Jane Hirshfield is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Come Thief and After, which was named a "Best Book of 2006" by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and England's Financial Times. Hirshfield was born in New York City in 1953 and was a member of the first graduating class at Princeton University to include women. She studied Soto Zen intensively for eight years, including three in monastic practice at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in the wilderness inland from Big Sur, and received lay ordination in 1979. She has cooked at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, driven 18-wheel trucks, worked as the independent editor of several books that have sold in the millions, and spent four years living without electricity. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in a small white house surrounded by fruit trees, a vegetable garden, lavender, and roses, with scientist Carl Pabo.