Honors and Reviews


Pro Helvetia Foundation grant to meet with leading writers, critics and publishers in Switzerland, 1971

Jury Member, Neustadt International Award, University of Oklahoma (Francis Ponge was the awardee)

Six citations from Duquesne University administration, alumni, faculty for teaching, scholarship and writing

Poetry has been translated in Spanish, French, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, Norwegian, Persian, and Bulgarian

National Book Award Finalist for Once for the Last Bandit, 1973

Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Membership, 1976

Pittsburgh “Man of the Year in the Arts,” 1977 and 1984

Governor of Pennsylvania Award, The Hazlett Award for Excellence in Literature, 1986

The Forbes Medal from the Fort Pitt Museum for Outstanding Cultural Contributions to Western Pennsylvania, 1987

The Elizabeth Kray Award for Outstanding Service to Poetry from the Creative Writing Program of New York University, 1993

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Cultural Award, 1995

Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Pittsburgh, 2003

Maurice English Award for Poetry, 2003

The Griffin Award for Creative Writing, University of Notre Dame, 2004


for The Very Fall of the Sun:

A Graham Greeneish suspense novel with a strong intellectual strand and a real kicker of an ending.
The New York Times

An engrossing book, and the fact that it was written by a gifted poet shines through on every page.
— George W. Ball, former Under Secretary of State and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

for The Wanton Summer Air:

He is…a master stylist… First one notices how thoughtful Hazo can be in his choice of words and terms…so apt, so descriptive, so exact.
San Francisco Review of Books

Hazo brings you the poet’s touch not only in his recreation of the Riviera…but as well to his creation of character and to the intensity of feeling experienced by his star-crossed lovers.
Publishers Weekly

for The Past Won’t Stay Behind You:

These are poems from a conscious, erudite, questioning mind that takes surprising turns and leaps of the faith in the power of the word. He has much to teach us about writing about contemporary life with grace and awareness, those qualities that are most valued when least expected.
– Susan Bright, Borderlands

for The Holy Surprise of Right Now:

Hazo is a prolific poet whose voice is always vigorously thoughtful and generous of heart. Among other things, one relishes his jauntiness, his ever-varied grammatical attack, and the wiry suppleness of his phrasing.
— Richard Wilbur

As head of the International Poetry Forum, Sam Hazo has introduced literally thousands of people to poetry, showing them how it can enrich their lives and offer them comfort, encouragement, and joy… He is also a serious and accomplished poet himself.
— Linda Pastan

Hazo has perfect pitch, taking the experiences of everyday life and translating them into songs at once familiar and surprising. Each poem has a word or phrase or image that arrests you — sometimes knocking the wind out of you, sometimes causing a smile of recognition, but always making the thought behind the art immediate and as deeply felt as a dream.
— Jane Alexander, former Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

A voice like his is badly needed in our time for its clarity, its exposure of cant and lies, the courage of his existential meditations and satirical targets, its sense of mystery and transcendence. His voice has the authority that only the best poets have, and we are fortunate to have him among us.
— Peter Makuck in The Laurel Review

for Just Once:

Readers searching for the elusive good in contemporary verse will be rewarded by a look into these pages.
— Robert McDowell, The Hudson Review

“Samuel Hazo writes poems of immense intelligence, lyricism, and humanity. For decades, he has nourished a profound gift for illuminating metaphor and a stunning ability to create and cut clean to the core of histories and scene, making poems which ring of truth and compassion. One would wish such wisdom for our complicated world just now. His gifted ear and voice are wide and resonant. His wit is sly and profound. No one else in the world of American poetry remembers his or her own poems as well as Samuel Hazo does – speaking marvelously from memory – and very few have been as generous to the family of readers and listeners. Samuel Hazo has also devoted his life to the loving labor of connecting poets and audiences, in the founding and direction of the International Poetry forum in Pittsburgh, one of the finest ongoing poetry series in the world.  To encounter his voice anywhere is to feel grounded and recharged with the vigor of life. ”
— Naomi Shihab Nye
(on awarding the 2003 Maurice English Poetry Award to Samuel Hazo)