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 began writing poems as a child in South Dakota. She received degrees in English from Stanford University and the University of Minnesota. Her work has been published in many journals and anthologies. Garrison Kiellor’s “The Writer’s Almanac” (American Public Media) has featured a number of her poems, and Truant was part of Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” newspaper project (Poetry Foundation of America).
Among Hasse's five collections of poetry two have been selected as finalists for the Minnesota Book Award and one received the annual poetry prize from the Midwest Independent Publishing Association. She’s been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, and The McKnight Foundation. She lives in Saint Paul where she leads poetry workshops and works as a consultant with arts organizations.
Margaret and her husband, David Grothe, have two grown sons, Michael and Alex Grothe.