Hiram Larew founded the informal Poetry X Hunger initiative in 2017 as a way to bring two areas of interest – poetry and hunger prevention – together. Upon retiring from the U.S. Department of Agriculture where he helped guide international agriculture programs, he noticed that relatively little poetry about hunger was available. Believing in the power of poetry to touch hearts and minds, he launched Poetry X Hunger as a way to encourage poets to write about hunger.
He received his Doctoral degree in entomology from Oregon State University and began his career at the USDA’s research campus in Beltsville, MD where he studied the use of neem seed extract to manage insect outbreaks. After a Fellowship at the US Agency for International Development, he was hired permanently by the Agency and traveled widely overseas under USAID auspices to help with agricultural and higher education programming and policies. He returned to USDA as the Director for the Center for International Programs in what became the National Institute of Food and Agriculture where he and his team worked to promote a variety of international agriculture programs undertaken by faculty and students at U.S. Land Grant Universities. He retired from USDA in 2016.
His poetry has been nominated four times for national Pushcart Prizes, and he has received grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council for his poetry activities. His poems have appeared widely in journals and books in the U.S., Germany, Britain, Nigeria, The Netherlands, Ireland and elsewhere. His fourth collection, Undone, was published in 2018 by FootHills Publishing.