwavering fidelity to human and nonhuman nature, and formal variety and surprise, and a syntax capable of thinking through difficult things in ways that are both perfectly ordinary and really unusual. Over the years, he has added to these qualities a range and a formal restlessness that seem to come from a skeptical turn of mind, an acute sense of the artifice of the poem and of the complexity of the world of lived experience that a poem tries to apprehend. His work is grounded in the beauty of the physical world. His familiar landscapes include San Francisco, the northern California coast, the Sierra high country. His themes include art, the natural world, desire, family life, the life between lovers, the violence of history, and the power and inherent limitations of language. He is a poet who is trying to say, as fully as he can, what it is like to be alive in his place and time. His style, formed in part by American modernism, in part by his long apprenticeship as a translator of the Japanese haiku masters and Czeslaw Milosz, combines intimacy of address, a quick intelligence, a virtuosic skill with long sentences, intense sensual vividness, and a light touch. From 1995-1997 he served as Poet Laureate of the United States. His books of poetry have received the Pulitzer Prize in 2007, and the National Book Award in 2008, the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1996, and the William Carlos Williams Award in 1979.