Hadas earned an undergraduate degree in classics at Harvard University, an MA in poetry at Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in comparative literature at Princeton University. She spent several years in Greece before graduate school, and that period echoes in her lyric poetry, which includes references to classic Greek literature even as its imagery is grounded in the details of the domestic. Early friendships with James Merrill and Alan Ansen also influenced her development as a prolific master of formal verse.
Throughout her career Hadas has produced acclaimed translations of writers as diverse as Tibillus, Baudelaire, and the Greek poet Konstantine Karyotakis. Her poetry has been included in Best American Poetry (1996), and her volume Halfway Down the Hall: New & Selected Poems (1998) was a finalist for the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Her criticism and essays are collected in Form, Cycle, Infinity: Landscape Imagery in the Poetry of Robert Frost & George Seferis (1985) and Merrill, Cavafy, Poems, and Dreams (2001). She also edited the anthology Unending Dialogue: Voices from an AIDS Poetry Workshop (1991).
Hadas has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, two Ingram Merrill Foundation grants, the O.B. Hardison Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She was a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars & Writers with the New York Public Library. She has taught at Columbia, Princeton, and Rutgers, and at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.