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Jane Hirschfield is as much an activist as she is a poet: The San Francisco Bay-area writer’s willingness to travel for readings, to give insightful interviews, and to promote poetry as an integral part of a happy, healthy life makes her admired as much for her enduring enthusiasm as for her celebrated poetry. The Lives of the Heart, her fourth book of poems, and Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, her first book of essays, continue her wide-eyed exploration into the mysterious power of her art. The Zen Buddhist composes her poems with short, sharp lines whose meanings carry on far past their clipped lengths, and her critical writings are as much a fan’s notes as they are intellectual dissertations. Hear Hirshfield read at 7 p.m. at Chapters, 1512 K St. NW. FREE. (202) 347-5495. (CP)