Born in 1948 in Berkeley, California, the son of poet Jeanne McGahey and
teacher/critic Lawrence Hart, he grew up in an atmosphere of literary
discussion and rigorous devotion to the writer’s craft.
Pursuing an interest in literary translation, Hart earned a BA in Comparative
Literature (Princeton, 1970) but, encouraged by an early literary prize, chose
to develop his career outside the academic world. His first verse volume, The
Climbers, appeared in 1978 in the Pitt Poetry Series; his second, Storm Camp,
is in preparation. Hart now works with poets and other writers in settings
including the Lawrence Hart Seminars, which link back to a circle established
by his father in 1936. He is an editor at the respected and durable “little”
magazine Blue Unicorn now in its 28th year.
Hart has supported himself, however, as a non-fiction writer with specialties
in environmental affairs and wilderness travel. The tally so far includes
three books with University of California Press, three more with Sierra Club
Books, and several more with regional and specialist presses. Focal points
have been water policy, farmland conservation, land-use planning, and
wilderness travel. His title Walking Softly in the Wilderness: The Sierra Club
Guide to Backpacking has been through three editions and is considered one of
the basic texts in its field.
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