“Robert Hass is gifted with a probing intellect, a drive to get to the root of whatever question he has raised, as well as a confiding intimacy of address. His writing achieves the specific gravity that comes when close attention is followed by contemplation.”

Sven Birkerts, Robert Gottlieb, and Mark Kramer, PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award judges’ citation for Robert Hass’ What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World